The car had stalled in the worst place imaginable. She was in the middle of absolute nowhere in Farmington which meant nothing but dense forest and no gas stations for at least 35 miles each way on the interstate.
She had done her best to fill up the car, her beat up, yet reliable old Volvo, and had used her card to not only swipe for gas but for a great deal if beef jerky, trail mix, and bottled water because something had told her she was in for some trouble. Something deep she hadn’t been able to quite get out of her mind.
So, here she was. Car dead as driftwood, in the middle of Interstate 47 with no sign of traffic in any direction. Great.
Dusk had fallen and she had decided to stay in the car and cover up with blankets to stay warm, hoping eventually a patrol would spot her and stop. She turned on her hazards and hunkered down, observing the nature around her and slowly drowsing while drinking her water and eating small amounts of the jerky to keep her protein up.
Then, she heard the howls. Distant at first, then louder and more feral; and getting closer. It was dark now and she was in the back seat. She covered herself as best she could with the blankets as it was cold, but also to prevent anything from seeing any movement inside the car.
The howls turned to growls and she heard the crunching of paws, or something like them, coming closer to the car. Then she remembered, the damn hazards were still on! That was like a spotlight in an outhouse for Christ’s sake! What had she been thinking??
Quickly, she flew from under the blankets and into the front seat but the console caught her in the ribs and she instantly felt the pain shoot through her abdomen..”that one hurt”, she said through clenched teeth. She reached for the button to turn off the hazards but, her arm was too short and she was caught. She was just short of it.
That was when there was a knock on the window, followed by a low growl….”You; inside…havin’ some trouble?”, said a voice that was like a dg with a cat stuck in it’s throat… a flashlight shone on her face.
“Y-Yes..”, she stammered; “The car died and there’s some sort of animals outside and I-i just d-didn’t..”; “Relax,” said the gruff and scratchy voice, “We’re her ta help ya…”, and the flashlight turned upwards to show the face of some sort of creature that looked like a wolf and a policeman had somehow had a child.
“Officer Fantis Malvo, Forest Traffic Rescue Pack at your service”, he said…and she saw that he wore a badge readnig “FTRP” in gold letters and an actual uniform. “Here to help the weary and troubled traveler in these dangerous parts…”. “You just sit tight now and we’ll get you going.”
She couldn’t believe this. Maybe she’d lost it. Too much beef jerky perhaps….couldn’t be the trail mix.
After a time and having worked under the hood, Officer Malvo said, “Ok, givew ‘er a try”…and she got out of the car, very VERY slowly as she saw there were a good deal of these “officers” who had assembled; and got into the driver’s seat. She turned they key and the car turned over and began to purr. She was instantly relieved, even though she was pretty much surrounded by these “interesting” creatures.
She rolled down the window and said , “Th-Thank you so much! I’m sorry I was afraid…do i owe you anything Officer?”. “Ordinarily just your heart ma’am,” said Officer Malvo; she recoiled suddenly, but then he smiled and said “but your beef jerky would be nice….we haven’t eaten yet”.
She threw the package out the window gladly and drove into the night.