That’s when she sees the Shape again. Sees it through the shattered passenger window—silhouetted against a flash of lightning, approaching over the desert hills, maneuvering impossibly.
"No …" she whimpers, as Frodo barks and howls.
Then a horn sounds and she faces forward—in time to avoid a head-on collision by mere seconds.
By the time she skids to a stop on the shoulder of the road, a man is running up to her, apologetic, out of breath, asking if she is okay. She gets out, shrieking and gesturing with her arms, completely hysterical.
"Did you see it? Did you see it?"
He catches her wrists in his hands and holds them—an overly intimate gesture she could be offended by, but isn’t.
"I saw a jet," he says, staring into her eyes, continuing to hold her hands. "A jet—they’re everywhere out here today. They must be doing maneuvers or something. It’s okay, all right? You’re okay."
She begins to calm down at last, however slightly. There’s something about him, something about his mild eyes and soft but firm hands, his shock of dark hair, his soothing voice. She senses something and looks up, sees a fighter jet flying right over the top of them—low enough that she can make out the rivets in its fuselage. It is there and gone before its sharp-edged whine even cuts the air.
"See?" he says, releasing her hands. "Just a jet."