Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's Cold Outside - A Short Story

He would die soon. He was sure of it. He could feel the snow, like a thousand tiny fists, pushing and pulling him to the ground. He had far to travel, and his waning strength convinced him he would not make it to dinner. 

The roaring wind ripping through his hood like hungry wolves numbed his ears; he pulled his heavy coat tighter around him. Nothing existed in the white expanse of the glacier, no shapes, and no people, only white. And the snow. But the snow wasn’t even the worst of it, he could deal with snow. The real problem was the wind. It surged across the snowy plain like some big, cold football team; and he was the only opposition. He could make little progress against a gale like this, and was about ready to give up when he heard something, a call, no, a voice, rising over the scream of the storm. 

“Dinner’s ready, Luke! Come downstairs before it gets cold!” 

What on earth? He wondered. It was a woman’s voice. He knew the voice was calling for him, but his name wasn’t Luke! It was Sir Gary Rockman, world famous explorer! But he was hungry. And he knew that if he didn’t eat soon, he would collapse here in the wastes, a feast for the snow beasts, if they could ever find him under the snow that is. 

Wait. It could be a trap, set by the snow terrors to lure him right to them, where they would gobble him up without a moment’s thought of mercy. A strange part of Sir Rockman couldn’t blame them, he would gobble himself up too, as hungry as he was. Weighing the options, however, he gathered himself and resolved to follow the voice; he would die if he opted not to, he knew.

With renewed vigor, Sir Rockman traversed the barren landscape, slowly but surely making his way to the origin of the voice, toward food, toward life. He would make it for dinner, he felt confident now. Unfortunately, he soon realized that he may have lost his way. Why wouldn’t the woman shout for him again? Desperate, and perhaps a little maddened by the nothingness surrounding him, he shouted for her against the roar of the ripping winds. 
“Stop screaming! Your food’s on the table and its getting cold!” 

She heard him! Oh how the Gods are kind! He knew the way now; he didn’t want his food to get cold. He pressed on. “I’m coming! Don’t worry. I shouldn’t be too much lon-“ His breath caught in his throat as he stepped up to, and almost over, a sheer cliff, dropping down in to a thick fog of snow. He couldn’t fathom as to its depth. He hadn’t the tools necessary to make the descent; they had been eaten by one of the snow beasts several days ago! 

“Your food is getting colder by the second L-“ he could see her, outlined at the bottom of the cliff, and she had seen him too! “Ahh, brave adventurer! Come warm yourself in my kitchen. I have food to share and stories to tell.” Finally! She could see that he was a great explorer and not some Luke. 

The rope! He remembered! Sir Rockman always had an extra rope in his sack. It wasn’t much for scaling cliffs, but it would have to be enough. He tied one end around his waist and fastened another to the bottom of a tall stone at the edge of the cliff. He hoped he had enough rope, and threw his legs over the edge. 

The climb was not all that difficult, there were plenty of handholds to support him on the way down, and Sir Rockman was ever the professional rock climber. He was approaching the bottom when something went horrible awry. Suddenly his rope gave as the stone he had tied it around was ripped from the ground! Sir Rockman plummeted to the base of the cliff, a fall that must have been nothing shy of several stories. 

“Oh my God! Luke, are you all right! Honey, he just rolled down the stairs, help me.” 

Sir Rockman looked around. The good news was he was alive. Barely a scratch on him even! The bad news though is that soon, he would not be near as alive as he was then. A giant shape tore out of the storm, coming right at him! A snow beast! It was all a trap! He was doomed! 

“ROAR! I’m a polar bear! I’m gonna eat you! Your heavy fur coat won’t save you now!”

He rolled to his feet and out of his coat, he had to start running and his coat would only weigh him down. He dashed across the plains, the bear hot on his heels. He wouldn’t escape, he was a goner. 

Luke burst out in laughter as his father wrapped his strong arms around him and lifted him in to the air. “I’m gonna eat you brave explorer! Roar!” his father bellowed as he gobbled up with kisses.  

“It’s Sir Rockman, to you, daddy!” 

“Clark, he broke the banister over here!” Called his mother from the hallway.

“Uh oh! It’s all right I showed him what's what!” he called back before turning back to his child  “And now will the brave adventurer have dinner with us?” 

He was done being Sir Rockman for the day, he was very hungry.
“Yes!” he replied.

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