Tires screeched and glass crunched as something collided with the hood of the oncoming car, then rolled off into the road. Tessa opened her eyes, hot air pressing into her face, and she saw that the right front tire was a few feet from her, but it wasn’t moving.

Someone was screaming.

Then there were more voices.

“Dr. Hadley! Oh my God!”

“Someone get a stretcher.”

Gasping, Tessa squeezed her eyes shut. There was a shadow over her, gripping her wrist to check her pulse. She turned her head away from the fumes of the car, resting her cheek on the road.

“Oh, you’re going to be okay. I’ll get you inside.”

Someone else was shouting now, a few feet away from her. Their words weighed down on her.

“Open your eyes, damnit! Fuck, there’s so much blood. Alex, wake up!”

The voices faded. Tessa felt like something was pushing her away from everything, away from consciousness. There was nothing left to do but sleep now. Everything would be better when she woke up.


When they returned to Ridgewood, Ava could barely believe what she was seeing: four or five police cars, sirens and lights wailing, stood in front of the facility, blocking off the road.

“What happened?” she murmured.

“I don’t know,” Cole said, shaking his head. “But it doesn’t look good.”

Ava nodded, then she stopped and gripped Cole’s sleeve. “That’s Dr. Kinsey’s car.” She was pointing to the dark-colored Nissan; its headlight was broken, and part of the hood was crushed in.

Someone called her name, and from the thicket of cops, doctors, and nurses, Emma came forward. She pulled Ava close, her body shaking as she cried against her. “You’re safe,” she mumbled. “God, you shouldn’t be here to see this.”

“What happened?” Ava asked in a small voice. When the older woman didn’t answer, she blinked at her. “Emma, is Alex okay?”

Emma frowned and brushed her hands through her hair. “Come with me, both of you. You need to know what happened after you left.”

The End

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