Cars swirl and spin around her where she huddles in the road. Tires squeal on the damp asphalt, moving the heavy frames of their chariots through the night. In a dance – ballet- spinning wheels and emotion full insides, all plummeting from lane to lane. An opera of motion, all seconds from crushing her in their paths – only none of them do.
She doesn’t watch the dance, though she can feel the rush of air in their passing, speckled with wet and gravel from the road. Every sharp snap and squeal pulls her tighter in against herself. A ball of bone and dirt and cloth, clutching tightly to the egg that fills her lap.
She’d found it on the road, about five miles down the 5. It rocked on an uneven patch on the shoulder. Large and yellow, with streaks of green and tiny flakes of something that glowed in the shade. It was heavy, and harder than any rock she’d ever touched, but it grew warm and hummed against her skin when she lifted it from the ground. She knew then that it needed her. That the life inside needed her. She had to keep it safe.
She’d walked so far since then, over countless humps and curves, taking rides only when she could walk no more, always hugging the egg to her chest. Listening only to it’s hum and sigh.
She’d lost track of where she’d gone since leaving the familiar track of the 5. It was damper here, and much greener. Trees lined the earth between the lanes and the last marker she’d seen wasn’t in the same pattern she was used to. Unfamiliar colors and marks that were not numbers at all. Or maybe she’d forgotten how to read them, so consumed, as she was, with care for the egg.
That was a thing that happened to people sometimes. Forgetting was easy.
She stroked the egg and swayed slightly with the humming song, weeping desperately as the cars tore past them. It had to be here. There was no where better suited to hold the egg.
She’d hold it till it hatched, she’d hold it longer. Even if they all drove over her, it would be worth it of she could just keep it safe. Nothing mattered but to keep it safe.
The egg shook in her arms and she smiled, sensing the pleasure of the new life within. The glowing flecks shone brighter, and brighter still, until she could see it even with her eyes tight shut. Until she could see it in her mind. The humming turned to a rumbling, and the shaking felt as though it’d shake her apart into a thousand pieces. She held the egg tighter and whispered.
Her last words of encouragement and love as the cars braked around her and light grew brighter still.
Her last thoughts of light and joy.