Chapter 2: The Old Woman

Lin Haihai started her car and sped down the highway towards the urban district. The wind was becoming more fierce. Black clouds had gathered together and obstructed half the sky. From time to time, thunder would rumble from above and lightning would slash through the beautiful sky, producing terrifying rays of light. 

 

Lin Haihai accelerated as the sound of thunder became more concentrated and deafening. The horizon resembled a serpent of fire. A few seconds later, the whole sky was trembling from the effects of the storm. 

 

Lin Haihai began to feel anxious. There were fewer and fewer cars on the highway. Suddenly, a thunderbolt streaked across the sky and lit up the chaotic atmosphere! The explosive sound of thunder echoed on the road and the sky appeared to have split open as the torrential rain gushed out. Lin Haihai could hear hail slamming against the rooftop of her car. 

 

Deep down, she knew she should get out of this chaos, but there was nowhere to stop on the highway. Lin Haihai could only allow her car to gallop onward like an uncontrollable wild horse. 

 

Just as she was about to turn out of an exit, Lin Haihai suddenly noticed an old woman 

holding a broken umbrella. She was swaying on the side of the road, completely soaked. The old woman’s hair was plastered on her forehead as water continued to stream down. Several toes poked out of her worn-out shoes. She was obviously dirt poor. 

 

Lin Haihai had no idea why the old woman would be standing at a highway exit in such extreme weather. Without thinking, she instantly halted her car and shouted at the old woman. She opened the left side of her car door. “Get in!” The old woman threw away her broken umbrella and wobbled to the car. 

 

The moment she closed the door, a foul smell entered Lin Haihai’s nostrils. Experience told her the old woman had rotting flesh somewhere on her body. Lin Haihai drove and sized up the old woman simultaneously. “Old lady, why are you walking by yourself on the highway? Don’t you know how dangerous this is?” 

 

The old woman opened her mouth but closed it again. She remained silent and didn’t even thank her.

 

Although the old woman had a miserable expression on her face, Lin Haihai didn’t see any visible signs of pain. She was slightly confused and asked again, “Old lady, are you feeling unwell? You can tell me. I’m a doctor, perhaps I can help you.” 

 

The old woman did not respond. Her eyes were fixated straight ahead. She didn’t move at all. 

 

Lin Haihai was appalled but didn’t continue to ask. At the moment, her goal was to rush to the hospital as quickly as possible to help the old lady conduct a health examination. She continued to speed as the rain became heavier and heavier. From time to time, hail would loudly hit against her car window. 

 

Lin Haihai felt a bit chilly and also noticed the old woman’s clothes were completely soaked. She turned up the heat in her car and unconsciously swept a glance at the old lady’s thigh. She was bewildered. The old woman had a huge hole in her pants and blood was dripping out of it. The yellow carpet in her car had already been dyed red from the old woman’s blood. 

 

Lin Haihai immediately stopped the car and turned to her side. She yelled, “Aiya! You’re injured! Why didn’t you tell me? You could die if you lose too much blood! Let me take a look.” 

 

Lin Haihai opened her bag of supplies and took out a pair of scissors. Just as she was going to cut open the old woman’s pants, the old woman grabbed her arm. Her grip was so strong that she didn’t seem to be injured at all.   

 

Lin Haihai couldn’t move, but she didn’t overthink. She anxiously assumed the old woman was afraid she would hurt her. So, she explained, “Don’t worry. I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to cut open your pants to help you stop the bleeding. Don’t be afraid.” 

 

But it was as if the old woman couldn’t comprehend her words; she still wouldn’t let go of her hand. The old woman had her eyes fixated on Lin Haihai and her mouth began to move. She wanted to speak but no words came out.

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