Jenna Lyons knew it would happen. She had come to count on it as a simple matter of fate or something more astrological in nature. She knew it from the moment dread began to weave itself into a heavy cloak around her body, tightening its grip on her until she felt suffocated. Though it was an unexplainable feeling more than concrete fact, Jenna knew she was hurtling toward the crossroads of a major turning point in her life just as sure as she was driving down a desolate stretch of Missouri highway. She’d traveled for too long without seeing so much as another car or house in the distant fields, let alone a sign or exit ramp that would lead her to a gas pump. So when her little toy of a car began to sputter, it came as no real surprise. She coaxed the car to the shoulder of the road, threw it in park, and wondered, not for the first time, what the Hell she was doing so far from home.
“Shit,” she muttered. Though Jenna had never cursed out loud in her life, she recognized the urgency of the situation and felt the moment warranted some airing of pent-up aggravation. And just to try it on for size, she let The Big One, the granddaddy of all curse words, slip. The word made her smile with relief and a sense of satisfaction, and she said it again and again as she pounded the flat part of her hand against the steering wheel. And when Jenna had exhausted the novelty of the bad word, she laid on the horn and screamed the scream of a woman at the end of her rope, feeling the delectable feeling of anger exiting her body like the steady hiss of air from a punctured tire.