past and present

A woman carefully navigates a torrential downpour as she pulls into the kind of hardware store in a kind of town where everyone has known everyone for most of their lives. It’s also the kind of hardware store that specializes in game meat processing for extra flavor. She procures a flashlight, a length of rope, a metal pipe and other materials that would perhaps raise a few eyebrows should this kindly appearing woman be a grizzly transient. But the woman doesn’t appear well. Her hands shake and raspy, blood-splattering coughs rattle from her throat.