Cold world

One glance at the sky told me there will be more snow this evening. This winter has been longer than usual. I knew that even though I have lost track about time since I moved to live on that mountain. Away from cities. Away from the stressful way of life. From people hurrying to catch with whatever has left from their lives. From nervous people. From people in general…
I wanted to be left alone and it was fine to live here.

***
The nearest town is about 70km away and frankly, it looked more like a village than a town. The most important thing for me was that I could arrange to have food and necessities supplied directly to my log cabin once in every three months. The supplier was an middle aged man, wrinckled face, almost bald; hands always greasy from machine oil. He never asked too much questions and it was fine with me. I never asked any questiones. At all…
Since I have lost interest about time, the only way to count it, were his visits. I knew a year has gone after every 4 visits and there were 11 of them since I retreated to my shelter. And he was never late, I knew that by the receipts I signed, always a tenth day of a month, with three months in betweeen.
Until now.

***
His last visit was in January, by a date on the receipt, and even though I didn’t have any calendar in my cabin, the amount of food left in my larder was dangerously low at the moment. So I knew he was late. I thought it may be because of snow, there has been a lot of it this winter and even though spring was always late in these mountains and it was usual to see it on peaks even in May, this time clouds seemed to bring some more soon. And it was very cold, freezing, well below zero. With a wind blowing day and night, whistling through tree trunks.
I was rarely hunting, I had enough food and it was not necessary; now I started to observe egde of a wood, the place where boars and roe deers sometimes visited, watching toward my cabin. But it has been some time since I saw them.

***
When my only food left were few cans with meet and fish and three half dried apples, I realised it was a time to take some action. Wrinckled face didn’t come and there were no deers in sight; soon I will start to starve and snow was still persistent. It was falling for over a week now, actually all I can remember for a last few months were only gray days with snow and wind. No sun at all.
I took all of my food and a riffle – maybe I will be lucky with hunting – and decided to go to the city. It would take 2 days in a normal weather, so I guessed I would need probably 4 days to reach it – about enough time with the food I have left with. And because of snow, I decided to go to highway, hopefully I could find a ride there.
Locked the door and looked around – everything white except the line of a dark wood. Damned snow…

***
It was not that hard walking through wood, there were a lot of snow between trees but not too deep. When it became dark enough, I made a shelter and spent the night half sleeping in my sleeping bag. With a first sign of a dawn I ate some food and packed a bag in backpack. I was shaking, my hands stiff, but walking warmed me a bit.
The real trouble started when I left wood and started to walk across the plains. Snow was very deep and I needed to rest after every hundred meters or so. I was sweating despite cold wind, breathing hard, pain in my legs. On the end of a second day, I made a shelter in a snow, tired as hell. Fall asleep immediately, without a dinner.

***
Woke up early, my muscles stiffed and painful, hardly been able to eat something. My lips covered with wounds from a wind. For a first time a thought crossed my mind that this was maybe a mistake. That I should stayed at my cabin no matter what. I dislodged thoughts of doubt; there would be no point of staying there, I would be sorry if I didn’t try this. Anyway, highway should be close now and someone will help me there.
After few hours I thought that I was lost. According to map and compass I should see highway and cars by now. Felt a short panic attack but got a grip on myself. I am not wrong. I followed a map thoroughly and soon I will be on a highway. I lost senses on my feet and moved further with only one thought in mind – to survive. Wind, very strong out there in the open, pushed me severeal times down in a deep snow.

***
I would miss it if there was no red letters on that truck, one of those big road cruisers. I almost ran toward it, hoping to find a driver and ask for help. Fall several times on a face; this is why I didn’t notice there was no one there. Until I stood beside it. And saw a line of smaller shapes; cars covered with a thick layer of snow. It was a highway, no doubt, but if there were no cars I would probably miss it. I climbed on top of one of it and looked around. There were two lines of odd shapes; cars jammed one close to the other, covered with snow and ice, abandoned. What happened? Jumped down by the car I was standing on and cleaned a snow; there was no one in it. I guessed they were all rescued after the storm started. Well, I will have to walk again. But at least now I was sure where a town was, even though it was impossible to see more than a fifty meters away. Wind renewed its strength and I prowled my neck deeper in a jacket. Ok, soon I will be in safety…

***
Cars were jammed all the way and I needed often to climb over them. This was how I discovered first body. I slipped and tried to hold on something; my arm removed some snow from a windshield and I saw a driver, still fastened with a seat belt. I was looking at him in a shock, then jumped by the passenger door and opened it. He was dead, frozen and his hands on a wheel, holding it like in agony. Newspapers on a seat beside him, with a big black letters across cover page: DISASTER. Damned newspapers; they would print whatever in order to increase a sale. Then I saw something, printed by the upper corner of a page, with a small font, so usual for that kind of information. My blood froze and I felt short of breath.
It was a date…
I couldn’t remember the rest of that day clearly. I opened few more cars just to discover more bodies. Sometimes whole families. With a same expression on their frozen faces; hugging kids; holding each other’s hands….

In Thursday, July 27th, 2017, I discovered I was finaly left alone in a world very cold…

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111 Responses to Cold world

  1. thaodp says:

    *Shivers* I should come back my fairyland.

  2. gdare says:

    Lorenzo, does it matter? ;)My idea was to tell a story of a man who desperately wanted to escape from a world he belonged once; to escape from something he was connected with, despite all his efforts.Actually, the idea was not completely mine; I remember I read a comic several years ago, with similar topic but very short. I just worked around it more. Also, few weeks ago I saw a movie about a young man who wanted to go to Alaska to live without obligations and limits of everyday life. One of the last sentences he wrote in his diary before he died of starving was: "Happiness is meant to be shared".

  3. gdare says:

    Mit, I was thinking about writing it while I was riding in a bus, watching a snowstorm we had yesterday 😀 I hope your winter is not that sharp 😀

  4. LorenzoCelsi says:

    And what was the "disaster"?

  5. thaodp says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    I hope your winter is not that sharp

    No, it isn't :happy:Nice story, Darko. I enjoy reading it. Yours makes me thing of an article I read some years ago. It was about a young man who decided to go to the wild after graduating from his university – finally, like the man in the movie you saw, he died of starving.

  6. thetomster says:

    😉 😀

  7. claudeb says:

    Very nice. Reminded me of several works of fiction I like.

  8. thetomster says:

    :up: I enjoyed it very much … the idea that there's no escape from life anyway is very familiar for me … I thought I could hide myself in everyday life … not without all obligations but because of them, living behind a wall of obligations … the most important you told in your comment above … "Happiness is meant to be shared!" … good one, Darko … very very good and it got me :up: … thanks for sharing!

  9. ellinidata says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    My idea was to tell a story of a man who desperately wanted to escape from a world he belonged once; to escape from something he was connected with, despite all his efforts.

    escape from the world but never from himself… that follows him always!a very nice read Darko,thanks for sharing! :up:

  10. thaodp says:

    :whistle: 😀

  11. L2D2 says:

    I really enjoyed this story Dare. Reminds me a bit of The Day After Tomorrow, except your has a dark ending. Good read. You can't escape from life no matter how hard you try—it will catch up to you sooner or later.

  12. L2D2 says:

    BTW—-I hope you are collecting the stories you write into a notebook of some kind.

  13. LorenzoCelsi says:

    I've read many similar stories in Science Fiction. There are also movies and TV shows. The most used "tricks" are sudden epidemies (the usual virus created by the military) or nuclear war. But most of the times the event does not leave a single survivor (which is extremely improbable) but a post-atomic world where survivors must struggle to overcome difficulties and recreate the world. There are variations like astronauts coming back from years long voyages, scientists hibernated in some underground laboratory, robots, aliens, time travels, etc.So I would say that yes, it is important, everything starts from there… :)It has been very cold also here lately and it snowed again.

  14. thetomster says:

    Originally posted by thetomster:

    No, it isn't

    … says Ms. blue scarf :p

  15. sanshan says:

    I've always wondered if the world will change when I go off into the wilderness for a camping trip. No news, no internet for a week or so. Will my home still be there? Will the world still exist as I know it. As it is, usually nothing has changed. (not always a good thing! lol)

  16. Spaggyj says:

    I liked this. Dark, on the thoughtful side rather than carnage and mayhem. A "careful what you wish for" tone, too. Hm.

  17. gdare says:

    Mit, it is possible that we saw the same movie :DLorenzo, have you read "The Death of Grass" by John Cristopher; one of the SF books I like the most :up:Dirk, sometimes I wish to escape for a week or so, to rest my mind in a calm surrounding. But there is always a touch of civilisation in Europe; you can never really escape :DFelix, I have discovered that a lot of people I know here like SF; good :up:Linda, I have them all in a file or two – except this one, because I was writing it directly to Opera blog. And I wrote it only in English. But it will be easy to copy and paste it.Angeliki, we are "children" of the places where we grew up and live; we will always have a piece of it with us, no matter where we go and what we do 🙂 Thanks!San, well I won`t be pleased to find my building destroyed after earthquake on my return from somewhere; on the other hand, if I was there I would maybe died in the same earthquake :left: I guess it is all in a standpoint, how you look at it :DKimmie, exactly, one day a wish may come true; with God only knows what consequences…. :left: I am glad you liked it.

  18. Dacotah says:

    I was confused as to what this was until I read your comment about a story you were telling. :DGood story Darko.

  19. risis1977 says:

    Soo freezing out there :eyes:But I think I love snow :yes:Great post darko , :up:

  20. There2ia says:

    Darko … i like the stories, … You get the point about life. No one can completely live alone. "LIfe means sharing"

  21. Stardancer says:

    Someone asked me once if I am a hermit. I answered, "No, I'm not, but I understand the mentality."Very good story, Darko. Well-written.:up:

  22. sanshan says:

    🙂

  23. Dacotah says:

    😀 :sst: Thought you made a typo on the date. 😀

  24. thetomster says:

    … so what you're waiting for, have a :coffee: get on your bus and … 💡

  25. gdare says:

    Carol, I knew some people might be confused at the beggining, but I wanted to take them slowly into story; at one point it became obvious :DRisis, we have some more snow this morning, you are welcome to take it all now 😀 Thanks!Theresia, we are social people, so even some of us need to be alone, as a way of life, we depend on each other; more or less 🙂 Thanks!Star, on the other hand, people can be so lonely even in a crowded room; sometimes we are hermits in everyday life; Thank you :)San, I am glad you liked it 🙂

  26. gdare says:

    When I will have another "bright light in my head" moment while driving in bus 😆

  27. sanshan says:

    When's the sequel coming out?

  28. gdare says:

    😆 I checked on my computer, so July 27th, 2017 is a Thursday for sure 😀

  29. Dacotah says:

    😀

  30. thetomster says:

    :hi: Carol

  31. L2D2 says:

    Yes, I want at least three more installments. He has to find someone alive some where on earth. This can't end like On the Beach.

  32. gdare says:

    Dirk, 😆 ok, I will keep on thinking but won't promise anything :DLinda, I will have to google On the Beach 😀

  33. Dacotah says:

    Hi Dirk :DHi Darko. 🙂

  34. sanshan says:

    Of course there should be some romance in the next installment. Perhaps he will find a half frozen Liv Tyler in the snowbank. He'll carry her back to his cabin…:rolleyes:

  35. sanshan says:

    Oh, but you have the power to make any happy ending you want. 🙂

  36. SittingFox says:

    So glad to see you back to story-telling! :yes:Quite a dark tale! Liked it :up: Maybe a question of being careful what you wish for…the character's wish for solitude is an answered in a way that he never expected. Hmm.

  37. gdare says:

    San, by the time I would come to her castle, Arwen would be in Lothlórien already :awww::PAdele, thanks 🙂 Sometimes people want more than it is good for them. And some got lost between wishes and possibilities. This is when a reality kicks. Usually hard :left:

  38. gdare says:

    I wish…. :awww:

  39. sanshan says:

    The wish for solitude is forever in a power struggle with the desire to share happiness…

  40. BabyJay99 says:

    Phewww… that was a long article 😛 Just kidding Sir Darko 😀 :up: :up: 🙂

  41. gdare says:

    San, wish for solitude makes people realize that happiness is in sharing :DLea, but it is long 😀

  42. sanshan says:

    Well done grasshopper. 🙂

  43. gdare says:

    Thanks :happy:

  44. BabyJay99 says:

    😀 :up:

  45. MirabelaTM says:

    You have writing skill, Darko :up: I like this idea "Happiness is meant to be shared".

  46. gdare says:

    Thank you, Mira. I am glad people liked it especially because this is my first story written in English first. Usually, I would write it in Serbian than translate. This time I had it in my mind in English from the beggining 😀

  47. gdare says:

    Yes, I am waiting to have some suggestions from Kimmie now 😀

  48. thetomster says:

    :up: first written in English? … good one :up: I know how hard it is … trying every day 😀

  49. qlue says:

    It's a good story Darko. :up:.It's similar in style to a Steven King short story! :yes:.A common theme in Sci-fi actually. :happy:.("The Last Man On Earth", "I Am Legend", "The Langoliers".)

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