I couldn’t have been out for long. When the stark black of unconsciousness faded, I was still breathing hard from the exertion of running. I knew I had to get up, but I couldn’t remember why. So I lay there, the icy dew mingling with the warm sweat of my skin. At long last I blinked, and it was then that the nearest headstone sharpened into focus. The engraved letters of the epitaph snapped into single-file lines.
A DEVOTED HUSBAND AND FATHER
DIED MARCH 16, 2008
I bit down on my lip to keep from crying out. Now I understood the familiar shadow that had lurked over my shoulder since waking up minutes ago. I was in Coldwater’s city cemetery. At my dad’s gravesite.
A nightmare, I thought. I haven’t really woken yet. This is all just a horrible dream.