Snowed-in Chalet'

Submitted into Contest #129 in response to: Set your story in a snowed-in chalet.... view prompt


Drama Fiction Suspense


It was cold, the bone chilling kind of cold, say like you see in Alaska, or the North Pole [Santa Claws home town]. And Charles Warner Kennedy “Charlie” O’Brien, a P.I (Private Investigator), who was smiling as he was skiing on the steep slopes of a lovely, and very tall and stately mountain in Quebec, Ontario, Canada.

He felt, and then right after he felt it, he heard, it, an ‘avalanche’ coming, and coming really, really fast. He looked around and luckily, very luckily, he spotted a beautiful, and quaint little ‘Chalet’ just over the next ridge of the mountain that the locals call ‘The Heart Breaker.’

He put his very expensive competition skis into overdrive, and then he made a mad-dash down the little hill toward the Godsend little resting place for needy skiers, freezing and or just wanting to get out of the cold, just like ole Charlie.

Charlie had started out skiing and left the ski lodge, with his good friend, Arnold “ArnieSchwarzenegger, however, when they got off the ski-chairs, a little while ago, they somehow had got separated.

Arnie was a superb skier and had learn how to ski in Austria, Europe, where he grew up, and he took off like a rocket, leaving old Charlie in the dust, or the snow-flakes, as it were.

           Once inside and standing real, real close, just as close as he could without burning himself, by the fireplace, he found out whom he would be sharing the cozy little Chalet’ with for the next couple of days, perhaps.

The thick ice-cycles that incased his large frame, were finally started to melt. Thank God. He thought for a while that he might freeze to death, and/or be buried by the thunderous avalanche.

First, there was an attorney, the ‘ambulance’ chasing kind, I think you know what I mean, with a very obvious recalcitrant personality. His name was Paul Scott Lionhardt, esquire.

           Next was a quite personal young American, he was a used car dealer, from Los Angeles, California or Hollywood as he likes to tell people. He was about thirty years old, named Big’ John Harris. He was big as his nickname alluded to, about 6’4” and weighed about 275 pounds. He said that he was the owner of the used car lot, not just a salesman. Yeah, right!

           Next a Providence, Assemblywoman, from Ontario, Canada. Her name was Chatroulette May Gretzky, and she appeared to be around forty years old, fairly attractive, with a slight frame, long black hair, and great big glasses.

           Chatroulette was very polite and professional in her speech and presentation of herself. She was polished, she was obviously quite well educated, and articulate.

           Next was a psychologist, [the couch kind, you know what I mean?] Ph. D, named Coco Louise LeGrand. She was also younger, about thirty years old, and also fairly noticeable in a crowd.

           Coco was very careful when she spoke, also very articulate, as well as highly educated at the University of Montréal, located in Montreal, Canada. She said that she had a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, as well as her Doctorate in Psychology.   

           And last, but clearly not least, a famous, and/or infamous, Charlie was not quite sure, it all depends upon who you ask, Mystery author. His name was Jonathan Jones Kellerman, M.P.S., and he was about forty, and he seemed to be in good athletic shape.

           Charlie had actually read some of his mystery novellas, and thought that they were very well written. Also, Charlie recalled that Jon’s wife, Faye Kellerman, was a great mystery novelist as well.

           That made a nice, and cozy little group of five (5) cold and freezing skiers, plus Charlie, equals six.

Charlie O’Brien himself, was an internationally known and quite well-respected Private Investigator, or as he prefers to be called, a Private Detective, or Private Eye, which he likes as well.

He told his little cabal of fellow stranded skiers, the following information.

They say that the ‘beautiful people’ in the L. A. Area, live in Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, Bel Air. Hollywood [which is sometimes referred to as Holly-weird by its detractors’]; Santa Monica; Malibu, the Fairfax district and Laguna Beach, just to name a few.

Some now live right down-town L. A. by City Hall or the Staples Center [where the L. A. Laker’s play basketball for the NBA]; in lofts that were newly converted from old run-down apartment buildings. There are a lot of new condominiums and lofts spread out around L. A. these days.

You can buy one, however, it will cost you, cost you a lot, because currently due to the very ‘hot’ real estate market. I always have preferred to live by the beach myself, my beloved mama, Vivian Leigh Martin, felt the same way.

That is where I got it from. I miss her a lot. She is buried out by the famous Malibu Movie Colony where a lot of wealthy movie stars and wealthy business Titans and T. V. Personalities still live to this very day.

My parents lived in the Malibu area before I was born. My father was the restaurant manager of the fabulous Malibu Inn Restaurant which is right next to the beautiful Malibu Pier.


Charles Warner Kennedy (Charlie) O’Brien, is a Dreamer, he truly is and he has been a dreamer ever since he was a little kid in rural Ojai (now, Tennis County) California. 

He was born in downtown Los Angeles, in what is now called ‘Korea Town’, then his parents moved Ojai, and after that he grew up in a barrio in La Puente and El Monte (San Gabriel Valley), California.

Charlie lived with and went to school with several serious ‘gangbangers.’ Since they knew him from a kid, they did not stab or shoot him with a zip-gun like they did the other Anglo (white) kids. 

He considers himself a third Latino because of being from the ‘Hood’ (neighborhood). He just loves Latin people, as well as the wonderful country of Mexico, which he has visited many, many times. 

When he was small, he wanted to be a 'cowboy' like Hopalong Cassidy (Hoppy), or the Lone Ranger, the Cisco Kid, among many other of his cowboy hero’s.                               

Then as a teenager he fell in love with the ‘noir genre' of police detectives, private eyes, and private investigators. Such as Mike Hammer, Sam Spade, Magnum PI, Harry "Dirty Harry" Callahan (e.g., Clint Eastwood).

Now days, he dreams that he is Jason Strathan, Liam Neeson, Clint Eastwood, Duane 'The Rock' Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Kurt Russell, Jackie Chan, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, depending upon the current dream he is having at any particular time.

Charlie the Private Investigator is described as follows: First and foremost, a good and very kind man, albeit, he is the first to admit that he is not perfect nor all together, at all.                                                                                                   

Charlie is one of the few, true-life fearless detectives in America or so I have been told. He uses his personal and extensive experience which is based upon his solid daily work ethic and personal beliefs--as well as his background of a twenty- year career with the LAPD (the excellent as well as outstanding,

He worked under the great Barnard 'Bernie' Parks, one of the best police chiefs ever in LA, next to William ‘Bill' Parker (who the city named the Police Headquarters building after), and Charles 'Charlie' Beck, also one of the most outstanding Chiefs LA ever has had, of course. 

He was a 'Robbery and Homicide Detective' and he worked on the demonic possessed ‘Charlie Manson' family case. As well as many other very high-profile murder cases in LA (Los Angeles). The madman and demon-possessed Charlie Manson just died recently in prison after being locked up for the past 40 years. 

Our man, the good Charlie always said that it was too bad that the state of California did away with the death penalty given to Manson (which he fully deserved) for the brutal and senseless killing of several people back in Hollywood in 1969.

Some of the victims were the famous and beautiful actress Sharon Tate (and her precious and unborn baby) who was married to international movie producer, Roman Polanski. Also, there was Jay Sebring, a well know Hollywood hairstylist.

Charlie primarily investigates embezzlement cases in the so called 'too big to fail' banks in the good ole US of A, as well as in foreign countries located all around the world. 

He also investigates serious criminal activities, as in 'Ponzi' schemes (think Bernard L. 'Bernie' Madoff and his 65 billion…yes Billion dollar rip off of the American public) and also unethical stockbroker/investment bankers (Lehman Brothers, AGI, Manhattan Bank, the Old Merrill Lynch Corporation (now owned and operated by Bank of America). 

And one of the ‘Worst of the Worst’, Country Wide Funding (which was located in the real estate capital of the world, southern California), the list sadly goes on forever.

Charlie wants to find the executives from these evil, and corrupt banks and money market funds, and security-broker organizations and put them in a black-ops prison in Europe, or southeast Asia. 

During Charlie's in-depth investigations as a PI, he frequently encounters some very scary villains and heinous and extremely dangerous Tortfeasors (criminals)

He uses his strong and honest beliefs, his devotion to duty, as well as relying on his very sharp mind to assist him in researching and then solving, his very challenging, and complicated, and usually quite dangerous cases.

I want you to know that Charlie does not enjoy getting older, at all. In his little brain, he still envisions himself as a very physically fit thirty-year-old.  

As a matter of fact, he hates it… immensely. He truly does. People tell him, “Charlie, you look good for your age.” Kind of a left-handed compliment would you not say?

He realizes that they are just trying to be kind, however, he wishes that instead, they would say to him: “Charlie, you’re still tall, dark, and handsome.”  

That would be a big lie but he could whole-heartedly buy into it. He really could. And, besides, he is still tall, and one-out-of-three isn’t bad, right?  

He tries and tries, but he just cannot stop good old father-time from marching across his handsome (he wishes) face. In addition, most of his previously nice dark almost black, hair is now rapidly turning gray. But he always says, “At least I still have all of my hair, thank God!”  


He was born and raised here and he most likely will die here…maybe one day soon…you just never know when you will be run over by a big RTD bus or a 400 horse power Dodge Charger (OCSD or a LAPD, police cruiser) chasing a gangbanger in a stolen Mercedes Benz 500S; or even worse, hit by one of the new red-blue-yellow train lines now crisscrossing LA like a scrabble board (or falling dominos).  

Charlie actually lives in Beverly Hills, California, very close to the majestic and royal blue Pacific Ocean. That lovely and one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, is located in the United States, and is close to the famous city of Huntington Beach (Surf City, USA).  

He used to work for the LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] the Robbery and Homicide section, out of the very infamous Rampart Division, located in south Central L.A.

They had had some bad apples, really bad ones, a few years back but the LAPD Chief Michael Moore, and Charlie had fired, or put in jail, all of them. Somehow the LAPD had accidently hired several Vice Officers whom were in reality; drug dealers, petty thieves, skylarks, and gun runners, and worse!

Our man Charlie seemed to feel that there was Romance in the air, due to the fact that all five of our little and still extremely cold, visitors, were single or widowed and/or divorce, with the exception of Mr. Kellerman, and himself.

While they could not go outside due to the horrendous snowstorm, they had to do something to entertain themselves or go crazy. ‘Big’ John and Coco were plying checkers, and laughing, and laughing, way to loudly by the way Charlie felt, at each, others corny jokes.

Charlie and Jon Kellerman, were playing a heated game of chess. It appeared that Jon was winning and that Charlie was getting frustrated, real, real fast. Charlie was not a good loser, but then again who is, right?

Chatroulette was reading a romance novella, and Paul was writing pleading papers for his pending court cases, and also writing some threatening letters.

Charlie was looking around the quite large living room, luckily it was quite spacious, and the Chalet’ had five very large bedrooms, in the back of the nicely appointed house.

He was wondering to himself, do any of my fellow stranded people have the Coronavirus, the Covid-19 and/or the dreaded Omicron variant?

I am not quite sure why, because, Charlie was never concerned about the Covid-19 virus, however, for some unknown reason he was very, paranoid and worried about the new variant.

           The Charlie said to himself, to late to worry now as he had had no choice really. Stay out in the snowstorm and freeze to death, or come inside and take a chance on getting the Omicron virus.

All of a sudden, Charlie felt the floor moving, noticed that the lamps hanging from the roof were swaying, heard the storm windows a rattling, and that the in the wall wood framework was moaning.          

Then, it felt like a seven-level earthquake, perhaps even a level eight, the little Chalet’ started to rock n roll, toss and turn, and even jump up and down a little bit.

           They all knew full well what had just happened, there had been another avalanche, and it was more forceful than the first one, a lot more powerful. All six of the cold and weary traveler’s dove for some coverage, some in the kitchen and some in the bedrooms.

           They got under the beds and or tables close to where they were sitting when it struck. Charlie thought to himself, this feels like riding a bucking bronco, but be calm old man, and just ride it out.

           Charlie got a little afraid, unlike him to be that way, as he is rough and tough man, but when the roof started to rise like a flying saucer, he decided it was alright to be worried, at least a little bit.

           Charlie almost instantly, got the two women and put them in the little basement located just off of the kitchen, where they should be safe for the duration on the storm. He told the three men to ‘duck and cover’ and do it real, real fast.

           Next, the very thick brick outer walls started to crack, but just a little bit, as this old Chalet’ had been through many a bad snowstorm.

Then just as fast as it had started, the avalanche was gone, but not forgotten. And it would not be forgotten for several years to come., trust old Charlie on that.

All four outer walls were still standing, there were however no furniture/standing, as well as the entire roof was half way down the majestic mountain.

Luckily the sun had come out and provided some very needed warmth even though we were all topless, that is to say, roofless!

Within two hours, the RMCP (Royal Mounted Canadian Police) Air Rescue Unit, had two birds hovering over our little roofless Chalet.’

They circled around to find a safe landing spot, that was not covered with a lot of soft wet snow, so that the, Boeing made Choppers, would have good footing for their landing and also their take off.

The four Choppers flight crew members were just absolutely marvelous, they jumped out of their craft while it was still off of the ground, and ran to our in need of a new roof, Chalet.’

Then they picked up both of our women skiers first, as should be, and placed them safely into their Choppers, and then came back to help the rest of us men, young and old, to climb ‘on board,’ for our return flight to safety. Yeah!

Charlie had read just last week, that the RMCP was founded in 1873, and he decided that it looked to be comparable to our United States FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), with our Border Patrol (ICE), put together.

Charlie said to himself as he was being swished away from the quaint little safe house on the side of the lovely yet quite dangerous mountain, and while he was still in the air, “Charlie, old fellow, I think that that might just be your last ski trip to Canada, or any place else, for that matter!

When the terrific RCMP ‘Air Rescue Unit’ dropped Charlie off just outside of the big Lodge, his good body building buddy, Arnie, was waiting to welcome him back to ‘civilization.’

He said, “Charlie old man, I am so very sorry that we got separated. I looked all over for you and then when the avalanche hit, hit big time, I had to ski like a bat out of hell, just to get back to the Lodge before being swallowed up by the rapidly advancing mountain of ice, rain and snow.

You are getting way, way to old for all of that kind of heart-pounding excitement, your job as a ‘Private Eye,’ provides plenty of excitement as well as lots of very dangerous activities.

That there, folks, is what happened to our man Charlie the ‘Private Eye,’ when one day he was trapped in the quaint and sturdy (thank God, yes, sturdy) snowed-in Chalet.’

January 16, 2022 15:24

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