The farm lane dead-ends into another. They turn left. The interstate is now some distance off; she can no longer hear it, but she can see traffic rolling somberly along in rows, like mourners at a funeral that happened long ago and far away. The road surface beneath her feet turns to reddish gravel, cutting across a barren plain studded with shadscale and tangled mountain mahogany toward a distant, low-slung hill. Confronted with another T intersection, she turns right, to the west and further away from the interstate, the scene of her humiliation. Walking determinedly, Jenna tries to persuade herself that the woman had not been badly hurt. She has calmed down, tells herself she will have to be careful.
The road slides along the edge of an alkali flat and then into a valley. A bluff of red rock hangs over layers of chalky rock. Before long, they come to a sign that points to dinosaur tracks. Neither of the runaways has ever heard of dinosaurs. The elders tore those sections out of their school textbooks. Along with other bits.
They continue to a place where two bald ridges, several stories high, converge to form a V through which the road passes to a plain on the other side. There is a trail along the roadside with signs explaining that Parowan Gap features one of the largest collections of native rock art in America, a complex system that combines a uniquely aligned natural environment with petroglyphs carved thousands of years ago. Jenna is a good reader, but this information makes little sense to her.
Jenna knows that God will resurrect the good Indians who were killed by bad white people. In return for their salvation, the Indians will protect the Latter-Day Saints, God’s chosen people. In the last days, the arisen Indians will be set loose to get their revenge on the bad white people who ruined Paradise. The Indians will join with the Chosen and become the foundation of a new age of peace.
One of her favorite games as a young girl was apocalypse, a version of hide-and-seek with cosmological overtones. The children would dash about looking for places to hide from the forces of evil that were being unleashed upon them. Just as all appeared lost, and warplanes began to bomb and strafe the children, the resurrected Indians would come to their rescue.
For about 30 minutes, Jesse and Jenna ran laughing and exploring hiding places among the petroglyphs of Parowan Gap on a gentle April mid-day, until they were inevitably rescued by righteous Indians. This went so well that they decided to go back to the dinosaur tracks, which were more secluded, a little further away from the road. When they got there, they nestled down in soft grass and warm breezes flowing across pink cliffrose flowers toward the gap.
They fell asleep with the knowledge that they had been saved, again, from the apocalypse.