It Was Snowing That Night: Part 3

by dedalus

H.G. waited until she could no longer make out the truck's headlights.

Then she got up to examine the other victims who lay exposed and face down in the snow.

Bradford was next to her. She rolled his naked and battered body over.

This was the man she loved, the man she knew loved her.

He wanted to marry her but had not gotten the chance to slip the engagement ring on her finger.

Blood flowed from his head and eyes.

Maybe he was still alive! Shivering and near-naked, H.G. removed her sweater, the only garment she had on, and tied it around his head to stop the bleeding.

She went to Hetland but soon realized there was not much she could do to help while she was there.

Seeing lights to the west a ways off, she thought the building that had them "was like some sort of farming type thing" and believed it might not have a phone.

Looking toward the highway, she saw a home with Christmas lights on.

Like all things identified with this holiday season, bright and multi-colored Christmas lights represent joy and love and the spirit of giving.

For H. G., from whom so much had been taken — loved ones, security, and dignity — those lights meant comfort and help.

As she raced toward the Christmas lights, she saw car headlights and immediately dove into the frigid blanket of snow because she feared it might be the attackers.

Every time she saw headlights, she flung herself to the ground, waited, then got back up to run toward those beckoning lights.

H.G. got to a fence and climbed over it. She crossed a highway that was almost empty due to the hour.

Then she climbed over another fence and found herself on a dirt road that appeared to be behind a subdivision.

She got to the back of a home, then raced around to the front door and repeatedly rang the doorbell and pounded on the door.

She had run a mile. As a child, H.G. was nicknamed "Toughy" by her playmates. She had lived up to that name.

The owners of the home, a man and a woman, peeked out a window to see a shivering, bleeding, naked woman on their porch.

They opened the door and let her inside, then bundled her up in blankets.

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