>THE GONE, PART SIX

>The sound of the horn had been a night-swallowing noise, bellowing out like an animal in pain. This was the only life the car had left, the final scream Simon had forced from its body, both hands pressing down. He had railed the horn for five awful minutes, beating out long aching cries that filled his ears like wate, hammering it in short angry bursts that shook his entire body. Each one was a battle against the silence, a denial of his isolation.

Now he sat back in the driver’s seat, stillness pressing in around him. He tried not to think of the fact he was truly alone, but no other thought would replace it. This was acceptance—something he had read about, when fallen mountain climbers gave up, when the body failed, when the mind let go. The cold began to take Simon over. He saw himself the next morning, frozen like a caveman in the car, frosted face staring, twisted, from the driver’s window. He tried to see his reflection in the windshield, but there was just the blackness, the stars spread too thinly across the sky.

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