Sunlight glinted off the highway, creating snow blindness in the middle of the summer desert. Moira wished she had sunglasses. She wished she had a thousand things, but as her last foster mother used to say, wishing didn’t make it so.

Her arms ached from fighting the ancient minivan’s steering wheel. A huge wind had been whipping her from Fallon—maybe before—and more than once she thought the entire vehicle would go over sideways.

Part of her cursed Royce Gallagher for tying the mattress onto the roof with only one bungee cord. A trucker had helped her pull another bungee across the top somewhere near Salt Lake when he saw her standing on the van’s bumper and shoving.

Hon, you’re gonna kill someone with that thing, he’d said as gently as he could. I saw you on 80 and I was thinking the worst thing could happen is that could come loose.

He reeked of cigarettes and diesel. She’d kept an eye on him the entire time, and she hadn’t mentioned Kasey, sound asleep in the back seat. When he’d peered in, reaching among the boxes for a rope she swore was there, she’d nearly pushed him away.

But he’d helped and given her the bungee besides, and it had lasted for the next 500 miles, all the way here, Highway 95 in the most godforsaken place on Planet Earth.

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