Liam was wrapped in several layers of heavy coats, pants and scarves on his way home. He was so cold. Liam had been transferred from his cozy job in Texas to an “upgrade” in North Dakota. There was a small party with cake.
He remembered an off hand comment where someone told him it wasn’t that cold.
Liam really wished he knew who it was so he could punch them.
Liam’s shaky hand reached for his key in an attempt to unlock the front door. Once the door was unlocked he had to shift his full body weight just to open the door that was held in place by frozen hinges enough for him to slide into his home.He marched in leaving tracks of snow in his wake. Liam felt his scarf slid off his face, he looked back he saw lots of red string that had caught on his door.
Liam groaned. He had worked so hard on that scarf!
Liam shed several layers of coats before flopping on his couch. He was so tired, Liam slowly closed his eyes and fell asleep to the sound of the heater.
He dreamed of blue skies with a few stray fleecy clouds crossing. Liam was sitting in a beach chair that didn’t stick to his skin with a cold slush from sonic waiting in his hands. He sighed, his bones no longer felt like he was seventy year old. Liam smiled as he felt the sun on his face. He took a sip of his drink and sighed.
All of a sudden Liam was brought back to the real word when his face made contact with his hard wood floor. Liam just lay there for a moment wondering about life. He flopped from his stomach to his back and glared at his ceiling.
He needed to use his vacation days.
He pushed himself up and trudged over to his computer flipping it open and began searching for a flight. A smile painted Liam’s face when he, albeit after an hour, found a flight within his price range to a great beach on an island.
The next few weeks as he saved up enough money Liam felt content with day dreams of beaches when he walked through the snow, the feeling of sunshine on his back when he had been sitting at the computer for too long. He concocted sightseeing plans when he knitted himself a new scarf.
The day of his flight he got up an hour early, not even the fresh foot of snow taunting him outside along with the huge flakes could deter him. He got into his car preparing to hear the normal hum of the motor. There were two vrooms and then a sputter. Liam felt his heart catch in his chest. He tried again, this time only one vroom and several sputters.
His car had broken down.
Liam took deep breaths. It was fine, everything was going to be fine he could call a friend… he didn’t have any friends here yet. He proceeded to bang his head on the steering wheel of his broken car trying to jog some ideas. Could he call a taxi?
He pulled out his phone, his fingers fumbling as tried calling for a taxi.
Liam waited with his face pressed up against his window inside waiting to see lights of a taxi pulled up. Time was shaving close when he finally saw lights.
Liam dragged his suitcase down the driveway throwing it in the car.
“Where to?” The driver asked looking at the bundled up man who looked more like yarn incarnate in the mirror.
“The airport,” Liam said, muffled through his new scarf, rubbing his arms with his gloved hands.
The car hummed with no sputtering and took off. Liam stared out the window glaring triumphantly at the fat snowflakes drifting down.
He stuck out his tongue. Liam quickly regretted it when his tongue met the scarf wrapped around his neck.
The taxi slowed down making a vrooming sound with no movement. The taxi driver growled. “Come on!
“Why did we stop?” Liam asked his heartbeat quickening.
The man sighed. “There’s too much snow, with the way it’s looking you're not going to make it to the airport.” The man gave him a sympathetic look.
Liam looked outside the fat flakes looking much more sinister. “How far to the airport?”
The man looked hesitant to respond. The desperate look in Liam’s eyes might have made him think otherwise. “Two miles.”
Liam took a deep breath. He gave the man the amount he owed and swung open his door.
“I’m not going to miss this flight. Thank you for taking me this far.” Liam gave him a gloved thumbs up before heading out into the snow. Trudging through the snow Liam was knee deep going about six steps per minute.
He passed other stuck cars with the occasional person asking if he was okay, Liam just shrugged them off and marched on through the deathly white.
The cold air stung his ears almost certainly turning them bright red, Liam made a mental note to learn how to knit a warm hat. The sinister flakes fluttered blocking his vision. Liam’s teeth were chattering without his consent as he marched on. His numb ears finally heard the sound of airplane engines instead of only the crunching of snow.
His heart jumped. Liam had finally made it!
The warmth of the indoors surrounded him like a welcoming hug. Liam made a buzzline for customs. He dumped the suitcase in the tray for the scanner and walked through the metal detector. He was halfway through when it gave a distressing beep.
Liam had no idea what on him was metal. Liam went through a slightly panicked mental list.
“It’s probably just my keys.” He told the woman working there. Liam started searching through his front and back pockets when he realized his keys were three pairs of pants down. “I accidentally put my keys in my first pair of pants.” He said apologetically. “Can I just…”
The woman working there shook her head. “Sorry sir. Rules are there for a reason.” He could have sworn there was an evil gleam in her eye.
Liam shoved down his pants glaring at her. He went three layers down searching for the demonic piece of metal. Liam continued removing articles of clothing including a jumpsuit. He stood in line with people muttering behind him. Liam was shirtless and shivering once he finally found what was ticking off the alarm.
The rest of it was a cake walk compared to the outdoors. Liam was exhausted, physically and mentally by the time he got to the waiting room. He flopped down on one of the chairs' hard.
Liam settled into his seat when he finally got on the plane with the idea of falling asleep sounding so sweet in his head.
“Excuse me, but that’s my seat!” A shrill voice cried. That didn’t sound so sweet in his head. He opened his eyes to find a lady standing over him with pursed lips and a flight attendant trying to help. “Ma.m-”
“The seat is on my ticket!”
“Please,” Liam said. He didn’t want to leave his comfy seat. “I’ve done a lot to get here and would like to stay seated.”
The woman would not budge. “That seat number is on my ticket. I will have it!”
The two went back and forth for a while when Liam finally sighed. He had done this before on his flight to North Dakota. He could fight for the seat and lose or just stand up and ask for the worst spot on the flight. He turned wearily to the relieved flight attendant. “Is there another seat?” He asked.
The flight attendant looked apologetic staring at the floor. “I’m sorry, but there aren’t any more seats. We could arrange for you to come later, if you would like that?”
Liam shook his head. “That won’t work, I only have this week off. Am I going to stand for the flight?” He was so tired. He wouldn’t make it.
“You could stay in the pilots sleeping area for the time being.” She offered kindly.
Liam could have kissed her right then and there.
Liam went to sleep on the hard beds that had little to no comfort. He tossed and turned and his dog tired body wouldn’t go to sleep.
Liam got up an hour later refreshed. The flight was almost over! He thought cheerily. Liam slid out of a bunk and made his way to the bathroom with his mind on those sunny beaches. Liam washed his hands enjoying how the water didn’t freeze them over. He dried them and unlocked the door to leave.
It didn’t move.
Liam had never had claustrophobia, he often liked closed spaces, but now he understood true horror when the door wouldn’t budge.
“Help! I’m stuck!” He shouted. He began to bang on the door repeatedly trying to make the stubborn thing budge.
He could hear a few people outside the door, but Liam tuned them out. His ears were focused on the sound of the plane's engines slowing down and the downward slope. What if he got stuck in there for so long that he would be on the next flight? Liam’s breath felt short and quick. He felt as though he might faint. There was a sliding sound of the door opening and Liam felt as though the world opened up again.
“Thank You so much!”
Liam dashed from the plan running as fast as his body allowed him. The shining sun met his skin as he finally got outside in a warm temperature.
For once in so long, he didn’t need several pairs of pants. For once in so long, he didn’t need a scarf or hat. The rest of the way was a blur until Liam found himself in trunks, on a beach holding a cold sonic drink.
“Finally.” Liam breathed.