I grew up in Kansas. I left and haven't been back. Why? All the same reasons that Mark's protagonist loathes driving through the godforsaken boring emptiness. I had no choice but to like this story after the first few pages were full of ways of insulting the vast emptiness of the Great Plains. Mark Souza evoked the monochromatic monotony of winter in Kansas perfectly.
The characters developed well, at least until The Trauma. I thought the female lead's arc seemed to vacillate a little oddly at that point, but the tension held until the end. A fantastic short story; I was able to knock this out in one cigarette break at work.
I'm looking forward to reading more of Mark's work.