The temperature plummeted. Windows frosted. Lights flickered. Skadi uncurled from before the crackling fireplace. A feat of engineering, it was a verticle hotplate, operated by a thermostat near the door. With smart technology, she could conjure any digital image with the tap of a button on the remote. If she could remember where the remote was.
Moving with swiftness through the tiny chalet, she approached the thermostat. Nestled between the door and the master lights, she tapped it up several degrees. Moving to the window, she pulled the heavy curtain aside. Pure, white, snow-covered the bottom half. A swirling maelstrom whirled in eddies above it. The wind was too blustery for even icicles to form.
Sighing, she returned to her position before the pseudo hearth. Glancing at her phone, it was simple to see that there was no service. There would be no connection to the internet for this ordeal. Once again, she regretted her overdependence on technology. If she had had at least the foresight to bring a radio, she might have been able to stay linked to the world for updates.
Laying on her back, she spread her arms to her side, and stretched her legs out before her, feet facing the warmth. Snuggling into the genuine New Zealand lambskin, her eyes drifted closed.
With a start, her eyes snapped open. The blizzard had receded. Everything was silent. The chalet; dark, except for the fire.
Sitting up, she glanced at her phone. The battery was dead.
A glint of red reflected from a shiny board between herself and the fire. Skadi was sure that hadn't been there before she slept. Investigating it, she recognized the cheap Ouiji board she purchased from Amazon. Skadi did it on the dare of a friend. It had been a joke. Skadi never used the board. When she had been packing for her weekend getaway, she had added it on a whim. Skadi thought on the off chance she encountered a blizzard and her internet got cut off, at least she could still communicate with the spirits.
Getting up, she moved with silence through the chalet, to the lights. Tapping them on, she felt frustrated when they refused to respond. The power was still on, otherwise, she wouldn't be warm. It seemed the lights had their own agenda.
Skadi stalked to the kitchenette. Rumagain through the doors, she found 5 candles. Yellow, red, blue, green, and white. A black lighter lay next to them. Grabbing some plates, she returned with her stash to her rug.
Placing the candles on the plates, she lit them. The illumination from the candles and the fire would do.
Sitting down, she placed the Ouiji board with the planchette between herself and the fire. Making herself comfortable, she closed her eyes. Skadi took several deep breaths, clearing her mind.
Placing her fingers on the planchette, she asked out loud, "Is anybody there?"
A chill travelled its way down her spine.
The planchette dragged Skadi's fingers to the 'Yes' position.
"Is the blizzard over?"
The wind gusted, howling like a thousand banshee's deprived of a meal. Dishes rattled in the cupboards. The flames on the candles danced in a breeze that did not exist. A flurry of snow beat at the windows.
"What is your name?"
'S, Y, R.' The planchette spelled.
"Do I know you?"
"No. I know you."
"How?" Skadi's stomach flipped.
"I've been watching you for a very long time. Many lifetimes. I've been waiting to make contact with you. This is why you are here. To see that everything you think isn't real is."
The conversation made Skadi uncomfortable. It was not a line of reasoning she felt capable of dealing with, snowed in, cut off from society.
Skadi resumed control of the discussion. There were real answers she could get and verify their accuracy later.
"Will I leave on time?"
Skadi rocked back, keeping contact with the planchette. The answer didn't make sense. If the blizzard were to continue it would be impossible for her to leave on time. No one but the people she had rented the chalet through knew that she was there. It was private accommodation. The owners were away themselves on vacation.
It would be impossible for her to leave. The doorway would need digging out. There was no equipment in the chalet for her to be able to do this.
"How?" Skadi queried.
Syr answered, "The owners are already aware of the situation. They have contacted the emergency services to dig you out. Emergency services will arrive in 36 hours. You will be asleep. They will wake you up in the morning. You won't be able to speak. You will open the door moments before they break-in. They will give you fresh coffee from a green thermos."
Impossible, Skadi thought to herself.
The planchette pulled her fingers to the 'No' position.
Skadi detached from the planchette. Scrabbling backward across the floor on her hands and feet, she didn't stop until the back of her head hit the corner of the coffee table.
Skadi lost consciousness.
Loud bashing on the door kept time with the throbbing in Skadi's head. There was no memory of her regaining consciousness. Reaching her hand behind her head, she felt a huge lump. Exploring it, she noted that there was no dried blood.
"Hey! You in there? Are you ok? Open the door or we will knock it down!" A deep voice yelled.
Skadi was unable to even squeak out a reply. Upon unsteady feet, she inched her way towards the door. The lights were working. The interior was bright.
Opening the door, she saw a huge neanderthal of a man preparing to heave his shoulder into it. When he noticed her, he stopped. From somewhere behind him he received a green thermos. With a smile, he offered her a cup of the finest tasting roast she had ever scented.
"It's a weird story. The owner contacted us. He said someone called Syr came to him in a dream, telling him you would have an accident. Are you ok?" The man asked.
Skadi stared. "Yes. I did have an accident. I knocked myself out on the coffee table."
A look passed through the man's eyes. "People around here are not superstitious, but a lot of times, things happen. The most practical of people get the oddest of warnings. Always from Syr. We know, if we get a message from her, we listen."
"Yeah," Skadi agreed. "I had a conversation with this Syr before I knocked myself out. Syr said that the owner would send a rescue team."
The man arched an eyebrow at Skadi. "The medics are here with the stretcher. Shall we go?"
Skadi nodded. With gingerness, she placed herself on the stretcher. The medics took her obs and moved her to the ambulance. Before the transport took her to the hospital, the man brought her luggage to her. Handing her the Ouiji board, he stated, "You don't want to forget this."
Skadi shook her head. A grimace plastered itself to her face. "Actually, I do. You keep it. Or give it to the owner. It isn't an experience I care to repeat."
The man smiled as the doors closed. Sirens filled the silence.
Never The End