Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Once years ago, Caroline Wilson's face was cute in a pixie-ish sort of way, but her hatred of the world, and Pine Lake in particular, had pinched her features so that she looked mean enough to drown kittens. Every day, she asked herself why she'd returned to Pine Lake. There were a million other little towns she and Mark could've landed in that wouldn't be any more aware than Pine Lake of that ugly business between her and Senator Martin in D.C.
What a prick that guy had been. Acting as if he wasn't stealing from the taxpayers. Caroline had been allowed to leave town because no one could prove the charges, and Mark the Moron had stuck with her like a burr. She woke up every morning pissed at everyone, especially him. As each day wore on, she added other bitches, idiots, and incompetents to her hate list.
She backed the car out of the garage, thinking that the incomps would top the list today. Her first task was running by the DMV to get her license renewed. Nothing like a bunch of small-time bureaucrats to really bring joy to the world, she thought. She gunned the engine and headed down Main Street.
Selena Kallias drove home in a state of shock, but by the time she'd packed a bag and stopped by the bank to clean out her savings account, she was in a blind fury. How dare her father try to run her life? She didn't care what happened to him, which is exactly what she yelled at her mother while the EMTs fussed over him and packed him off to the hospital. Bastard had probably faked the whole passing-out thing. How could he have a heart attack when he clearly didn't have a heart?
That reasoning kept her moving, kept her determined to leave town. She would find Biff. She had to find him. The airport was as good as any place to start looking.
Carline sped through town, keeping her eyes peeled for cops. She didn't need another ticket. Just before she turned onto the highway ramp, the engine alert light flicked on again. Crap. The thing had been going on and off for weeks, and Mark was supposed to have fixed it. Lazy, good-for-nothing S.O.B. The steering was feeling kind of mushy, too. When she got home, she'd give that moron an earful.
On Highway 10, and old man in a blue Ford was in front of Selena, putt-putting along way under the speed limit. She swerved around him and floored it up to 80 mph, leaving the Ford in the dust. She watched the blue car recede in her rear view mirror. Too late, she turned her attention to the car in front of her, which had inexplicably slowed down. Selena hit the brakes, but not before clipping the other vehicle.
Caroline twisted the steering wheel, trying to compensate. The car spun left; the wheel jerked out of her hands.
Selena tried to stop, but the skid went on and on. . . .