Nick hated to fly and the trip, though a pleasant one, only served to wear on his already frazzled nerves. A rental car with GPS was waiting for him at the airport as promised. Nick found out there were more people living in a few blocks of L.A. than in all of Brody. Even the freeways were dwarfed in comparison. He drove for miles with only small patches of civilization among the sea of green. Cows and farm houses dotted the horizon which gave way to dense woods. He pulled over and watched a herd of deer graze in the early spring morning. The herd ate steadily, ignoring his presence. The pregnant does’ sides bulged with their unborn young. It had been a harsh winter with deep snow; only the strong had survived. Nick, too, understood what it meant to be a survivor.
There was a tranquil beauty that surrounded the northern Minnesota town. There was a crisp freshness to the air that made him inhale deeply. Not even the salty sweetness of the ocean could compare. Spring rains had brought new life to the once bleak landscape and awakened the earth from a long winters sleep. The blood surged through his veins with the promise of rebirth. The spell of the north woods was working its magic.
The giant oak trees that lined the streets gave Brody a feeling of permanence. The town park where he stopped was bursting with a rainbow of spring colors and scents. He never realized how many shades of green there were, from the towering pines overhead to the lush grass beneath his feet. It seemed like a place of childhood fantasy, carefree and safe. It was hard to believe a killer walked among them, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.