Sidney felt the darkness first, the road crunching underfoot frozen with snow, the ice cracking on the trees far above her head, sharp and jagged shards of ice falling on her shawl, waking her from a slumber that was more death than sleep.
She found that she was walking, without a purpose other than to move forward. Her eyes opened, or at least she thought they did, only to confirm the utter lack of light, except for a sliver of white coming from a short distance ahead. It appeared to be a reflected light, a light without an apparent source, a light much too bright for the oppressive blackness surrounding her.
She opened her mouth, as if it ask a question, only to find that she was incapable of speaking. Her lips parted, her stomach pulling in slightly with the effort of her diaphram pushing air from her lungs, through her mouth, past her teeth; but, no sound came. Only the fog of breath escaped her quivering lips.
She continued walking, now with purpose, determined to reach the reflected light, to find the source that would return her her voice. Sidney's steps came more quickly, more sure footed, the cold and bitter snow flakes swirling up from her bare feet, her gray flannel nightgown wrapping and binding her legs to strides much shorter than her determined mind wanted. In only a few moments she closed the distance, shrugging the shawl from her narrow shoulders, leaping forward and grasping the handle, wrenching the ancient car door open.
Sidney Palmer was right in her instinct that the light would, somehow, bring her voice back. A high-pitched, guttural scream floated lightly from her mouth as the cold, dead hands of the passenger tightly grasped her wrists and began pulling her into the car, whispering into her ear.
"We've been waiting for you, sweetheart. The young ones always taste better."