Thursday, April 27, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 103rd Installment

A white out! The clouds were horizon to horizon pure even white and low maybe only several feet above us. The white in the sky blended right into the white snow–covered ground. With the frost covering all the brush, even the brush was white. This was the most insane thing I have ever experienced, and I was scared. Flat identical country for miles and all landmarks erased – nothing visible that would give me a sense of direction to return to the road. Which way? I walked in what I thought was a deliberate circle – was I sure of this? I stood and listened hard trying to turn up the volume of my ears. I was met with silence, profound silence, my eyes straining to see further, see anything but the white nothingness. I stood that way for a very long time waiting for something to see or hear.

Russell! Russ! Max! Yoo–hoo?” I yelled to test my hearing. No answer, nothing. Now I was petrified. In the cold freezing winter, in a land so big and similar that you can get lost on a summer’s day, I’m on foot and can’t see or hear anything. The standing, waiting, just made me sicker to my stomach. I picked a direction into an ever so slight breeze thinking I would be heading west because the wind usually blew in from the west. I walked as straight as I could imagine for about an hour, stopping to yell, and then listen. I was sure Russ and Max were just as lost as I was, but I believed I was colder and definitely hungrier. I fired my gun straight up thinking the muzzle blast would travel further than my voice. Was it my imagination? The usual crack of a rifle was harsh and would echo and then slip away, but now, ‘pop’ then nothing, no echo, no rumble across the land. Was the pure white cold sucking up all the sound, and with it, my hope to get out?

For another hour I kept moving, yelling and listening. I might as well have shut my eyes for all the good they were doing in this pure white world. I was cold and something in my brain was calling for me to lie down – What! I shucked the feeling off, yelled some more and fired my rifle in the thick air again. Nothing. After another hour the pure white horizon started turning slightly gray. Crap, now the colder night is beginning. I had only brought three shells because I never carried more than that when I was deer hunting (one for the shot, one to put a dying animal out of its misery ‘if needed,’ and one for luck). I kept thinking, of all the horrible ways to die, cold was somewhere between water and a grizzly bear!

Thump” Huh? Was that a gun shot? I wasn’t paying attention. Which way did it come from? I couldn’t tell. Crap.
500 more words tomorrow 

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