A PLAIN DEATH3
“I’m sure Marcos will survive.” I checked my side mirror foroncoming traffic. There was none. Another gust of wind rocked thecar. “Tee, I have to go.” My hands ached from gripping the steeringwheel.“Call me tomorrow.
.”I removed the earpiece and tossed it on the dashboard.A low growl came from the carrier in the backseat of my RAV4.Gig’s plastic cat carrier sat between my bedding and two smallsuitcases, one stacked on top of the other. The suitcases didn’t holdclothes. My clothing was back in the trailer along with my fewpieces of furniture. Instead, the suitcases held what I really caredabout: my computer graveyard.It’s not a true graveyard, of course, but the remnants of com-puters past: motherboards, old VGA cables, USB connectors, harddrives, and obsolete floppy disk drives, all carefully packed insideof those two suitcases. I couldn’t bear to part with them. I’d ownedsome of the hardware since I was a young child and discovered mylove of all things tech.That love of technology led me to this very spot in the middleof Ohio’s rural countryside, although this detour—and I did con-sider it a detour—was never part of the plan. “Okay, God,” I whis-pered. “Two years. Get me out of here in two years.”“Recalculating!” My GPS squawked again. Apparently I wasn’tthe only one who thought we were headed for the middle of nowhere. My GPS, the one I had affectionately named “Pepper”—since she had such a peppery attitude—had recalculated every tenminutes since I’d exited Interstate 71 South.“Recalculating!”Gig yowled his disgust. He and Pepper were not friends. In fact,Gig wasn’t a fan of any of my high-tech toys. It was not unusual forme to return to my apartment after a long night of studying at theuniversity’s library to find Gig had chewed through a wire or two.The most recent victim had been the AC adapter to my netbook.