When she was half a block from 동탄키스방her bus stop, the wind-driven fog won and Jody experienced total hair-spray failure. Neat waist-length waves frizzed to a wild red cape of curl and tangle. Great, she thought, once again I'll get home looking like Death eating a cracker. Kurt will be so pleased.

She pulled her jacket closer around her shoulders against the chill, tucked her briefcase under her breasts like a schoolgirl carrying books, and limped on. Ahead of her on the sidewalk she saw someone standing by the glass door of a brokerage office. Green light from the CRTs inside silhouetted him in the fog. She thought about crossing the street to avoid him, but she'd have to cross back again in a few feet to catch her bus.

She thought, I'm done working late. It's not worth it. No eye contact, that's the plan.

As she passed the man, she looked down at her running shoes (her heels were in her briefcase). That's it. Just a couple more steps...

A hand caught in her hair and jerked her off her feet, her briefcase went skittering across the sidewalk and she started to scream. Another hand clamped over her mouth and she was dragged off the street into an alley. She kicked and flailed, but he was too strong, immovable. The smell of rotten meat filled her nostrils and she gagged even while trying to scream. Her attacker spun her around and yanked on her hair, pulling her head back until she thought her neck would snap. Then she felt a sharp pain on the side of her throat and the strength to fight seemed to evaporate.

Across the alley she could see a soda can and an old Wall Street Journal, a wad of bubble gum stuck to the bricks, a "No Parking" sign: details, strangely slowed down and significant. Her vision began to tunnel dark, like an iris closing, and she thought, These will be the last things I see. The voice in her head was calm, resolved.

As everything went dark, her attacker slapped her across the face and she opened her eyes and saw the thin white face before her. He was speaking to her. "Drink," he said.