Driving away, George headed toward the darkening horizon and kept driving, steering away from the signs of cities with the vision of Marietta wavering in front of him. Choking and stuttering under the pressure of his fingers, she had pleaded for him to stop. Watching her gag, her wide eyes staring blindly somewhere beyond that time and place, he wanting so much that he could have stopped and avoided the dull, heavy aftermath when her eyes rolled and she fell silent and still. Wished that he hadn’t felt the awful empty feeling that next time she might die and knew that the terrible monster lurking in the darkness of his soul was lusting for the time when she would.

He drove on, cutting through the night. No longer tired, he didn’t want to ever feel the weight of exhaustion ever again. .