Spring 2010 • Vol. XXXII No. 2 FictionApril 1, 2010 |


Susan, feigning sleep, felt the car swerve, a change so abrupt that she gave up the privacy of closing her eyes. Jim was driving with one hand again, the other across the back of Susan's seat. Usually he stroked her hair, cupping his fingers where her hair curled under at the neck. Not today. Susan and Jim had had a fight. She had shut him out. She had even plucked the earpiece from her cochlear implant and clamped her fingers around it, small and lost in her fist. She turned away from Jim, her cheek grazing her shoulder. The spruce forest sloped away, and Susan saw the Quihwa village and the bay and, farther, the Pacific Ocean simmering under the gray sky. She looked down. A logging truck was crawling to the switchback, a single giant tree lashed to its bed, thick chains cutting into the bark. The truck shuddered and blew a cloud of black. Susan frowned, and with her free hand she signed to Jim, Slow down. Jim might have said, "OK." He eased the car around the switchback.

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