The car’s shocks protested as another dip in the rough, rock-strewn road slammed the full weight of the chassis against the wheels. Brooke had been smart enough to provide him with a tourists map of how to get to Galliard Groves, Henry wished he had been smart enough to follow it. Instead of backtracking all the way to the highway, he had turned off on a service road that should have been a shortcut. It probably would get him to where he wanted to go, but the question was would he be driving or walking by the time he got there.
The service road meandered through rocky foothills that lead to a towering mesa. In the distance, Henry could make out a swath of green that he hoped was an orange grove. Coming around a hillock, he was momentarily blinded by a glaring reflection. A horn screamed at him as Henry whipped his car out of the way of a charging black pick-up truck. Gravel crunched and sprayed as his tires struggled to grip the roadway. Henry tried to correct his drift, but the car slid sideways off of the road and crunched to a stop in a ditch.
Henry cursed and looked around. The black truck had disappeared in a cloud of dust, never stopping.
“Next time, stick to the highway you moron,” Henry said to himself. His cellphone showed no bars. He sighed and got out of the car. His front wheels were pointing in different directions, and there was no way to get it out of the ditch without help.