“Dobranoc, Daughter. We will talk soon.”
Julianne finished wrapping up her efforts and closed down her work machine and her laptop. The laptop she stored in her briefcase, as it was always kept within reach. Turning off the lights as she stepped out and locked her office door, she wasn’t surprised to see the others had already left. Putting on her jacket, she took the elevator to the lobby and smiled as she thought of getting home and having the weekend to relax. Maybe she and Jacob could take in one of the Off-Broadway shows. They both deserved a little fun.
It was dark and the street deserted, though damp from heavy dew. Setting her gait for the twenty minute walk home, she felt herself relaxing as her legs stretched out after sitting at her desk most of the afternoon. Her thoughts wandered to the preparation of supper as she crossed the street. As usual she was intently focused on reaching the destination and not her immediate surroundings.
Over the years she’d learned to focus all her intellectual power on single issues or problems, to the exclusion of all else. This ability to focus her mind had served her well over the years. Tonight it betrayed her. She didn’t even notice the car starting up its engine, then aggressively revving the engine. The car lunged out with its high beams focused directly toward her face which disoriented and blinded her, causing her to freeze in mid stride. All those lessons delivered to her son while he was growing up about looking both ways and being aware of your surroundings completely failed to register in her paralyzed state.
Just like the spell cast by an experienced poacher with a high intensity search light designed to blind and pause a deer, so too did the car’s high beams render her immobile. The sound of the squealing tires was not due to a concerned driver trying to stop in time, but rather a predator accelerating the machine to lethal speed. In that all too brief window of time that she froze, all possibilities of her future life had only one outcome. The car viciously struck her, killing her as it rolled over her body, crushing her briefcase as well. Her last thought was of Jacob.
The predator brought the car to an abrupt stop and studied the scene for any signs of life in the rear view mirror. No amount of medical treatment would change the life pooling onto the pavement from the brutal crushing. Satisfied with a job done right the first time, the predator laughed like a mad-man. The car sped away with no pause and a driver with no remorse.
The investigating detective could find no evidence to change the finality of a random hit and run. She was interred with a quiet service attended by her priest, her son and his friend.
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