Susan headed out for the long drive up the mountain to reach her cabin getaway. It had been some time since she had the time to visit. Susan was looking forward to alone time. Something she needed to do for herself. Just heading out was peaceful in thought.
How long had it been? Unable to remember the last time she was here. While all the pandemics were ongoing, she had not taken the time to for herself. But here she was, after giving her notice, heading to a place where she could write, enjoy the peace and think of all that had happened in these confusing times.
Driving up the long trail she noticed a few trees had fallen; fortunately for her, the driveway was clear and leaving her pathway to the top open. As an isolated cabin, there was very little chance of anyone showing up, so she knew there would have plenty of time to do her writing and be alone. Though she had not been here for some time, the cabin was still pretty good, needing only minor cleanup. Dust sheets covered everything, leaving it clean. There seemed to be plenty of firewood in the bin. At least she would have heat for the next few days before having to worry about cutting wood or bringing more in from the wood corral out by the barn.
As she began cleaning, she was thinking of where to start with her writing. It's been a while since Susan had written anything. She was excited and yet afraid to begin.
A sudden loud crash of thunder and lightning boomed in the sky. Having finished cleaning and making a meal for herself Susan took a nice hot shower getting ready to relax for the evening. Lucky for me, I'm all set for work and safe inside with a fire for heat, she thought. Susan was hoping for a relaxing evening. Just what she needed, even if she wasn't planning to write.
After working on her story for several hours, Susan decided it was time to turn it in as she slept. The fire slowly burned out. She pulled the covers a little closer and dreamed of happier times. With the first light of dawn, Susan woke, felt the cold in the air as soon as she climbed out of bed. Building a fire to warm things up and looking out the window was shocking to see it snowing. There was no place to go and nothing to do, so having had breakfast, Susan began to write.
Thankfully she had power and the internet to work with, but it was as if the elements heard her thoughts, and without warning, there came a loud crash. A tree had fallen close to the cabin. Unbelievable! With the tree hitting the cable lines, there would be no internet. Luckily, she still had power. At least she could still write. Glad she had parked her car inside the barn. She didn't have to worry about trees hitting it.
Susan decided to call someone about the fallen tree so they could repair the internet. Little did she realize not only had she lost her internet connection, but she had lost all cell connections. Now for the first time, she felt alone and maybe a little scared. What if something else happened? How was she to let anyone know where she was? When she planned this trip, her thought was great no one knew where she was or where she was going. That didn't seem to be the smartest thing she had done now. How was she to let anyone know? There was no connection to anything.
Two weeks had passed since the tree had fallen cutting her off from everyone. There had been plenty of firewood to keep her warm, but now the food supply was running low. With her driveway blocked by the fallen tree, no cell service, and no internet, how could she leave or get help? When would the snow stop?
Susan continued to work on her book as much as possible. She was trying not to think of her options of maybe hiking out. Having not hiked in years, it would be a task. Having an office job, working long hours, and never taking time off she had not spent time enjoying the things she loved most.
Three weeks passed, and more snow had fallen. Now it was time to head out. With most of the food gone, needing more firewood brought up to the cabin, and now the power had out, there was nothing left to do but hike. Somewhere the lines must be down. Susan picked up her laptop, cell phone, and little food for quick eating with no choice left. She had to leave.
Strange how you never think of life, living, and those you care about until you face the fear of maybe never seeing them again. Her first thoughts were of Tom, her loyal friend, for years. He was, however, the first person she thought of when thinking she might not make it back. It was a long drive, and hiking was going to take even longer. Sure, there were shortcuts to take that a vehicle couldn't, but it would still be a long hike, and snow was starting to fall again. She was knee-deep in snow, but before long, it would be up to her thighs. She had to make her trip quick or risk not making it at all.
Susan had not made a great time walking down the mountain. She started to worry if maybe she should have stayed in the cabin. With no firewood, no food, and no power, she would have either frozen or starved. The sky was beginning to darken. She trudged on. Making slow progress and with nightfall coming, Susan decided to make camp. She saw a fallen tree overlapping a boulder making a light shelter and set up a temporary spot to wait the night. The snow kept falling.
Meanwhile, back in the city, Tom had started to worry about Susan. He had tried to call, but it went right to voice mail. He drove over to her place and had checked the place out using her spare outside key. and it was getting colder. It appeared We need all the help we can get as if no one had been there in a while. Tom became even more worried. Where could she be? Then he remembered her getaway cabin. Susan must have gone there after quitting her job. He would have to check it out and make sure she was okay.
Driving up the mountain road, Tom saw crews of men clearing the roadways. What happened? he asked. The ground is still wet with all the recent rains, and the trees are hard to stand. Several have fallen, blocking the roadway. We are clearing them off to open the road and make it safe for travel. Tom told them his friend staying in a cabin up the mountain needed checking on. The men told him power lines, and internet cables were down, so he could not travel up the mountain until cleared. He volunteered to help to speed things along.
They worked most of the day but had not finished by nightfall. Warning Tom not to venture up the mountain until the roads opened, he returned home with a promise to return in the morning. We need help said one of the men.
Susan had walked on the following day and still had not traveled far. It was torture trying to walk in this heavy snow. There was no choice but to continue. As her second night out came and with only a tiny place for shelter, she tried to use the snow as a blanket. Once, she had heard that if you were in a snowstorm, cover yourself with snow to stay warmer. Susan was very cold, tired, and hungry. This wasn't how life should end? Hugging herself she fell asleep.
Tom and the work crew worked as hard and fast as they could. Having cleared most of the roadway, Tom decided he could travel by foot toward the top, and they could follow as soon as the way was clear.
Tom started up the mountain but found it was a lot harder than he thought it would be. He had enough hot coffee for a few hours but knew it wouldn't last long in this cold. Carrying a backpack with emergency items and heat blankets, he kept going hoping he would find Susan soon.
The night began to fall; Susan was just too tired to go on. She had to stop. There were fallen tree branches and other trees all around; Susan did her best to make a shelter from what would move. With nothing left for food or drink, she ate some snow to keep her throat wet.
Tom knew it was getting dark. He also knew if he didn't find her soon, it could be bad for her and possibly for him. Unable to stop, Tom had to keep going. Having finished off all the hot coffee, he only had water left. Tom was afraid the water would freeze as it was that cold out here. Out of the clear, he saw something move under a pile of broken limbs and tree trunks. On further examination, it was Susan. Tom hurried as fast as he could in this mess and found she was still alive; although she was nearly frozen, she was alive. He held her close for a minute and then rubbed her arms and legs to warm her up. Upon waking, Susan had fallen asleep and was never so glad to see someone as she was to see Tom.
How did you find me? She asked. My heart could fell your heart, and I followed to where you are. Susan, I've never told you this, but I love you, and I couldn't stand it if anything happened to you. Oh, Tom, I think I love you too as you were the first person I thought about when I thought I would die out here. I didn't want to die without seeing you one more time. He gave her water and some of the emergency food he had. It may be morning before they find us, as it is too late and dark to try to find us tonight. We'll be okay together. I have emergency blankets.
Morning came, and the work crew was up the trail before the sun had hardly risen. Finding the couple, they made emergency plans to lift them down. Both were doing well, and Susan told Tom, you were what kept me going. The thought of you kept me warm inside. Tom said we should make this permanent, the two of us. Susan said I agree. Being on a mountain top with lost connections woke me up. I don't want to be alone anymore.