This story is by Des Dixon and was part of our 2020 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
– ALONE TOGETHER –
Steve and Sandra Carlson shivered as they looked around the vacant log cabin. They had stumbled upon the place when lost in a blinding snowstorm that ended their skiing holiday. They discovered wood neatly stacked in a corner and started a roaring fire in the large cookstove.
Steve stoked the fire for the night when darkness and fatigue told it was time for bed.
Sleep wouldn’t come easily as the roof creaked and groaned under tons of snow. They feared they would be entombed if the roof collapsed while they slept. But exhaustion overcame fear and they fell into a deep sleep.
Sandra awoke at dawn from hunger and searched the kitchen for food. When she opened the kitchen cupboard Sadra did a double-take when she saw it was fully stocked with canned goods and a few other items. She woke up Steve and announced the good news, then opened a can of beans for breakfast. Then they had a can of beans, crackers with peanut butter, and a cup of tea.
“Hey dear, this tea gave me a real boost, I think it’s the best drink I ever had” I agree with you darling, right now it’s better than the most expensive bottle in our wine cellar”
After breakfast, Steve wandered around the cabin and came across something unexpected.
“Hey dear, there’s a plaque on the wall that says the cabin was left to the county by Randy and Fiona. They built it in 1969. I read the book and this is their story,”
“Randy and Fiona joined the Hippie movement after meeting on the way to Woodstock. After the concert and built a log cabin in Vermont and lived there itfor50 years then Fiona passed away with a stroke, Steve couldn’t bear to part with the woman he loved. He held her in his arms then let the fire die. A game Warden found them a month later both with frozen Fiona still in his arms.”
“What a wonderful love story darling, we owe them for saying us.”
“Yes dear, but we aren’t out of this place yet and our chances of being rescued are slim. This cabin is buried in snow except for the window where we have been getting sow for water.”
Steve and Sandra counted off the days by scratching an x on the table of their snowbound prison. The days turned into weeks and then a month went by with o sign they would be rescued. The flame of optimism they had when they had faded to a flicker when the cand of food in the cupboard had dwindled down to a precious few. They constructed a miniature clothesline where they hung teabags to dry and be reused over and over to fortify themselves.
“Sandra, it’s now possible we’re gonna leave this place in the same way Randy and Fiona did.”
“I often think about that possibility at night but we must not give up and we must stay positive.”
“Ya, as long as you’ll be at my side I’ll be okay with that baby.”
“We did our best to survive this and I’ll always love you whatever happens.”
“Sandra, I’m sorry that I talked you into this skiing holiday, especially when you wanted to go to a secluded beach cottage in Florida.”
” Let’s not get into that darling as I would have dug my heels in if I really didn’t want o go.”
They lived on meager rations then ran out of food and were too weak to pull up more floorboards for fuel. In their final effort to survive, they cut up their bed and threw it on the stove. The fire roared as the oil-based paint spewed black smoke but gave them the last burst of heat before fading to an ember. Then the cabin grew cold and they began to lose body heat.
Steve and Sandra spent their final night lying huddled together on a mattress covered with blankets, unable to continue their fight for survival.
They were still alive at the dawn of the next day when they heard the unmistakable, but muffled thud-thud-thud of a helicopter propeller and shortly after a banging on the window. The window and frame fell crashing to the floor and when Stevie and Sandra saw the yellow of the Search and Rescue team. They knew they were saved!
They were given medical treatment for dehydration and an energy bar then were hooked up to a harness and carried up to the helicopter by a cable. The helicopter pilot told them a passing aircraft pilot saw black smoke coming from the chimney then reported the GPS reading. Search and Rescue knew it was Randy and Fiona’s log cabin and so we got here as soon as we could.