“Are you alright?” The girl was leaning forward in her seat, one hand pressed against the denim of her jeans as if seeking reassurance from the feel of her own body. She tilted her head to face him with the look of child who suspects there’s a monster lurking in the dark corners of the closet and is too fearful to investigate too closely.

George snapped back to the present angry that he had let himself become lost in the acres of rolling tarmac he had put so firmly behind him.

“Sorry, I was just thinking,” he tried to recover lost ground, aware that she had shrunk her occupancy to an impossibly small square of upholstery.

“Is she pretty, your wife?” The girl eased, the tense furrows shallowing beneath the untidy waves of sandy hair that stroked her brow as the monster fell back into the strangeness of an unfamiliar shadow.