TITLE: Seven Rivers
GENRE: YA thriller/suspense
Daylight faded. Watching through the windshield of her car, the woman gripped the steering wheel as the sun sank behind the western bluffs, limning the sandstone rock in a blood orange laser beam of light. The river below radiated like a fever. Shadows dissolved the woods in front of her to a mass of shivering black. The sky held violet.
Now in late April, spring pushed through the last scabbed crust of winter, shooting up stalks and tendrils and blades. Riotous shades of green appeared overnight. Thin stems of wood swelled after a soaking rain, stippling the landscape with misted blobs of chartreuse and lime. Morning sunlight was acid bright, thick gold in the afternoon.
In the damp pines overhead, a fox sparrow whistled three-note trills. High up on the thermals, a hawk turned a slow arc in the gloaming.
The woman in the car watched, unseeing, thinking only of death. She pictured other people’s demise, the ways and means. Heart attack. Car accident. An unfortunate fall down a flight of stairs.
Accidental drowning. Electrocution. Food poisoning. She thought of immediate family members and distant relatives. Random pedestrians on the sidewalk, walking dogs and pushing strollers. It happened often these days, at strange and tedious times. Standing in line at the checkout, she’d examine the cashier, the middle-aged housewife in front of her plopping bags of apples and pears, cans of tuna on the conveyor belt.