December 10, 2015
This week's prompt from Flash Fiction Friday was about being trapped by snow.
Ah winter. The air is crisp and cool, and the spiced cider is warm and comforting. Children are sledding, and snowmen are being built in neighborhood backyards. It’s a delightful time of year, and includes the magical holiday of Christmas and the hope of good things to come with the beginning of a new year. Winter can be great fun, unless the weather has other ideas.
Snow comes down hard and fast, and tree branches collapse under the weight of it. Drifts hide roads and trails, and travel is impossible. You guessed it. This is where you come in.
Prompt: You arrange for a weekend getaway at a friend’s cabin in the country, but Mother Nature decides to extend your stay with a blizzard. You’re trapped. Tell us what happens.
Mine is slightly frightful, as suggested. It's only 800 or so words, but was fun to write.
Keeping the body in my trunk had been stupid, but I'd been reluctant to part with this last one. When my nervousness turned a random traffic stop into a vehicle check I was afraid I'd have to add another one in there. An emergency call pulled the cop away just in time, but I still was shaken.
"Guess it's your lucky day," he said. I just smiled and nodded. Yeah, lucky for both of us.
I really had to slow down, to plan better, to enjoy my brief moments of conquests then move on. I needed to get away and take a break, before I slipped up and ended all this. Stuck in the city, surrounded by all those people, just made the compulsion come faster every time, and before I knew it, there was the rush of another kill, then another body.
I was enjoying a beer with my friend Dan, rambling on vaguely about my stressed life, when he suggested that I use his cabin for the weekend.
"It's just what you need," he said. "It's quiet, all off by itself, yet fully equipped. I even have a guy that comes in and plows. It's a good place to gather your thoughts, maybe even get a start on your next thriller."
I didn't need any more convincing, so gladly took the keys and his map – scrawled on a napkin. I dumped the body on the way up then just relaxed and enjoyed the pleasant two hour drive, through gentle falling snow. It was dark by the time I arrived but true to his word his cabin was anything but simple, so I soon was enjoying a book and a nice Merlot in front of a roaring fire, while a steak defrosted on the counter.
After a good night's sleep - the first in months - I awoke ready to get to work. As I peered out the window, coffee in hand, I could see that the snow had kept falling all night, and showed no sign of letting up soon. I'd decided to start a spreadsheet for all my victims so far, recording things like location, date and time, victim's characteristics, what had attracted me to them, photos, and disposal site. It was fun to get it all documented. I didn't see that I was falling into any patterns that might trip me up, and there were some areas I could improve, such as cleanup. I did have a type I preferred, but often the compulsion hit too hard and it ended up being an impulse killing
I spent Saturday and Sunday working on my plan, watching some old movies Dan had, and puttering around the cabin. There was a woodshed out back, so I spent a good hour splitting wood for the fire. Dan had a nice collection of axes out there, ranging from hatchets right up to a nice sharp splitting maul. I found that I really enjoyed the exercise and feeling of accomplishment using just my own two hands. I usually used power tools myself, but maybe I needed to go old school for a change.
The snow had stopped Sunday afternoon, leaving a thick blanket covering the long driveway right up to the garage door. By Monday morning I was starting to get a little antsy, so right after breakfast I packed and waited by the window for Dan's snow removal guy. I could see cars down by the road, but no way was I going to shovel fifty feet of deep snow to get there.
By Tuesday I was thinking that it was only fifty feet of snow. I hadn't expected to feel the urge again so soon, but it calmed me to know I had a plan to follow. Still, by evening I was a bundle of nerves, pacing back and forth as I chewed my finger nails down to the quick. I'd tried calling Dan, but his cabin had no cell service. Maybe I could slog my way down to the road and hitchhike. People rarely stopped these days, but maybe I'd get lucky and find a trusting soul.
I was awakened Wednesday morning by the front door bell. There stood the plow guy, goofy grin above a thick black beard, bundled up in a heavy coat and scarf. The clean driveway stretched behind him down to the road.,
“Sorry I'm late, buddy,” he said. “Dan forgot to tell me until yesterday you were up here, and I've been so busy with the storm I'd left him for last. This is the biggest of the year I think. Well maybe second biggest. But even the main highway was closed for a while Saturday. Anyway, I gassed up the truck then headed out first thing, but of course I stopped at the diner for a coffee and some apple pie. I know, seems funny for breakfast, but the new little blond there does some great pastries. “
I let him natter on for a while, before I thanked him and closed the door. Not really my type. However, I did like good apple pie. And I preferred blonds.
Neat little story. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: Rose Green | December 11, 2015 at 05:28 PM
Terrific story! Makes you wonder how often a story like this actually happened, doesn't it? Is there something you'd like to confess? Nevermind, just keep them coming!
Posted by: MJ Brewer | December 11, 2015 at 07:55 PM
Great story, and I love this character. So rational, so collected, and such a soulless killer. I love the voice in this story too. So calm, so comfortable... Um, Mike? Do we need to talk?
Posted by: Joyce Juzwik | December 12, 2015 at 11:53 AM