The gravel gives to her gait, spiking huffs of gray into the twilight. Bronzed legs buckle under the weight of the duffel bag on her shoulder. Every step marries the tough black canvas to the bruise under her skirt. Bloodied teeth clench behind broken lips in response. The air is cool. Birds sing in the leafless tree on the side of the road, but the world is caught in the groggy hush of dawn breaking and remains still. She bows her head and a mat of paling blond curls falls…