Excerpt from The Angels of Valhalla :

Chapter 9
Elizabeth in Traffic

The cars slowed then came to a complete halt. Left with nothing to monitor except the radio, Elizabeth realized that the music and the D.J. were affecting her like water from a dripping faucet so she turned it off. The cars moved a half length and stopped again. She clicked the radio back on and found a news report. The news was bad, and she clicked it off. The slug-cars moved another half length. She toyed with the idea that by turning off the radio, she was causing the traffic to move. Further experimentation did not bear this out. She left the radio on but at subsonic volume.

As the stop-start progress brought Elizabeth closer to the bottle-neck, she could see that the oncoming lane was blocked by a pick-up truck. It was facing the wrong way. The entire landscape was suddenly made dangerous by the sound of a barbed-wire shriek that came from near the pick-up. Elizabeth wanted to turn her car around and get out of there, but this was not possible.

With every revolution of the vehicle's tires, something in the environment seemed to tighten, some increment of anxiety rose by a degree, until it seemed as though the sky would crack from the strain.

When the hood of her Explorer reached the tail of the pick-up, she could see: there was a man, quite dead she was sure, under the front wheel of the truck. Her car would have to pass less than two feet from his corpse. The man lay in the runoff of his own blood, a puddle that seemed less like vital fluid, more like a brightly painted stage prop shining metallically in the sun. He looked like a man thinking about something serious but not very immediate. One of his arms was cocked strangely at the elbow and pointed straight up from the road surface. She wondered what kept it aloft.

Elizabeth had almost passed him, when a wild-eyed woman bolted from a knot of confused witnesses and ran directly at the Explorer. Elizabeth jammed the brakes. At the last possible moment the woman, who was screaming hysterically, turned hard right, and fled from the road. In her arms she held a baby which howled in panic. Elizabeth, now trembling, looked after them and saw that on the other side of the truck, one man was beating another with a flashlight. The police were pulling up.

There was a donut shop down the road. She ordered coffee, and stared through the large window at her car in the parking lot. She was thinking about her poor brother standing on roadside gravel, watching their father in the Lincoln as it hurtled through the guard-rail and dropped into a cleft of the Rocky Mountains.