“Lost In The Blizzard”
Author Link: http://www.wattpad.com/user/_shoes
His gaze was fixed, staring outside the window where snowflakes drifted lightly to the ground. With a sigh he sunk to the floor and closed his eyes, a light grin spreading across his face as he heard his father’s voice.
“Are you still going tomorrow?” Mr. O’Bryin’s muttered with a cup of coffee in one hand and the television remote in the other. He settled down on the couch and turned to face the screen.
The pause in conversation was long enough to make the question sound almost rhetorical to Wesley, but he answered it anyway. “Yeah,” he said, turning his hazel eyes to study his father whose head had just blocked Wesley’s view of the window. “Mike and I talked about it yesterday, we’ll be fine.”
Mr. O’Bryin’s eyes were glued on the television, listening hard to the forecast. “Where are you two going again?”
“Mountains,” Wes said simply.
“Yes,” his father glanced over at him, “and up North they’re getting a generous helping of snow. They say it’ll be pretty bad…” his voice trailed off with a hint of concern.
“Nah,” Wes grinned, “we’ll be fine! I’ve wanted to camp out in the snow for a while now. This is my chance. Christmas break only comes once a year, you know.”
“You had better be careful,” Mrs. O’Bryin said as she walked into the room and shot Wes a serious look. “I talked with Michael’s mother and she isn’t too thrilled to let him go out in that kind of weather. It’s not just snow; it’s a lot of snow.”
“That’s profound,” the boy sitting on the floor muttered flatly.
“I’m not joking,” his mother sat down next to her husband on the couch, watching the man on the screen point out swirls of red and yellow over a flat map of Michigan.
He shrugged and stood up, wandering down the hallway into the kitchen. They were just overly protective; he and Mike would be fine this weekend. There was nothing to be worried about; he was seventeen and totally responsible as well as capable of surviving on a winter camping trip. He wasn’t about to miss a chance to get out of the house either. From the kitchen he turned to go up the steps to his upstairs room. He had to pack for the weekend, and given that they would be camping out in the bitter cold, he had some work to do.
It was Friday morning when he found himself sitting in the driver’s seat of his dark blue pickup truck, waiting for Michael to arrive. The snow was falling down in light specks outside, adding to the thin sheet of white over the parking lot to a gas station.
The passenger door opened and the warm heat of the truck was swallowed by the bitter cold of the winter air. Mike got in quickly, shutting the door behind him with a solid click. His dark brown hair was dusted gray with snowflakes and he was huddling into a heavy jacket. “Hey,” he said finally, uncrossing his arms and taking his gloves off, “you ready for this?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” Wesley smiled and turned the keys in the ignition, earning a rough hum from the motor. “Did you put your stuff in the back? Or did you forget it again?” he laughed, remembering the camping trip they took back in the summer when Michael had forgotten his pack. He hadn’t realized it until they had stopped in the middle of nowhere.
“Yes,” Mike nodded, grinning.
“Then we are off,” Wes backed out of the parking space and headed out onto the road, taking off toward the mountains. The drive would take a few hours, assuring that they were far away from civilization. The further they were from home, the better.
The trees passed like the time as they sped down the road. At first they were accompanied by countless cars on the highway, but as the hours passed, they soon found themselves alone on the unkempt roads of the mountains. Trees rose above and shaded the concrete, passing in a blur of white and evergreen. The drive went on until Wes slowed the car to a stop where there was an opening in the trees and they could see out over the valley.
“Here we are,” He whispered with a broad grin, looking over at Michael.
He smiled mischievously back, “And here we go.” The teenage boy opened the truck door, immediately greeted by a gust of wind. Wes watched his long time friend slam the door shut and walk briskly to the back of the truck. Through the back window Wes saw Mike gesture for him to come back so he did, opening the door and sliding out to the ground. His boots made black prints through the dusting of snow as they melted the thin layer away.
He dug his hand into his pocket and pulled out a bright orange hat, then pulling that hat over his head to cover his ears and sandy blond hair. “Gosh it’s cold,” he laughed, coming to the back end of the truck. “You got your stuff?”
“Yup,” Michael said as he adjusted his massive backpack over his heavy coat.
“Great,” Wes nodded and then reached into the back of the truck to pull out his own pack. He got the straps over his shoulders and then hoisted the bag up onto him. His knees gave a little as he shifted his balance around to accommodate the backpack, but he finally got comfortable and turned to Michael. “Mike, you think the truck will be alright out in this weather?” he asked doubtfully.
“Umm,” Michael shrugged, “I suppose…” his voice trailed off. “I’d be more worried about your cell than your truck,” he said after the pause, “the thing can hardly stand fall weather.”
“Yes it can,” Wes smirked. He walked over to the passenger’s side and opened the door. He leaned in as far as his backpack would allow and then opened up the glove compartment, rummaging around for a moment before he pulled out two black gloves. He pulled them on, glad to have something to shield his hands from the bitter cold. Finally he shut up the glove compartment and the truck door. The last slam echoed through the valley, followed by a quiet and soft click as Wes locked the truck.
“Well, we’re off,” Michael’s voice came from beside Wes.
“Yeah,” he whispered as he looked out over the landscape, sticking the truck key in a zippered pocket, “here’s to senior year.”
“And go!” Mike pushed him off the side of the road and Wesley was forced to step into a foot deep blanket of snow.
“Aw man,” he laughed, kicking the snow around with his boot-clad feet, “this is going to be awesome!”
Mike joined him in the sea of white and they hiked down the mountain, a three mile walk to their destination. They were surrounded by the white face of the mountain and tiny snowflakes drifting down to the ground. The flakes turned the skies white and turned the air into a speckled fog that spread throughout the mountains. The boys’ footprints were left deep in the blanket, deep holes in the white ground that were slowly being refilled with powder.
The trees looked dark against all the snow, their evergreen needles standing out through the gray air. It was under one of these evergreens that they set up camp, where not so much snow would fall on their small tent. It had been an hour and the two of them were exhausted from the walk, already prepared to go to bed.
So there they sat, on either side of a dwindling fire set up in a spot cleared of snow. The dark was falling fast and the snow was falling faster. Wes occasionally had to brush the gathering flakes off of his head, shoulders, and legs to prevent him from being swallowed by the white. So much snow and it was so cold.
“This is crazy,” He finally murmured, but not in a regretful sort of way. He was glad he was out here in the woods, toughing it up to the snow.
“They say it’s going to get worse tomorrow,” Mike grinned, stirring a spoon around in a near empty can of hot food
Wes smirked, “How bad can it get? This is already insane.”
Michael just shrugged; there wasn’t much he could say as he thought just the same as Wesley.
“Here, I’m done with this,” Wes stood up, turning into the dark of the woods. The thickening snowflakes out there were illuminated by the firelight, making it hard to see. He adjusted his grip on the handle of the cooking pot, the cleaning water inside of it making it a little off balance, “Where do I dump this?”
“Doesn’t matter,” Mike shrugged. He stood up, “Maybe over here a ways…” he gestured into the woods a little.
Wes took a few steps out of the light of the campfire where just the snow illuminated the air. He called back to Michael, “Do you think there are animals that this would attract?”
“It’s pretty much just water,” Mike said, coming up behind him, “I don’t know. Here” he handed Wes his can, “wash that out for me will you?”
“I’m not your servant,” Wes laughed and placed the can back into its owner’s gloved hands.
“Thanks,” Mike said flatly, “let me see the pot there.” He took the cooking pot from his friend and poured some of the water out into his container, then handing the pot back to Wes.
Wes took it with a grunt and then dumped the dirty water out on the snow. The heat of the water melted the white away slowly until there was a divot in the blanket. He turned his gaze to watch Michael dump the water out of his container. “Well that was exciting,” the boy with the sandy blond hair smirked as he turned to head back to the campfire where the light was nearly out.
“It would have been more entertaining if you had done the dishes for me,” Michael threw his can at Wes.
Wes caught it and tossed it back, “Nah, I wanted to save some excitement for you.”
Mike froze in place and looked behind him to where the can had landed in the dark. “You lost it! That was my only one.”
“Go find it,” Wes grinned and walked over in the direction he had thrown the can.
The wandered around a bit until Mike bent down to pick up his lost can. “There you are,” he muttered, “Wes you’ve got a killer arm but the worst aim I have ever witnessed.”
“Shut up,” Wes shoved him into the snow and he looked up in mock surprise. He then stood to his feet and looked around; expecting to see the campfire not a long ways off, but it was out of sight.
“I think the fire died,” he said shortly.
“No problem,” Wes shrugged it off, “I can make another.”
They stared at each other in the near black of the night.
“Which way did we come from,” Michael asked.
Wes frowned, suddenly feeling eyes on his back, “I don’t know…” he glanced behind him and then back at Michael. “Do you know?” He asked.
“Umm, no,” he looked to the dark that was behind Wesley, “let’s try that way.”
“Sure,” Wes shrugged, knowing he had nothing really to lose.
They were rather light-hearted about it for a while, but as the minutes piled up, Wesley’s heart began to drop. He suddenly stopped walking and studied the dark, “we’ve gone too far, I’m sure of it…” He looked at Michael who gave him a nod of agreement. He tried to figure out what was past each row of trees, but it was impossible.
“Your phone,” Michael said suddenly, “Call someone.”
“It’s back at the campsite…” Wes whispered.
Mike slid down to sit at the base of an evergreen tree, “We are so lost.”
“Yeah,” Wesley glanced at him, “I’ve figured that out already.”
“What do we do then?” Michael asked, “There’s no one else out here…”
There was a spell of silence as both of them stared out into the dark forest.
“The truck,” Wesley said suddenly “If we just go uphill, we’ll reach a road and then….”
“And then we don’t know which way to go to find the darn truck. Wes, you’re a genius,” Michael told him flatly.
“It was just a suggestion,” Wes frowned, “If we wait until daylight we should be able to find the campsite, the tent is like neon orange…”
Michael nodded in agreement. The two of them sat there in silence, waiting for the slightest sign of light. The air was a biting cold and they fought to stay awake, but slowly Michael began to drift off. Wes couldn’t tell though, because he too was slowly falling asleep. The temperature continued to drop and Wes could feel himself losing consciousness, the cold eating away at his skin. Soon he could feel the arrival of more snowflakes, theses bigger and wetter than the ones before. In the dark, he watched them fall heavily to the ground, building up walls around his tired body. He felt their wetness as they finally penetrated his gloves, numbing his fingers. Next came his feet, his ears, his nose. The cold was riveting, but he still found himself falling asleep.
He knew he had to stay awake. He knew he needed to keep his eyes open to stay alive. Dawn wasn’t far away; he could see the dark turning to dull gray light. When the sun rose up, lighting up the forest’s new blanket of white, Wes opened his near frozen eyes to see a bright orange tent set up next to him, buried a foot deep in snow.
Author Link: http://www.wattpad.com/user/_shoes