Within a few minutes the first drops began to fall, sing-songy, on the roof of the car. The tempo and volume increased quickly and steadily as the sky overhead blackened. Inside the cab it got darker and darker until it was like twilight. Then Ted saw tiny white balls bouncing off the hood in front of him. He turned on his hazards and craned his sore neck to the southwest. And he knew that staying in the car was the wrong choice.
An angry cloud seemed to be stretching its fist toward the earth, slowly circling, grasping, clutching. Ted sat mesmerized a moment. Then a finger began to emerge from the fist and Ted searched frantically for the door handle. He burst from the car with no thought to the hail or the wind or his aching jaw and scanned the fields. Where was the bridge? The farm? So far away that in the black of the storm he could no longer make them out.
But there was the ditch.
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