The morning is the mottled gray-pink of bad meat. A cloud scrim hides layers of more clouds and the dawn and the sun. The heavy air condenses on the wind shield sending rivulets scuttling up and over the car.
My dread is tinged with a growing nervousness. What was merely butterflies in the stomach is quickly becoming cockroaches under the covers—I don’t know what I’ll find in Madison. There’s only been a couple of other cars on the interstate between Rockford and Madison, if one doesn’t count the dozens of abandoned cars. The silence of the road gives way to a bull bellowing without his harem. It’s the quiet I dislike.
But has it been thirty miles since I last checked? Close enough. Besides, we’re getting close to Madison. I turn the car radio on. The static is set at a low enough volume to let Jared sleep. I hit “Search” and let the car cycle through the frequencies. It searches. And it searches. And cycles.
“Nothing?” says Jared as if we expected nothing. He’s still in his sleep position with arms crossed, eyes closed, his head leaning on the window. I turn the radio off.