I’m not sure if anyone will ever read this, but it seems like I should write something.
I’m not sure the exact date today, but the snow started falling on January 12, 2043. With the climate change, the news told us to expect unusual weather patterns, high winds, heavy precipitation, and temperature fluctuations. There were reports of tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes. There were storms far bigger than any in recorded history. They were dubbed Superstorms. And there was death. People getting swept away by tsunamis, houses torn up by tornadoes, drownings during hurricanes. We watched. We shook our heads. We thought never us. We were fine. We lived in California. We didn’t have that kind of weather here.
When the snow started it was quiet. A flake here and there. At first we weren’t sure if it was snow. It lightly dusted the ground. We went out in it.In our shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. Everyone was in the streets, in their yards. We licked the air, tasting the cold before it melted on our tongues. We made snow angels. Snow in Los Angeles. A novelty. None of us had seen it in our life time. We took pictures so we could show our grandchildren.
Then it came harder and faster, spinning around our heads. And still we played well into the night, watching the snow swirl in the street lights. When we were exhausted, we went into our homes, turned on heaters and fire places, and snuggled in blankets.
When we woke the next morning the snow had changed. I had seen images of snow storms before. When it snowed heavy back East, there were pictures and news footage of cars buried, of people snow shoeing down the streets, of children sledding on Tuesdays when school had been cancelled. This snow was not like that.
The snow was packed half way up the first floor windows. Through the remaining window we watched it fall. It looked like a billowing white sheet, like a waterfall of snow. There was no space between the flakes. And it kept coming and coming and coming. My wife and I tried to entertain our children as best we could.
The second day we lost power. We lit candles. Time passed. Day and night became one. And still the snow came. We had no contact with the outside. We stayed inside, waiting for it to stop. After four days, maybe five, the creaking started. We didn’t know what it was. We awoke to a crash. The roof collapsed under the weight of the snow.
Our children, Brian and Kimberly, were asleep in the room where the roof fell. Barefoot, my wife and I fought towards the room. Fought against the sheet of snow. It pushed us back. It bogged us down. We were quickly up to our knees in snow. We crawled on top of the snow, heads down, calling their names. Our voices were lost in the wind. We got to the rubble, shivering, dressed only in our pajamas, soaking wet.
I sat back on my heels and wept. My wife began digging. She moved a handful of snow and the sky dumped six in its place. I tried to stop her. She fought me. Her mouth was open. I could see that. I’m sure she was screaming, but even two feet away from her, I couldn’t hear her over the roar of the snow. She dug until her hands were useless. Numb from the cold and bleeding.
I pulled her up off the pile and we began to walk through our neighborhood. We maneuvered around collapsed houses. The snow kept coming, and soon our path was clear. The houses buried under our feet. A palm frond stuck up from the snow. I pulled, thinking to use it as a shield from the snow. It didn’t move and I realized it was still attached to the tree below the white.
We saw no one as we walked. But there was something. I could feel we were being watched. I caught glimpses of them. We must have walked for miles. Carrie started to slow. I grabbed her hand. Our hands stuck together like ice cubes. She dropped to her knees. I pulled her arm. She lulled onto her back, eyes wide open, snow encrusting her eyelashes.
I dragged her body, the trail being covered by the snow, but she slowed me and I felt them closing in on me. I saw flashes of them. Red eyes watching, waiting. I let go of her hand. The moisture from the snow had frozen our hands together. I had to pull and rip our bluing skin apart. I turned and watched their white bodies engulfing her. Pointed teeth gnashing. Gorging on her. Leaving a red stain in the snow briefly until it was covered by the storm. Gone.
I stumbled, tripped, and landed here by good fortune. A warm alcove somehow protected from the storm. A door to close, to lock. But I can hear them outside, howling. They’re hunting. I hear sniffing, snorting. They’re outside, clawing at the door. Pounding their bodies against it.
It won’t be long. It’s so cold. I can’t feel my barefeet anymore. It must be night again. Time to sleep.
*This post was is part of the Red Writing Hood Meme. The prompt this week: “You are trapped (alone or with others) in a single location during the fury and/or aftermath of a blizzard of historic proportions.” And we needed to keep it under 1000 words. As always, constructive criticism is welcome.