Well, after countless days of staring at the login page and wondering what kind of story I should put up, I finally found inspiration in a book called Encyclopedia Horrifica. It's got some interesting things about myths and stuff, but it's really good for thinking of things to write about. And this is where Of Ice, Men, and Dogs comes in.

1. Siberia, Here We Come



"Emergency rations?"


"Sex life?"

"Che-- hey!"

Raine snorted and giggled, waving a hand in her brother's general direction. "I'm kidding, Reis. It's only a joke." She grinned and tossed him a flashlight, followed by four large batteries. "Put those in there, too. A cave's been reported near our site, and I want to check it out."

Reis stuck his tongue out at his older sister, but did as he was told, rocking back on his heels to rest against the wall. "Tell me again why I'm going with you, to Siberia, of all places, to find something that might not even exist?"

Raine Adams was an archaeologist, fresh into her studies, and took her work very seriously. Her third project was to lead an expedition to the peak of the Siberian Mountains in search of evidence of a civilization dubbed the Seekers. A large boulder had directed them to snowy mountains, and Raine was instantly hooked on the case as soon as she saw the words, 'sentient being'.

She was twenty six, a pretty face, a short stature, and long honey blonde hair, opposite of her younger brother. She had an affinity for earrings and shiny jewelry, and loved to pry into Reis' nonexistent social life.

Reis, an assistant to the project, was tall, gangly, and pale, with a shock of red hair that could put a carrot to shame. They shared the same blue eyes, bright and vibrant against their complexions. He'd had his twentieth birthday two weeks previous, and Raine considered this trip a belated birthday present.

Raine zipped up her large backpack and hauled it over to the front door. "Because," she grunted, dropping the heavy bag on the carpeted floor. "I have the chance to find a being that probably isn't human, study it, and find out how, exactly, it wiped out an entire civilization alone."

A blank stare. "Your point?"

"I get to study a big furry beast and ask its corpse to tell us how it killed people. What more do I need?"

The redhead grinned and picked his own bag up, considerably stronger than Raine. "A life." He stepped over various tech junk that he didn't know the name or use of and tossed his backpack the remaining three feet.

They took a taxi to the Logan International Airport and boarded their plane somewhere near lunch time, Reis huddling close to the window in an attempt to keep his stomach calm. Raine chatted animatedly with one of her colleagues, drifting from subject to subject and ignoring her brother's obvious airsickness. He'd get over it.

Reis lost count of the hours it took to get to Siberia, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't sleep for more than a few minutes at a time.

As soon as the plane landed, Reis thanked his lucky stars, held his stomach and his carry-on, and stumbled out of the plane. His thick winter jacket and woolen scarf felt like they did nothing to help warm him, but he could have been worse. The company car was a glimpse of heaven for him, and has Raine climbed into the front seat, he collapsed in the back and rested his head against the luggage that wouldn't fit in the trunk. He'd never been so thankful for the promise of a warm room and hot chocolate. It was cold.

The hotel they were staying in wasn't far, and it didn't take long to unload the car and bring everything in.

"Reis, can you grab that one? My hands are full!" Raine pointed carefully with her foot to a duffel bag a few feet away.

Reis snatched it up and balanced it carefully on top of the pile in his arms, then walked past into the lobby. "What room are we in?" he asked over his shoulder.

The driver, Raymond Crosby, peeked over his smaller load, mostly delicate equipment. "Room 106, left hallway." he called back, nearly losing his balance on the first step. "You can start unpacking everything right away, if you want. We'll be heading up the mountain in a day or two, so you can sleep in."

Reis muttered, "Oh, thank you, God…" under his breath.