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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2072807-Desperate-for-Sunlight
by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2072807
A man is stuck in a cabin at the mercy of nature.
It came suddenly, like a massive erupting volcano. Peter looked through his window. His eyes were glossed and wide at the barrage of blinding white terror minutes from his small cabin. Abandoning his moderate shack was foolish. He stepped back from the window breathing heavily. He cringed as he saw the glass break apart and snow pour in making a pile five feet high and a few yards long. The tumult of snow shook dust from the ceiling. Outside the window behind him, the snow was blocking out the light. Then, it stopped. Peter staggered around looking for a flashlight. His mind was full of thoughts of death by suffocation or hypothermia. He loathed thinking of which was worse. He found the flashlight and trembled until he found a full pack of matches in a closet and lit his fireplace. Peter relished the soothing heat. He thought that only a miracle would save him so he prayed.

“Oh, God please get me out of here. Don’t let me die like this.”

Peter got out a Bible and read it for comfort. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil.”

He put the spine of the book to his forehead and began to cry. He wiped his face.

“Okay, how far in am I?” He took a deep breath. “Wait! My cell!” He searched his empty pockets and his smile faded. “It’s in my truck, no!”

He sat on a cushioned chair with his folded hands to his chin and looked around. He pulled his scalp, “What can I do!?” He gazed at the fire then flinched and snapped his fingers. “If I could find some way to thaw the snow with the fire I could make it out. How could I bring kindled logs and worm through?”

Peter cupped his hand over his mouth. “I must be quick about this. I may have just enough wood to do this crazy plan, or I’ll freeze to death. What here can I use to carry burning lumber to the window?” his eyes were caught by a cast iron coat hanger. “It is heavy, but it may just work.”

Peter approached the unbroken window and braced himself then opened it. Snow fell in making a pile half the size of the other. He put on snow gloves and began pushing it away. Twenty minutes later, a wall of snow was formed on the window opening. He looked at the fire and pile of logs next to it. He had to work quickly. Peter estimated he had enough fire for three hours. He took the metal hanger and dug into the fireplace for a big piece of burning wood. He carefully brought it to the packed snow at the window and immediately it began to melt.


Peter’s cabin was on a cliff at a steep decline so he needed to burrow straightly. The burning log was sinking like a tablet of Alka-Seltzer in the snow.

I may have a chance if I hurry fast enough. He transported each kindled log and gradually made a space to crawl into. He pushed the logs one by one in front of each other. Things were progressing fairly well. His tunnel was now seven feet long. He felt he was almost near the outside. His face brightened as he broke a small hole to the air. Peter’s face lit up he raised his fist; he had conquered his white, cold foe. But his joy turned to horror as he heard that familiar rumbling sound from above. “No!”

Peter slammed his palm on the icy ground and hung his head then quickly backed up to avoid being crushed. The snow tunnel collapsed. He shook his head and fell to his knees. There was enough fire for forty five more minutes. His death was sealed. He wished he could shoot himself rather than freeze to death. He slumped onto his chair.

“What does a man do when he knows he will die soon? I might as well end it all and slit my throat.”

Peter barely heard audible scratching from where he had been digging. He jumped up and ran to the window. The sound increased until he knew it was the sound of digging!

“But how?”

Minutes later, the packed snow began to break off into chunks. A shovel broke through and Peter lifted his arms in celebration and yelled jubilantly. A man in a snow uniform with a flashlight emerged and Peter gave him a tight embrace. “Thank you!”

“You’re very lucky,” said the man. ”If we had not spotted your hand after you pushed out from under the snow, you would have been lost. Follow me.”

Peter reached the outside and took in a big, brisk breath of fresh air and patted his chest. “I’ve never been happier to see the sun. I thought I was a dad man.”

The freed prisoner was lifted into the air inside a chopper and was brought to a nearby hospital. Peter had lost his cabin but it obviously did not matter.

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