He thinks he’s hit a woman. For the smallest second he thought he’d seen a swish of brown hair and that he’d look back after the brakes stopped screaming to see the blood and nasty of a terrible thing. In the oblong rearview mirror he realizes it is not a woman he hit but a car door, and that the long brown hair belongs to the head of a woman perched girl-like on the railing. It covers her face as she looks at him. She is real and not a ghost, but as soon as he slams out of his truck the woman and her long hair push off from the railing and into the boil of the waters below the dam. He stops right there in the scary middle of the bridge’s crest. He might be thinking she is a haunt or a misremembered story or the sun is too high and the water playing tricks. Hell, all he did was pull out of the Citgo.
When he reaches the railing there is nothing to see. The car is real, the key chain sways a little in the ignition and the car is still running. The Malibu’s shorn-off door is a hell of a mess and so is the passenger side of his truck. He looks down at his right hand, where the crushproof pack of Marlboros are now crushed, the cellophane easy-opening strip still dangling.