Z.D. Harrod

A Child of God

Anne pulled the R.V. to the side of the road when she saw the pair of hitchhikers.

She could hear the few loose dishes in the sink rattle against each other as the wheels crossed onto the gravel of the shoulder.

The two figures walked toward her, the taller one—a man, she saw now—covered his eyes with an arm against the beams of her headlights. The other figure—a woman, a pregnant woman, Anne thought—kept both her arms crossed over her stomach.

Anne didn’t fear them. She was a woman, alone, driving along a highway only five miles south of the state pen, but it didn’t occur to her to be wary.

The man knocked on the door, and Anne told him to come in. He tried, but she hadn’t unlatched the lock, so Anne leaned over from the driver’s seat and unlatched it.

The man came in first. He smelled sour, like booze mixed with an old chemical smell Anne couldn’t quite place. He had dark eyes that she cou