A short story I wrote for my Creative Writing class. Part of a bigger idea. Got me a 90%
|I stormed up the worn granite path through the evergreen trees just to get away. I have had enough of this, really. Mom freaks out daily about something stupid, and it usually involves me. If she is going to be so dramatic, I guess I will to. I decided to celebrate my temporary freedom by making obscene gestures at the sky, because that’s the mature thing to do. The dark pine trees grew thicker around me as I continued up the path. After I had exhausted my supply of colorful language, I slipped into thought. Though I did not notice at first, at some point it started to snow. This made me very happy that I had thought to put my hat in a coat pocket last week. Farther and farther I climbed the winding path, as it went higher into the hills near the mountains. The snow had started to pile up now, maybe four or five inches. Though it had been at least an hour and a half, I had no desire to turn back. I was completely alone and loving it. No whining little sister, nagging mom, or noisy freshman walking extremely slow in front of me. As it started to get darker, I started to get worried.
I had no idea where the path would take me, or if it would turn back. I saw a dot up ahead, guessed it was a cabin, and sped up. It was a LONG way back, and I didn’t intend to walk it by myself, through the snow, in the dark forest. Of anything I have ever done, this was probably one of the most poorly thought out. I had left my cell phone on my bed in my hurried escape from the house. Mom probably had sent my older brother Adam out to find me. Of course, I knew Adam well enough to tell wouldn’t get out of his car to look for me. He’s just too lazy for that. Plus, the falling snow had probably covered all traces of my footsteps.
I reached the cabin, and peered in one of the two windows facing the path. No one home. What was a cabin doing out here anyway? I had thought this was a public hiking trail or something, but there was no sign. The blankets neatly folded on the bed called to me, and I wanted nothing more than to answer. I tried the door; locked. It’s not my house anyways, I probably shouldn’t have been trying to get in. I checked around for a spare key. Not under the nonexistent doormat or any other place I could think to check. Just as I was going to give up, I spotted a sliver of silver sticking out from a hole in a decorative barrel set into the side fence. I took it, and let myself in. careful not to get snow on the floor, and shit the door behind me.
The interior was not small, but cozy. The round table in the center of the room was kept company by three small chairs and nothing else. The fireplace took up most of the left wall, and a small bed took up part of the right wall. A small bathroom was in the corner by the bed. Various kinds of weather monitoring devices sat next to a radio on the top shelf of a rather full bookcase. A handy note card had been taped to the side of the radio, so it would not be lost. I turned the radio to the local weather monitoring station, using the information from the note card. The snow was really falling down now. I had no idea of how much time had passed, because I never cared to wear the watch I had gotten as an unwanted birthday gift from my uncle Ted. I wrapped myself in one of several blankets, and pulled a chair up to one of the front windows. I would have started a fire, but I was terrified that I would burn down the cabin. I felt bad enough breaking into someone else’s house. What if someone showed up? What would I do? Then it occurred to me that there was no way anyone was making it to the cabin, in what was now turning into a raging blizzard. The flakes fell furiously to the hillside, accumulating on every surface possible and some that weren’t. It had to be at least a foot deep now. It was getting cold in Coldwater, Colorado, and I wasn’t even remotely prepared.
I continued to watch the flakes fall as I munched on the only snack I had thought to bring as I stormed out of the house: a chocolate bar that I had stored in my sleeve. The sweet chocolate calmed me down a bit; at least I wouldn’t die of starvation, for a few days, at least. If I could only pace myself, maybe a week. I got up and looked through the bookcase now. Nothing useful, unless you count The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Hiking. I flipped through the pages quickly to kill some time and distract myself. It didn’t mention anything about hiking in a blizzard. I sighed, put the book back, and shuffled across the cold wooden floor to rest on the bed. Why did I have to go storming off, and get myself into this stupid situation? Things like this only happen to me. If my older brother had gotten mad and stormed off, he would probably have won a Ferrari or something. I, on the other hand, would run up the path into the woods, in the dark, in a blizzard, and break into a cabin to stay warm. I couldn’t exactly call this warm, because I was still hesitant to start a fire, but it was definitely warmed than what it was outside. Though there was a window directly to the left of the bed, I couldn’t see out of it properly while lying down. My aching legs begged me not to sit up, so I didn’t. O wrapped several blankets around myself, and fell back onto the bed, drifting into sleep.
When I awoke it was still dark outside. I slid out of bed and went back to the radio. The National Weather Service had issued a blizzard warning until 10PM tonight. I was horrified when I went to the window and saw snow had blown right up, covering it. The other windows were also blocked. Worried, I went to restart the fire, which had gone out while I was asleep. Fear gnawed at me, but less so than hunger. Upon confirming that I had no food, I fell on the bed and cried for several minutes.
When I awoke, it was still dark outside. I slid out of bed and went back to the radio. The National Weather Service had issued a blizzard warning. I was horrified when I looked out the front window. Snow had blown right up to it, blocking anything from view. The other windows were blocked too. Worried, I went to restart the fire, which had gone out while I was sleeping. Fear gnawed at me, but less so than hunger. Upon confirming that I had no food, I needed a few minutes to compose myself.
This time I awoke, it was light outside, although it was difference through the snow. As I got up, I started thinking that I had to run back home. The snow had already blocked the windows and quite possibly the door. I didn’t want to be blocked in. As the snow let up slightly, I decided to make my move. After several minutes of searching, I found a large amount of rope under the bed. Realizing that this temporary period of lighter snowfall as still temporary, I hastily made a check list. Rope and coat; check. Confidence that I am doing the right thing; not check. I opened the door anyways.
I immediately regretted my decision as snow fell from all sides, burying me completely. The shock of the sudden coldness sent a body into intense shivers I felt no better when I tried to move my legs but didn’t get more than an inch from where they were before. The snow around me had started melting slightly because of my body heat, and the water had started to soak into my coat, but not quite through the blanket liner I had wisely added before I left. My exposed face was so numb, I was afraid I it was turning blue. I frantically tried to move my arms, to slightly more success than my legs. My arms could move a few inches in any direction. I used this to break up some of the snow packed near my feet, and it worked. I kicked and flailed and made various kinds of motion to get to the surface, shivering furiously the whole time, but it took a while because it was so deep. Just as I lost my left boot to the slush, I broke to the surface.
I heaved myself up onto the icy deck, still shivering. The storm was still much calmer than it had been earlier, but now I was freaking out more. First off, about ten feet to my right I saw the top of the chimney. The snow had literally covered the entire cabin! I made a note to never speak of this incident if asked by a stranger how his/her cabin got filled with snow; I was too shocked in being buried to shut the front door. An honest mistake, really. Also, did I mention that I’m shivering? It couldn’t have been more than ten degrees. I glanced down at my recently de-booted foot. The sock had come off partially during my insane escape, and I could see the skin was turning blue. It was hard to tell how my face was, as I could not feel it and didn’t have a mirror. So now that I’m done with that, let me explain my death.
Just kidding, I don’t give up that easily. I put my remaining boot on my previously bootless foot, and turned to see which way to go. It’s hard to tell when all you can see is the tops of trees. I could discern the path, but not which way to go. It would really be helpful if I could remember what side of the path the cabin was on, but I was in such a hurry to get out of the blizzard that I didn’t pay attention to such silly details. One way would lead me back home, hopefully descending a few feet along the way so my house wouldn’t be buried like the cabin. The other way led through what I saw as approximately five miles of wilderness before it I was lost from my sight. Of course, that’s what both directions looked like. I chose to go right.
The deep snow seemed to offer enough support that falling through wasn’t an issue. I walked my way up the clearing, stopping to rest and switch my booted foot every thirty minutes. The wind numbed my face, arms, and pretty much everything else. Although it had taken me two hours to walk to the cabin, the heavy snowfall impeded my progress. Maybe I went the wrong way? It was too late to turn back now. Though the storm had picked back up, I forced myself to continue. It started to get dark, but the snow magnified the remaining sunlight. It became apparent that I was not going to make it home that night, so I stopped. I remembered something I had seen on the Discovery Channel. I dug a snow cave a foot or two underground, and lined it with my coat. I took the blanket out of my coat and wrapped it around myself. I was extremely tired and sore, so I fell asleep quickly.
I opened my eyes to the inside of my snow cave, now glowing with the sunlight. The storm was drawing to a close. I hastily clawed my way out of my snow cave with one hand, dragging my coat and blanket in my other had. Once I broke through to the surface, I refit the blanket in my coat and slipped it on. Even though I had just woken up, I was so tired. Mostly physically, but mentally too. After two days in a blizzard I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be warm again. I missed my warm house, my warm bed, and my cold refrigerator filled with RC Cola and so much food. Then I heard something. No bird, no plane, but a snowmobile! A rescuer had appeared in the distance. An angel sent by God, or perhaps sent by Yamaha. Maybe both. A snowy cloud was thrown up as the snowmobile careened over drifts and hills, coming to my rescue. Then, as he was no more than a mile away, I passed out.