The snow had fallen for two weeks straight. Townspeople said it was a blizzard. For two weeks straight, it had snowed. No pause, no break. Day after day. Night after night. No one had left their homes. It was the worst snowstorm that the town had ever been through.
When the wind stopped, the snow did too. Young Henry went outside for the first time in days, to get some fresh air and observe how the town was doing after the horrid storm. He was walking his dog when he noticed an abandoned car on the side of the road. From the thick layer of snow on the windshield, he guessed it had been there for a long time. He squinted his eyes, trying to make out the license plate-- but it was hidden under a wall of heavy snow. Questioning where the vehicle came from, the boy and his dog crossed the street to get a better look.
A few weeks back, a young woman traveling through stopped in a small town for some gas. There were three weeks left until spring, yet the town was suffering from a massive snowstorm.
There was no one around, no cars on the roads. At only 8-PM, the whole town was dead. She couldn't run out of gas here. Where there was nobody to help her, no motel to stay the night in, and no phone service to call for help.
Up ahead, she spotted bright neon lights coming from a tiny gas-station. It was so close. Probably one mile-- at the most. Just a little bit longer, she thought to herself. The roads were icy, so she didn't dare to go any faster. But she was almost there.
"Good morning, Henry!" A neighbor called out as he spotted the boy and his dog running across the street.
The boy looked at his friendly neighbor. "You as well, Mr. Daze!"
His neighbor held a shovel in his hand. "Finally stopped snowing, huh? I've been shoveling my driveway all morning!" The old man chuckled. "Say hello to your mother for me, will you?"
The boy stood on the sidewalk, nodding to the old man. "Yes, sir. Have a good day!"
Just as the woman thought she was going to make it, the car shut off.
"Oh shoot," She mumbled, pulling off on the shoulder lane. I was so close, she laughed to herself.
There wasn't anything left to do but walk the rest of the way there. It wasn't too far on foot. She stepped out of her car, feeling the harsh winter wind hit her skin like a bag of ice. She shivered, closing the car door behind her. Texas was much warmer, she thought. She tightened her hoodie as she left the comfort of her car. So much warmer.
She began her journey to the gas station.
The boy wiped the layer of snow off of the driver's window, peering through. The inside was empty except for a large suitcase in the backseat. Turning back to the old man across the street, he called out;
"Sir, do you know whose car this is?"
The friendly man stopped shoveling and looked up at him. "No. I woke up one morning and saw it sitting there. It's from Texas, ain't it?"
He walked to the back of the vehicle and removed the snow on the license plate. "Yes, it is. I was just curious about whose it is," The boy began to walk away, then stopped again. "Do you know how long ago you noticed it?"
The old man scratched his head. "Two weeks ago? Right when the blizzard hit us,"
Her ears began to blister from the deadly freezing winds after about ten minutes of walking. She could feel her nose and her cheeks had turned red and sore. She couldn't help her teeth from painfully chattering together.
The snow layered the grounds like blankets of white lace. Every minute it got deeper and deeper. The only light on the street was caused by the moon reflecting off of the white snow. The town looked like a picture on a Christmas card. The only noise to hear was the howling of the mighty wind blowing through the trees and past the dark houses, racing down the empty streets. The girl might have thought it was a lovely sight if she wasn't so cold.
She was not prepared for a snowstorm. No hat, no gloves, no coat, no scarf. She really regretted not pulling off the interstate for gas sooner.
The young man left the mysterious car, walking his dog along the sidewalk. How peculiar, he thought to himself. Why would someone leave their car in the middle of the street like that? It made no sense. It must have sat there for days! And who lives around here that's from Texas?
"Where're you off to now, Henry?"
The boy turned back around to the old man. "I'm heading over to the gas station to get a little snack and maybe hot coffee. Would you like me to bring you anything?"
"No, I'm fine, thank you," He went back to shoveling his driveway. "Nice talking to you, Henry!"
"You too, Mr. Daze,"
All ten of the girl's toes had gone numb. She thought about turning back a few times, but she knew she had to get back on the interstate before midnight.
A loud noise came rushing up from behind her. In a panic, she whipped around, only to slip and land on her back. The fall knocked the air out of her. She gasped, sitting up.
The loud noise came from a semi-truck driving by. The girl stood up, noticing a pain in her right ankle. She must have twisted it in the fall.
"Hey! Wait!" She cried out to the passing truck. She waved her arms above her head, but the driver didn't notice her. "Oh, come on…" She groaned, watching the semi-truck drive down the street.
She began walking again, making sure not to press too much weight onto her ankle. But after another twenty minutes, it didn't matter. All four of her limbs had gone numb. A new sensation was coming from the snowy winds. Instead of feeling the dreadful weather, she felt a hot fire that burned the touch of her skin. At first, it was her feet, then it moved up to her calves. Like a wildfire, the frostbite trailed up her body. The pain was unbearable.
Her lips stung as the deadly snow blistered them. Automatically, she licked her lips-- but this small act made her purple lips burn even more.
The boy and his dog walked happily down the sidewalk. The boy whistled a song as he looked at the snowy town. Beautiful, he smiled. Fresh snow always made this town look so peaceful. Up ahead, he could see the gas station. It was a pleasant walk, but he didn't mind the cold.
After what felt like forever, the girl's pace began to slow. She pushed with all of her might to keep going, but the warmth in her body was completely drained. Her once active legs became fragile icicles that could barely hold her straight. Her whole body was a block of ice now. If her teeth were still chattering, she couldn't feel them anymore. All she could feel was the frozen fire that burned her to the very core. She tried to escape it, but it only slowed her down. Like a zombie, she dragged her feet step after step. She was becoming weak.
And then, she tripped on an uneven piece of gravel. She fell off of the sidewalk, hitting her head on a dead light-post. Tears stung her eyes.
The dog stopped in its tracks to smell a light-post next to them. The boy came to a halt and waited for the dog to mark its territory.
The girl cried out for help, but nobody heard her under the piercing winds. She knew she couldn't go any further. Her head was spinning a hundred miles per hour from the fall. She knew what was to become of her in this storm. She knew she wouldn't make it. Her heartbeat rattled in her chest like a staticky radio wave. Her breath quickened. Helplessly, she pushed herself to her feet-- only to collapse again. Mentally she tried again, but her body couldn’t respond. She laid on her back, gazing up at the nighttime sky as her last breath exited her lungs. Snowflakes fell on her dark eyelashes and on the rest of her body, slowly hiding her under the white sheets of snow.
The dog barked, snapping its owner's attention back to it. The dog almost looked scared. It barked again. The boy knelt down beside the dog.
"What is it, girl? What do you smell?"
The dog began to dig frantically in the snow. It struck the boy that his dog had found something. He leaned in closer to get a better peek.
Henry shrieked out, falling onto his butt, his face painted with horror.
There in front of him, lay the face of a frozen woman. Purple and blue. Eyes stuck wide open, lips parted slightly. Her lifeless body caused the boy the scream again, this time bringing all of his neighbors' attention over. They all stared at her with the same horrifying shock Henry carried.
There, on that snowy day, each one of the townspeople felt disconsolate chills from the young woman. They all felt so sorrowful… so cold.