Chapter Twenty-One "I can't thank you enough. You've been so kind to me today." Donna stood outside the garage, her car ready and waiting to continue her trip. The sun had set a few hours earlier, but Bill had kept working through the day. He wanted to help Donna continue on her journey, to get away from whatever she was getting away from. But he didn't tell her that. He had even turned away some regular customers just so he could work exclusively on her car. "Well, it was a slow day, so I only had your car to work on. Took longer than I thought, but, well it should last you a few years. I'd be callin' a dealership, though. A car this new shouldn't be breakin' parts like that." "How much do I owe you?" She held her wallet in her hand. He held the bill. "Oh, it comes to just over six hundred. Make it an even six." The invoice in his hand was the second. The original bill actually totalled closer to eight hundred and fifty, but he discounted most of his hours and only charged her cost for the parts. Donna opened her wallet and counted out twelve fifty dollar bills, then handed them to the mechanic. He traded her the invoice for the cash. "Well, thanks again, Bill. And thank Molly again, too, please. You've both been very kind." "Just so long as everything works out okay. That'll be thanks enough. And if you're ever in these parts again ..." "I'll be sure and stop by." Donna opened the driver's door, tossed her purse across to the passenger's seat, then got in. The car revved to life, a grateful look crossing her face. As she pulled away, she gave the older man a final wave good-bye. The dashboard clock flashed twelve zero zero. She checked her watch, then reset the time to 7:09 p.m. "Less than five hours to midnight." Every New Year's Eve for the past two years had been melancholy for her. This one was no different. But this year, she had to concentrate on driving. The time was just after ten o'clock when Donna entered the outskirts of Albuquerque. Her initial intention was to drive straight through, but her extended stay in Gallop had changed that. She had decided to stop, find a room for the night, then continue early in the morning. But now that she was actually in Albuquerque, she felt she couldn't stop. Something was drawing her towards ... what? "The Project's been closed for nearly three years. There's nothing there. No reason to go there, even." But still, she couldn't help the overwhelming feeling that she had to, must go there. It was still at least an hour-and-a-half's drive, but ... As she entered the city centre, she turned the car from the I-40 to the southbound I-25. South, towards the Project.