Green Valley Lane 1E

Jesus, what do I need to do to LOSE this guy? He’s been on my tail since I got off the highway, waited for me when I stopped at that convenience store, stayed with me through a shortcut and a roundabout route. Can’t be anything else, don’t know what his game is but this guy, he’s definitely following me.

Time to stop this nonsense. Pull the car over to side, it’s just dirt but it’s frozen. You want me buddy, here I am. And I can see him slowing behind me, steering over like me — and then he accelarates past, follows a bend in the road to the left, red tailights disappearing into the black.

Oh, so you figured out that I was on to you? Didn’t have the nerve to stop and show yourself? You like to mess with people, but can’t stand being called out.

Wait for the minute counter on my dashboard clock to increase by two. Little shit must be gone now, gotten back on the county road. No traffic in either direction since I’ve stopped, and it’s far too dark and cold to wait any longer. Punch the turn signal down (like anyone’s around to see), pull back onto the road. Notice for the first time how deep the tire tracks are in the snow, looks like they didn’t even bother to plow after we got those two inches the other day. Maybe they never plow, rely on tractors and farm equipment to clear it with their big tires. They’ve been doing a good job keeping Green Valley Lane clear so far, even though mine’s the only house built on the street. You hear that, farm boys? That’s progress.

Intersection. Four-way stop. Tires slip a little as I brake, better let up. Ease up to the stop.

And there’s the boxy import again, waiting at the stop on the left. I see the shadowy figure of the faceless man in the fedora, behind the wheel. Waving me to go forward.

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