He walked off the plane, stumbled into the rental car checkout, dozed his way through the insanity of paperwork, and came to, somewhere on the highway, headed north. The blasted landscape around him doesn’t seem to realize it’s spring, and so continued to wearily trudge through the last aching month of winter over and over and over again, even though nearly everywhere else reasonable had found buds on the trees, shoots in the lawn, and a distinct lack of ice over the ponds and streams.
Here in the frozen tundra, he thought to himself, the natives must employ a variety of ways to keep themselves amused at any given time during the day, or the unending grey of the sky will at some point weigh so heavily on their brains they’ll simply lapse into drooling catatonia and–
He woke with a violent jerk; the car swerving before he consciously understands. His open eyes alerted his dozing mind of the danger before his unconscious will to survive could wake him, and that’s the only reason he doesn’t simply crash headlong into the car parked in front of him, in the middle of the road, doors open, flashers on. He parked his own car, but didn’t turn it off, and left the door wide open as he walked toward the deserted car, looking around at the fog, the afternoon, the deserted nature of the road on which he found himself, and wondered why there wasn’t more traffic on the highway, even as he approached the car, confused and curious.
It was empty of any people except for the carseat in the back, containing an infant in a pale peach snowsuit, sleeping soundly, and so he stood up and looked around once more, and tentatively called out, “Hello?” His voice cracked on the first try, sounding paper-thin and pubescent. “Hello!” he shouted, hoping to reach whoever might have simply wandered off, in case they were absurdly within the tree line, having a piss or something like.
The baby remained sleeping in its pale peach snowsuit, and there was no answer from the empty afternoon except for the faintest echoes of his own voice.