It was a hot day, temperatures almost up in the hundreds. There was supposed to be a pretty heavy thunderstorm moving in this evening, and Zig Zag wanted to beat it. Glancing over at Sheila in the passenger seat she gave herself a little chuckle.
"That kid's too much," she said quietly.
They were just coming back from the Chicago Sexpo 2000 having gone up to act as representatives of ZZ Studios. For three days they had been at the convention, sometimes giving speeches, other times doing signing, and of course, a photo-shoot with the 1st place door prize winners. Needless to say it had been a most productive trip.
"Of course," she thought, "I could have saved a little cash on a room," remembering that Sheila hadn't bothered to come back to the room to do more than a quick shower and clothes change all three days.
Turning on the headlamps so that she could see better, Zig Zag gave a bit of a curse. On the horizon near the town she could see black clouds and lightning. "Damn... not going to beat the rain".
Sheila woke up as Zig Zag slowed down for traffic.
"Getting close to town boss?" Sheila asked.
"Yep, but it looks like we're not going to beat the rain though," Zig Zag replied with a frown.
As if on cue, thunder and lightning pealed the sky and the rain started to come down. Spotty at first, then a drizzle, then the large drops that can defeat even the best wipers. Growling under her breath, she turned the wipers up on high, slowing down and squinting to see what's going on ahead. Spotting their exit on the outside of town that would take them to Sheila's, she slowed down and got off onto the side road. Being late, there was little if any traffic on this spur, and for that Zig Zag was most grateful.
Huddling down in her seat as more thunder and lightening occurred around them, Sheila muttered, "I really hate lightning!"
Zig Zag looked over at Sheila who was scrunched down in her seat and smiled. "Don't sweat it kiddo. One of the safest places to be in a lightning storm is in a car. The body will conduct the lightning around us on down to the ground through the tires. I saw it on PBS so just relax and enjoy the show." She patted Sheila on the knee to reassure her then turned back to the road.
Just as she looked back ahead, a bolt of lightning struck the pavement about a hundred yards ahead of them. Panicking, Zig Zag slammed on the brakes. In the aftermath of the flash, she thought that she saw something in the road. As she blinked to clear her eyes, light from the headlights illuminated a white object in the road.
"Ah Crud!" She exclaimed.
Slamming the wheel over to the right in order to avoid whatever was in the road, Zig Zag forgot all about the rain, and as a result, the car began to spin in the road. With both women hanging onto various parts of the car for dear life, they were both jostled as the car hit something. Now slightly deflected from its original path, the car slid into a ditch and came to a stop.
Gripping the wheel with a death grip, it took a few minutes for Zig Zag to come to her senses. First thing she noticed was that she was wet. Looking around, she saw Sheila was sitting half way on the center console, slumped over. Looking further, she could see that the passenger door was caved in about four or five inches by whatever they had hit.
A low moan escaped Sheila's mouth. Slowly she pushed herself upright, and started to take inventory.
"My God Sheila, you ok?" Zig Zag asked anxiously.
"Uhhh... Ya boss.. I think so." Sheila answered. Blinking to clear the rain and some blood from her eyes, she suddenly let out a little yip of pain. "Ouch!"
"What's wrong Sheila, where are you hurt?" Zig Zag asked.
Reaching around to her right side, Sheila began checking her ribs. "I think I may have a couple of ribs cracked Zig." Quickly licking her snout to clear the water, she tasted blood. "Not to mention a cut or two. But I think I'm ok. Did we hit something?"
"Ya. I think so. Let me see about calling you an ambulance first." Zig Zag said. Picking up the cell phone from the console, Zig Zag tried to dial 911, but the phone kept reporting "No Signal".
"Damn. I think whatever we hit took out the antenna for the phone." Zig Zag told Sheila. Looking again, Zig Zag made sure that Sheila wasn't in any immediate trouble. "Ok. Sheila, you stay here. I'm going to go see what we hit, and maybe try to flag someone down."
Climbing out of the car and into the rain, Zig Zag noticed that it was starting to let up a little. Looking around, all she could see was the road, the trees, and rain. There as no sign of a car coming from either direction, nor of whatever they had hit. Sighing to herself she went to the trunk of the car and got out some road flares and a flashlight.
"Might as well not bother with an umbrella. At this stage it won't do me any good," she thought, looking wistfully at the umbrella in the trunk.
Igniting three of the flares, she tossed one up the road a few yards in each direction, and one on the road right next to where the car was in the ditch. Hopefully someone driving by would see the flares and stop to help out.
Turning on the flash light, Zig Zag decided to walk along the side of the road where the car lay in the ditch. Walking against traffic, she swept the light from side to side, looking for whatever they may have hit.
In the car, Sheila was starting to feel claustrophobic with the car door pushing against her injured ribs. Not getting any satisfaction from the door handle, she slowly crawled across the center console and drivers seat, eventually standing unsteadily in the door.
Leaning on the door of the car, Sheila looked around. The cold rain falling on the hot asphalt was evaporating, creating a low laying mist that clung to the ground. Looking around over the car, she could see Zig Zag walking up the road.
As she stood there, shivering slightly in the lessening rain, Sheila heard something behind her. Turning around, she unconsciously swiveled her ears forward to catch the sound.
There it was again, a low moan that was coming from across the road. Walking unsteadily, Sheila made her way up onto the pavement and across to the others side. Lying partially in the ditch, she saw a large white figure. This was where the moans were coming from.
"ZIG ZAG!!! Over here!!" She shouted to get Zig Zag's attention. When she saw her coming over, Sheila started down the embankment. Coming next to the figure she could make out what appeared to be an albino bear. As the rain continued to drizzle lightly down, she knelt to examine him. The fog pouring off the road was slowly creeping around him, and she could have sworn that she heard a sizzling sound.
As Zig Zag came up, she shined her flashlight on him. The right side of his head was covered with blood, and there were patches of blood all over him where he had bounced off of the car and pavement. Moaning, he blinked at the light.
Kneeling down by him Sheila put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Don't move. You've been in an accident."
Blinking at her, he squinted. "Sheila?"
Taken aback, Sheila leaned back away from the figure.
"Sheila Vixen? Is that really you?!?" He asked raising his hand to her.
Glancing at Zig Zag for a second, she reached out for his hand. "Yes, it's really me."
As she took his paw in hers, he grabbed on to her tightly. "Oh man. If this is a dream, it's one hell of a dream."
As his head fell back down to the grass, his grip on her hand released, and slowly fell away. In her hand, Sheila saw a silver looking medallion. The medallion was quite warm in her hand, much warmer than would be reasonable for just being held by someone.
Hearing a car, Zig Zag ran up to the roadway to flag down the vehicle that was coming. Sheila knew this in the back of her mind, but she couldn't take her eyes off of the strange medallion and the man who had just given it to her.