Five Days

January 2043

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.


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About Jessica Anne

51 Responses to “Five Days”

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  1. Erin
    Twitter: ErinsMiracles
    says:

    what a gut wrenching story! My heart definitely went out to he who was left!

  2. Mandyland
    Twitter: in_mandyland
    says:

    Wow. Just…wow.

    There was so much I liked about this story…the desperation, the foreboding, the fact it took place in the future. Very 2012, you know?

    Great job!

    (Oh! I’m visiting from TRDC.)

  3. This reminded me a bit of the Mordochs in “The Time Machine.” Very haunting.

  4. Moomser
    Twitter: moomser
    says:

    Great story, the beginning was very “the day after tomorrow” one of my favorite movies I must admit. I’m drawn to apocalyptic scenarios! This one is quite disturbing… In a good way.
    Just wondering, the paragraph that starts with “I drug her body” shouldn’t it have been “dragged”?

  5. Carrie
    Twitter: Miss_Scarlett99
    says:

    Loved the creatures that follow him. Evokes all sorts of images in my mind. And made me wonder: where did they come from? Were they deposited along with this somewhat unnatural snow? Have they always been there, lingering? Or was the protagonist and his family somehow sucked into a timewarp and an alternate reality?

    Definitely not a blizzard I want to be caught in!

    Visiting from RDC
    Carrie´s last post ..Red Writing Hood- Complications

  6. Valerie says:

    Terrific writing-you captured a really horrifying and surreal situation perfectly. “A palm frond stuck up from the snow.”
    Chills!
    Valerie´s last post ..Just Delia

  7. Ratz says:

    Oh Jessica… this is too scary. I am breathless. It looked like you have seen this picture, this future so clear and then you are writing this for us. Man! this was good. It is like one of those books which talk about the future and scare us… because, deep in our hearts we know that this might happen, your piece was like that. Great job lady. Great job.
    Ratz´s last post ..Once this Blizzard Gets Over TRDC Meme

  8. twisty says:

    this really unnerved me in the best possible way… distressing but lovely. :)

  9. Brandon says:

    Nicely done. Disturbing, but nicely done – the digging part in my world probably wouldn’t have ended… I’d still be there, creepy, red-eyed white things and all!

    Great story!
    Brandon´s last post ..Rusted Frost

  10. Jennifer says:

    I thought you did a great job of smoothly moving the characters from being entertained and amazed by the novelty of the snow in CA to the horror when it all spins out of control. I loved that there were two predators in this story each equally deadly but in two completely different ways and I found myself glad that the protagonist found a place to freeze to death rather than be eaten, which is kind of disturbing!
    Jennifer´s last post ..All That Glitters

  11. Christy
    Twitter: thinkinmommy
    says:

    So very well written. Gave me chills, like really because who knows; something crazy like that could happen. dude … creepy.
    Christy´s last post ..White

  12. amber says:

    Whoa, dude. That’s some seriously creepy stuff. Love the images you painted though. Great job!

  13. Jen @ Lita's World
    Twitter: litasworld
    says:

    WOW I loved it. I completely felt like I was there and what it might be like. It’s an absolutely “white” day outside here today, so very fitting to read this with the big office windows behind me :)
    Jen @ Lita’s World´s last post ..Blog Birthday Week Day 5 – Handbag Giveaway!!

  14. Rachel says:

    Wow. What a riveting story. I wanted it to go on. Wonderful writing.

  15. Jessica
    Twitter: fourplusanangel
    says:

    Wow, very surreal and creepy. You captured it perfectly and pulled me in through the whole thing.
    Jessica´s last post ..That Mom

  16. Cheryl @ Mommypants
    Twitter: mommy_pants
    says:

    Yikes that gave me the creeps!!

    I couldn’t help wondering why they would leave their house – with their kids buried inside – and start walking.

    Yeah, not wondering about human-eating red-eyed creatures. Those made perfect sense! ;)

    A very fun read!!

    • Jessica Anne says:

      I wasn’t sure if that part was clear, that the snow was too intense and there was no hope of getting to the children. Apparently not. :) Thanks for the feedback. I think I could have easily made it more clear.
      Jessica Anne´s last post ..Five Days

  17. Mommylebron
    Twitter: mommylebron
    says:

    Ooh, I love creepy stuff like this! You built up so much dram and suspense here. I was so sad when they left the house, then later when he had to tear his hand from hers I literally gagged. Very well done!
    Mommylebron´s last post ..Dream A Snowy Dream Of Me trdc

  18. Ashley says:

    How spooky and sad! What creatures are outside?!?! Great job. You left me hangin.
    Ashley´s last post ..I Shouldnt Be Here

  19. Annie says:

    Oh! That was so hard to read. How awful for that poor man! I feel like I need more information and want to know more details!

  20. CDG
    Twitter: MoveOverMaryP
    says:

    Ack!
    Shivers.

    Heartbreaking and scary and best of all, edgy.
    CDG´s last post ..Untitled- Part Five

  21. The Drama Mama
    Twitter: poopscoopinmama
    says:

    I have a BIG FAT FAIL this week for this assignment. I had fleeting ideas, but nothing was talking to me. Then, I opened up photoshop…and well, I guess that’s where my creativity was this week. Haha.

    Your story? I absolutely love the premise behind it, the thought process through it, and I too wondered why they left their house, but after reading that part again, I understood that the snow had blocked their path. The only thing that got me was how quickly Carrie went from trying to dig out her children to dropping over dead. Did she freeze to death? Not quite sure what happened to her or that it is (to me) realistic, even for this genre. Your creatures made me think of the vampires from 30 Days of Night (which I have not seen). Great imagery, great flow, and overall very well written.

    Take away the word count restraints, and i think you should revisit this later and turn it into something more.
    The Drama Mama´s last post ..Writers Workshop- Deflated

    • Jessica Anne says:

      Thanks for the crit, I appreciate it. :) I definitely need to make the passage of time more clear. In my head, they were there quite a while, but it clearly didn’t translate on paper.

      I kept looking for yours and couldn’t find it, so I’m glad it wasn’t there, versus me missing it, but I missed you this week.
      Jessica Anne´s last post ..Five Days

  22. JP says:

    How could you be a mother of three girls and concoct such scary stuff????? Great work!…:)JP
    JP´s last post ..The Paddle Boat

  23. doreen mcgettigan
    Twitter: doreenb8
    says:

    This is my first visit here and I was quite frightened until I saw the reason for the story.
    I think you did a fine job of scaring me as I sit here and listen to the weather guy tell me there is more snow headed our way and this could be the BIG one…
    doreen mcgettigan´s last post ..Reallyits Friday again No it is Monday

    • Jessica Anne says:

      Oh my, not my usual first impression. Sorry for the scare. I promise I’m usually nicer. Except on Fridays, my stories tend to be a little dark, but not quite this dark. :)
      Jessica Anne´s last post ..Five Days

  24. NotJustAnotherJennifer
    Twitter: MidwestMomments
    says:

    Oh, my eyes welled up with tears when the roof collapsed on the children! I love how you told it from a man’s point of view. I always think I should do that, but never do. The end reminded me of “I Am Legend.” Well-told!
    NotJustAnotherJennifer´s last post ..Trapped

    • Jessica Anne says:

      Telling from a man’s perspective is one of those things I always think I should do more of too. It just worked for this story. I didn’t even realize I was doing it at first. It was kind of fun. Although, not enough cursing I think. :)
      Jessica Anne´s last post ..Five Days

  25. Lorrie No
    Twitter: Moogirl
    says:

    You really had me feeling worried and captured by the “Our children…” paragraph. Nice writing.
    Lorrie No´s last post ..thanks again

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cheryl Rosenberg, Jessica Anne. Jessica Anne said: Wrote my piece for #TRDC. Apocalyptic zombies anyone? http://ow.ly/3M4CJ […]