Prologue cont.

But until last August, all the others were alive and accounted for. Now he was the only one left alive. And he simply could not believe the deaths were a coincidence. So he was running. But from whom?

He stopped at a gas station/souvenir shop at Yeehaw Junction, a depressing settlement which owed its existence solely to the fact that Route 60 intersected U.S. Route 441 at that point. He ran through the downpour into the store, splashing through the puddles that filled the holes in the gravel. By the time he'd arrived inside, one sock was soaked.

The tackiness of his surroundings and his physical discomfort conspired to distract him from seeing two men at his Buick Riviera. Had he looked, he would have seen one inspecting his right front tire and the other open each of the two doors briefly. At least, that's what it would have looked like.

When he resumed driving, he was headed in the direction of Lake Wales. The weather had not changed, but the traffic was light. Then a car appeared behind him. "The fool doesn't even have his lights on," he said to himself. As the vehicle behind grew closer, he saw that it was a full-size pickup truck with its chassis jacked up for off-road travel. It was approaching fast. Too fast. Too close.
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