Fiction Writing Friday: Snowbound


Originally posted 2015-12-11 12:00:06.

2/16/16

I think I’m okay. For a little while longer, at least. My fingers are basically frozen from all of this digging, so I’m attempting to thaw them  by writing. Who knows? Maybe these will be my final words. If someone finds this without me, just know that I believe I did the best I could, under the circumstances.

I guess I should begin with what happened.

Long story short, there was an avalanche a few days ago, and I might be just about completely screwed.

Technically, I guess it began while I was asleep, but all I remember is dreaming of a distant rumble, like a far-off lightning storm that grew steadily louder, until suddenly I was screaming and trying to get away from the bunk bed amid a crash of rending wood and obliterated rusty nails. Sort of like a much worse version of the nightmare where you’re falling from a cliff, and you wake up when you brace for impact and bounce yourself off the bed. Yeah. But way scarier, because I woke up with my right ankle crushed under the weight of the top bunk, which had, in turn, been demolished by the weight of a collapsing roof and several tons of snow. I’m pretty sure my ankle is broken. I can’t put any weight on it, whatsoever.

Slowly, painfully, I maneuvered my foot out from under the bed, and dragged myself over toward the front door, and the main light switch for the cabin. I made it to the wall, climbed up on my good foot and flicked the switch, but nothing happened. Since then, I’ve come to realize that the generator must have been knocked loose in the crash, and even if it hadn’t been, I don’t think gas generators work long without oxygen.

I made my way over to the utility sink and found a flashlight, and then I realized how lucky (relatively speaking) I really was. The roof had collapsed in the corner of the cabin over the bunkbed, and the uphill-facing wall under the collapsed roof was also bowing inward dangerously; in fact, several boards in the wall appeared to have splintered inward.

Things are still creaking suspiciously, and I have no idea how stable the walls and ceiling really are. Anyway, the structural integrity of the house (or my ankle – ha-ha) isn’t so much my immediate concern. It’s about 2 pm, and there is no daylight coming in here from any direction, meaning I am basically frozen underground, on the side of a damn mountain.

I still can’t believe how lucky I was to have slept on the bottom bunk of that damned bunk bed. If I’d chosen the top, I would have been crushed completely, from the weight of the roof beams and snow crashing down on me. Broken ankle and all, it could have been much, much worse.

I don’t know what happened to Mike. The good news is he was not in the top bunk when all of this happened. The bad news is that he’s also not in the cabin with me. I wonder if he made a late night trip out to the outhouse. He said he was feeling a little ill last night. Jesus, I hope he’s okay, but I’m beyond worried. That outhouse isn’t much more than a glorified lean-to.

Now I am doing what I can to try dig out with this bum ankle before I freeze or suffocate or starve or God knows what else. Speaking of.

 

2/18/16

It was a long, painful process, but I’ve tunneled my way to air. That’s the good news. I don’t know if I really would have suffocated, but I won’t now.

Bad news: roughly speaking, I think about 9 feet of snow are currently sitting on the roof, and all I can see around the cabin are a few trees, meaning my car and the path of a “driveway” leading here are completely under snow. I’m not getting out of here anytime soon, unless someone thinks to check on me. I’ve spread out some orange hunting vests around the entrance to my tunnel.

I’m beyond worried about Mike. I don’t think he made it. I don’t see any sign of him out there, and it’s been too cold to last long in the elements.

 

2/19/16

Food stores are running low. We were only planning to hunt out here for a couple days, and it was two days already when the avalanche hit. Fortunately, there were a few cans of vegetables and some white rice stored away. I found a mini Coleman stove and some kerosene containers under the sink that I could use to boil the rice with some melted snow. I’ve been stretching it out as long as possible, but it won’t last much longer.

I’m tired of being cold all the time, but if I wrap myself up in all of the blankets in the cabin, it’s not too bad. Snow insulates the cabin pretty well.

 

2/21/16

I found a deer Mike shot! Can’t believe I forgot about it. I guess it slipped my mind in all the confusion from the avalanche and worrying about Mike. I was digging behind the cabin to find the generator and I basically ran into it. Generator is completely wrecked, but that’s okay! I have food! I cut off some meat, and I was able to cook a decent portion using the mini stove. I’ve never tasted anything so good. I feel guilty because it was Mike’s kill, but he’d want me to survive, of course.

 

2/23/16

I’m finding it hard to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time. I keep hearing noises and wake up seeing Mike standing over the bed, nearly frozen solid, but that’s not possible. I think it’s the loneliness getting to me.

 

2/24/16

I KNEW I was hearing voices yesterday. i went out to the end of the tunnel and almost had a heart attack at what I saw. There were streaks of blood in the snow. not a lot of blood, but it was unmistakeable. And lots of Footprints. Some don’t look like mine. I saw one line of prints leading away from the Cabin, and I tried to drag myself out after them, but I lost them in a snow drift. i’m scared. I don’t know who is out there or What they want from me. I just want out of here.

 

2/25/16

still no sign of my “intruder.” I’ve got both my rifle and mike’s ready in case they try to come in. i strung up the empty veggie cans in the tunnel to alert me of any movement. Let’s see them try! HA!

 

2/26/16

i’ve accepted now that the avalanche wasn’t an accident at all. someone wanted me Here. It’s too convenient. stranded with No supplies. they didn’t know how resourceful I cold be. How prepared. maybe it was Mike! HE could be the one out there, just waiting for me to slip up. thinking about it, he WAS acting weird that day. I’ll be ready.

 

2/27/16

feeeeeel the heaaaat Burnin you up some like it hot and some sweat when the heat is on bumbum dadada dumdumbumbum BUM 400 degrees that’s why they call me mr. fairin’ hite. burnin at the speed of lighhht i’ll make a supersonic man out of youuu like pina coladaas and gettin caught in the rainnn singinnn in the rainnn i’m sinnngin in the rain what a wonderful feelin im happy againnn im lo

what was that?

— — —

 

News column from The Gazette, Tuesday, March 1, 2016

GRUESOME SCENE UNCOVERED FOLLOWING AVALANCHE

Hinsdale County, Co – State police were called in after a local logger was nearly shot while attempting to clear an access path following an avalanche. Police say that Gunnison man Jacob Grimes, 36, was quickly disarmed by the logging crew, but the subsequent investigation uncovered disturbing details regarding Grimes’ apparent activities leading up to his arrest.

In a nearby cabin buried in the avalanche, police found the body of Michael Calhoun, 38, of Grand Junction. A police spokesman states that Calhoun’s cause of death is currently unknown, but it appears that large sections of flesh are missing from his body and unaccounted for.

When asked whether foul play is suspected, police  state only that the investigation is ongoing and Grimes is currently a person of interest.

Grimes has retained defense counsel. According to his attorney, “my client is currently in a state of extreme distress related to the extreme nature of his isolation and the recent death of his good, close friend, Michael Calhoun. He and his family would appreciate respect of his privacy during his journey to recovery from this tragic ordeal.

The Gazette will continue to monitor this story as more information becomes available.

-knauff13

knauff13