A/N: I wrote this for school in 7th grade, I think...yep, 7th. Technically, it should be called fanfiction, but they don't have a slot for this poem. Based off Robert W. Service's The Cremation of Sam McGee
The original poem and plot belong to Robert W. Service. If I owned it, it wouldn't have had such an epic plot.
"It's cooooold," Sam moaned.
I rolled my eyes. This "phrase" has been playing itself over and over again for the last couple of days. Well, what did he expect? Hawaii? He wanted gold, he got it. We were traveling across the Yukon Territory, on the Dawson Trail, all because Sam heard of some gold rush. He called me in an instant when he looked it up in the "Tennessee Times". We both agreed to go together to mine gold.
"Yes, Sam," I gritted my teeth, "I know it's cold. I understand it's freezing. I see that if you keep on complaining, I SHALL DIE OF ANNOYANCE AND THEN YOU WILL HAVE TO BE BY YOURSELF!" I shouted those last words with all the strength I could muster. Echoes bounced against our sledge and flew away to nowhere. "It's cold," Sam barely whispered.
I lowered myself to the seat, regretting my sudden outburst. Poor Sam McGee. He's always feared the cold: seeking warmth every moment. It wasn't his fault. And I agreed with him: as our huskies drove us north, ice froze our eyelashes and closed our eyes, so we could barely see. I was angry at Sam; I was angry because I had given him some of my OWN layers. And he was still 'I am cold.' The nerve of him!
One night, as we were lying on our sleeping bags, the sun shining over our heads, Sam turned to me, and asked
"Hey, Rob. I guess that I'm gonna cash this trip."
"No!" I cried, "Please, Sam, don't leave me alone in this… in this," I helplessly swung my hand around.
"Huh. Scared o' the dark, are you?" he muttered darkly. "Well, I hope that at least that you will fulfill my last request. Now, I don't dread dying, an' I don't dread Hell—because that's where I want to end up. What I fear most is an icy grave. So," he inhaled the air, then coughed, "So can you please be kind enough and cremate my last remains?"
I turned my head towards him and opened my mouth to reply, but all that was left of Sam was a corpse. I shuddered, and was sick on the snow.
For many days, I traveled without the comforting hand of friendship. Of course, Sam wasn't exactly a comforting—he was more of a complaining companion—but at least he was somebody. I sighed, and whipped my head around to see if the body was still there. Oh, you would not believe how much I loathed it! It gruesomely observed my every move. Its mouth twisted around as if to say, "You promised me, eh?" It was so disgusting—the sight of it made me ill.
Finally, I stumbled upon a sunken ship, its prow embedded into the ice.
"Aha," I exclaimed with a sudden cry, "Here is my cre-ma-tor-eum."
I groped my way down to the boiler deck, and scanned the room for a boiler. I tore some planks from the cabin floor and tossed them in it. I struck a match, lighting up the boiler. I shoveled some coal and poured them into it. Then I, unwillingly, grabbed Sam and threw him in his crematorium. I didn't like to hear him sizzle so, so I stepped out and mushed my dogs a safe distance away. I ate a sandwich and drank some coffee from my thermos, and exhausted, fell asleep.
When I awoke, I decided to venture to the dreaded boiler room. I found my way through the dark, reached the handle of the boiler with a trembling hand, and slammed open the door.
"Why, Rob," he raised his eyebrows, "Please close that door. Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."
A/N: Hey, I don't know about you guys, but I love the ending. The last sentence is taken directly from the poem, and there are a few others too. But...for a 7th grader, I think I did well.
I'm not a 7th grader any more, if that's what you're thinking. I'm in freakin' high school.