Cold

I was concerned I wouldn't survive the night, and with good reason. I felt stupid. How could I have not anticipated something like this happening? Of all of the luck, it would be mine that would cause me to break down in the middle of nowhere in the dead of winter. Everything around me was empty, save for the ice covering the trees and – sadly – my car. The car was so frozen over that I thought I'd turn into a giant block of ice had I stayed inside.

I pulled my thick, pink coat tighter around me, scanning the area for something, anything, warm. I was wary of going near the trees; the icicles were liked medieval swords, just waiting for someone to sit or stand below them to impale and stain the snow red. There was a gutter beside the road, but it was so filled with snow I was certain that it would only make me colder. Without a fire, I was afraid I might die before someone drove by that could help. I had already been there hours and hours, yet not one car had passed.

I became briefly entertained when I let out a sigh of frustration; somehow, the childlike joy of breathing into the icy air to make a cloud of warmth brought me out of my bit of sorrow. I shook my head and turned back to the car. The windows were covered, the top was covered, and everything else was covered. I took a step closer and touched the passenger window lightly with my gloved hand. It stuck to the ice. There was a good chance that the car was going to freeze shut; I'd probably never be able to drive it again, but I didn't know enough about cars to be sure.

I was at a loss for what to do. My phone had no service, or else I would have called someone, and I had nothing I could make a fire with. I briefly wished that I was a smoker, since I would likely have a lighter, but then I remembered I have nothing to catch fire to. Well, maybe an old newspaper in my car, but that would barely do any good with the speed that paper burns.

I looked back at the trees. The icicle swords still frightened me, but there was a part of one tree that wasn't covered in snow, perhaps protected by the limbs above it. If I could get there without knocking down the icicles, it might be warmer than standing up, attempting to cuddle into my coat. I decided to try it; at the very least, some person would at least be slightly entertained – if not horrified – to find a dead body impaled by an icicle of ridiculous proportions beside a car that was essentially nothing but a block of ice.

The snow crunched under my boots as I made my way to the tree. The icicles were like a maze I needed to get through, but I couldn't concentrate due to the sharp wind racing past my ears. I couldn't try and push one aside because it might start a chain reaction and knock them all down. I figured my only hope was to try to crawl under the bottom of the icicles without jostling any of them. I dropped down onto my knees, blessing the fact that I had worn snow pants, and did a strange combination of a normal baby crawl and an army crawl under the pointy tips of the icicles.

After a few more moments of struggling, I was under the canopy of ice. I leaned my back against the tree, pulled my hood tighter around my head, and closed my eyes. When would someone drive by? Was I going to die here? I was just going on a simple, overnight trip to visit my parents. Why had some higher power decided I need to go through this? Had I done something wrong? I became worried that I wouldn't get out of this situation alive.

A hypothetical clock was ticking down the time in my head; tick, tock. Tick tock. I started feeling so delirious that I would hallucinate headlights coming, but as I would think they were approaching, they would disappear. It was like being stranded in a desert and wanting water so badly that you would see it before you, but as you reached the oasis in your vision, it would disappear. The cold kept creeping through my coat, through my snow pants, and I eventually slipped into sleep. I just hoped that someone would come by and take me to a hospital so that I could wake up one day.


A/N: A setting assignment for Intro to Creative Writing in which we were shown a picture of a frozen car near a frozen tree.

C. E. Taylor