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The blast lifted Grace McKenzie's one ton pickup truck ten feet off Louisiana Interstate 20. The air bag detonated against jagged steel and just as quickly expelled itself. Air discharged a shrill whistle through the notched tear as the truck landed, skidding at sixty-five miles per hour. The driver's window shattered. Glass splinters pierced her neck and cheek. Screeching metal ground into the pavement. Tiny pebbles, pieces of broken asphalt, whizzed within less than an inch of her bleeding face through the broken window. Had the war begun?
She braced herself as the truck spun counter clockwise. Sparks flew against her face and chest. She closed her eyes. The front of the truck impacted something unseen with the force of a freight train and sent the truck clockwise spewing pungent gas. She opened her eyes at the nauseous smell just as it caught on fire.
The truck was still in a full-blown slide. As long as it kept moving it was impossible to get out.
Grace recalled the morning paper's headline: PRESIDENT TELLS NATION: GET READY FOR WAR. The President's decision to declare war had brought stern warning from the Secretary of State in spite of the heavy toll the United States had sustained from recent terrorists attacks. The President spoke out on CBS "Face the Nation" that retaliating attacks would be heavy, sustained and substantial while the presidential administration mealy-mouthed wishes for diplomatic solutions. Saudi Arabia's Defense Secretary stated he would not allow U.S. strikes to utilize Saudi bases. It was clear Saudi Arabia did not desire a participating role in offensive military aggression against another Arab country. Grace surmised the United States must be under counter attack.

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