The papers in the Forest Drive petrol station gives Obama (Caitlin likes to call him Osama) a strong lead over McCain; she makes a point of spitting when she steps outside. As she lights up there’s a blare from her SUV and she’s hollerin’,
“ERIN AH TOLD YOU STAY IN BACK!”
The horn cuts off suddenly. Catlin can’t see anyone in her car.
A frantic search yields no eight-year-old girl but reveals tracks leading into the trees. Catlin grabs a rifle from the back seat, ducks under the first branches. She scans, sights with her rifle, swears and starts to run up the hill.
She thinks about her phone, what she’ll do to the perv, thinks about the caves and how many people disappear into ’em year on year.
The sudden sight of Erin’s body lying on pine carpet drives all from her mind… then he’s behind her, immobilizing, filthy hand over mouth and nose, suffocating.
And as the world dims she hears:
“Tzweilphathoggua, being SHALL not be, Cghudhweillough! Iron worm. Skies, oh, hide from the skies!”