The snow came hard, never letting up as it quickly consumed everything it touched. First coating and then covering. It didn’t take long before there were nothing but white lumps of ice everywhere one looked. The windows were had frosted up quickly as the temperature dropped as if desiring to match the snow’s tenacity. The two were in competition with one another, both unwilling to lose. They wanted to know who would be the winner of their game while the rest of the world was left wondering: what would happen to us and what did this storm bring with it?
The fall was unprecedented and took all of us by surprise. There was no planning, no precautions. We couldn’t even make a trip to the store to pick up the standard snow essentials: bread, milk, eggs. Even without those however we are still doing alright with food. Food was the one thing we didn’t have to worry about. We have canned goods and other dry foods that we can eat to keep us nourished. And… there is only two of us now so it’ll stretch out longer. In terms of food we should be fine for a while, but if the snow doesn’t stop soon we will certainly run out of food soon. If worse comes to worse we could always try our luck at the store again but that is something we only want to try if all else fails. The store is only a mile from our house but it is the most dangerous mile ever. And trying to make the trek was tantamount to playing Russian roulette with five round revolver and four chambers were full.
It wasn’t always like this, cowering under blankets, staring out the window and wondering how close to death we really were. I’ve never really experienced much snow in my twenty plus years of life and at first was delighted by it. I know there were some hefty storms growing up but I don’t remember them. I just know they existed because of the photos I’ve seen of when I was younger. I don’t know if it is due to climate or global warming, but whatever the case the most I ever had to deal with was a few flurries here and there. So to say my friends and I weren’t exactly prepared would be accurate.
It started out as any day in February. My alarm woke me and I started my day as I always did. I get up fairly early to get a quick workout in before showering and then heading to work. That morning however when I woke up I noticed something strange. At 6 a.m. in February it should still be fairly dark, but I noticed that it was strangely bright. I hadn’t even finished putting on my gym clothes when I peered out the window and saw snow starting to pile up on my car. The street was covered with a thick white sheet, as was everything else in our street. I was in awe because I had never seen anything like it outside of TV and pictures. I immediately went to tell my roommates that it was snowing.
I checked the roads around us and saw nothing but red lines all over the map. Seeing this I immediately called in saying I couldn’t come in due to snow. I had my boss’s direct line so I called her and she was understanding, saying that she may not be able to go in either. In fact I was already the fifth person to call her. Hearing that I didn’t feel as guilty and told her that as long as it clears up I should be in the next day. She wished me a good snow day and that was that.
I spent that day indoors, just watching TV, playing Xbox and simply enjoying PTO. My roommates, Aaron and Carl, also stayed in and we just hung out. Really it was the first time we actually spent an extended period of time with one another like that in a long time. We each had our own lives, Carl and Aaron were relationships so they often did their own things and I had my own friends as well. So it was nice to spend times with the like that. We hung out, drank, and just enjoyed the day. We didn’t get too crazy as it was a Wednesday and we more than likely would have to go to work the following day. All we had to do was wait for the snow to stop and then things would go back to normal.
The snow didn’t stop though. When I awoke the next morning there was another three inches atop the three that had already fallen that previous day. I called my boss again and told her I couldn’t come to work as did everyone else in my office. The plows that had come through during the night had cleared the road but the newly fallen snow had covered it back up and from what I was hearing the temperature was plummeting. Any melted snow turned to ice creating a thick sheet atop the roads. My boss said it was fine, saying the site had been closed due to weather anyway. I hung up the phone and proceeded to enjoy yet another snow day. And another. And another.
By the time the weekend came, there were estimates of over two feet on the ground and at least six inches on the road at any given time. The plows were clearing the roads as fast as they could but the snow and the ice would simply cover up any progress that was made. The city was shut down. One brave reporter hopped into a helicopter to get an aerial view of the area and all I saw was white. The strange thing I noticed was that there was no one outside at all. Now I didn’t go outside myself but I figured that someone would be playing in the snow or trudging to a nearby market or gas station for groceries but there wasn’t a single person. In the end I decided it was probably just too cold. Especially after the wind started to pick up. While there had been a decent breeze, when the weekend hit though so did the wind. The snowstorm turned into a blizzard and the scene out of our windows was white washed by snow.
My roommates and I were taking this all in stride, because there really wasn’t much we could do. We didn’t think anything of it. It was simply a blizzard and that was that. It was that Sunday things took a terrible turn. Given the snow, the wind, and the cold, we anticipated another snow day so we decided that we needed to replenish our alcohol supply. It had taken a serious dip over the past days and we were running low. As I said before the market is only a mile away. You could make it there and back in less than a half-hour on foot if you really wanted to. The owners lived above of the store, so it was likely someone was there. Since it was cold and knee-deep snow, we decided only one person would make the trip. After a quick game of rock, paper, scissors, Carl was the lucky winner. Wishing him good luck we sent him off into the cold while we remained nice and warm indoors.
It was an hour later when we hadn’t heard back from him that I started to get a little worried. I tried calling his phone a few times but only got his voice mail. Aaron even tried finding him on his phone using a friend finder app. It lets the user pinpoint the GPS location of a tagged friend. From what we could see he was near the store. I told Aaron to give him a little longer and then check again to see if he moved. I was after all cold and there was feet of snow on the ground. He agreed but watched the time very closely. The moment an hour ticked by he was on the app again. We checked out the location and Carl was still in the same place. That was went I tried calling him again.
The phone rang for only a moment before the call connected but all I heard was the whistle of wind and a clicking sound. I figured it was just bad reception and started talking. I told him to turn around and come home if he could or if it was someone else on the line to let me know if Carl was hurt. There was no answer, only that whistle and clicking noise. I hung up and cursed as I realized that it was possible he may have fallen and broken his leg or something. I told Aaron that I was going to go out and look for him and he agreed, deciding to come with me.
We had just bundled up when we heard my phone ring. I pulled it out of my pocket and when I saw it was Carl’s phone I literally sighed with relief. I picked up without hesitation and started talking, telling him that he had us scared. I told him to tell us where he was but there was no response. I called out louder, thinking that perhaps he couldn’t hear me. There was still no response and so I screamed his name and that was when I heard a noise outside of the front door. It was light and barely audible but I knew I had heard something and so did Aaron.
“I think it’s coming from outside.” He said as he opened the front door.
“Carl… Carl, are you there?” I asked, and as I spoke the noise returned. Aaron motioned to silence me and the sound vanished. With a nervous but steady hand, he pulled open the door and we saw nothing… at first.
It was as we looked down we realized that Carl’s phone was on our door mat, a picture of me on the screen. Carl was nowhere in sight, but that wasn’t the worst part. In the bright light of the day, we could see a red film all over the screen. Aaron carefully picked up the phone and saw that there were smudges of frozen blood covering Carl’s phone. He looked at me for only a second before we heard a scream. This was a clear scream cutting through the howl of the wind. We both turned and saw our neighbor, Mr. Murdoch on his lawn rolling around in the snow. For an instant I considered running out to help him, thinking he had slipped and broke his hip, he was eighty after all, but just as the thought crossed my mind I saw there was more happening than I realized. We watched as Mr. Murdoch’s left arm was ripped clear from his body. It was only a second later that his head was pulled off as well. I screamed as the head was seemingly tossed aside into a fresh pile of snow. I would say that was the worst but it wasn’t. It wasn’t by any means. Still watching our elderly neighbor, Aaron and I witnessed his chest simply rip open, blood spilling all over the white canvas around him. With that we both screamed and slammed the door shut, locking it.
The moment we did however, we heard a distinct scratching sound on the other side. It wasn’t light or ominous. This was the sound of something or somethings trying to get in. Like a dog franticly wanting inside, something either wanted us to open the door or it was attempting to claw its way in. Aaron stepped away from the door, trying not to be sick but my curiosity got the better of me. Our house has an old mail slot so kneeling down in front of it I carefully lifted it open with a light squeak of the hinges. I was met with a blast of cold air and even a few snowflakes drifted in. I looked around but could only see my snowy porch. Then just as I was about to pull my finger back something shot into view on the other side of the slot. I screamed scrambling away from the door and as I did so, there was a high pitched yowl and the scratching continued.
It took Aaron a couple tries to calm me and when I was able to think clearly, he asked me what I saw. To be honest I wasn’t sure but I tried to explain as best I could. It wasn’t large, perhaps no larger than a small monkey with snow white fur all-around its face and piecing blue eyes. It had a small snout but inside were sharp teeth that appeared to be stained dark red. That was all I could see before I slammed the mail slot shut.
Aaron and I didn’t try going outside again. Not that day or even the day after. Even after the power went out and the cell towers stopped transmitting, we didn’t dare go, but others did. We know this because we could hear screams and cries for help. We watched from the safety of our home as those white... things swarmed our neighbors, turning the snow a dark red, before a fresh powder covered it. The things reminded me of ants swarming a carcass, tearing it open, pulling it apart and… devouring it. Aaron and I watched as the little monsters pulled out bloody organs and intestines, shoveling them into their mouths before leaving whatever they didn’t want behind.
Before the phones went out I had tried to call the police, my boss, anyone I could but the lines were jammed and no calls could get through. All circuits were unavailable. The power went out shortly after that, leaving Aaron and me stranded and isolated while all-around us we could hear screams that we were certain were not from the wind.
And so here we sit, two weeks into this blizzard, feet of snow on the ground, the city in a state of emergency, and trapped by creatures that will devour you if they get the chance. So far we have been safe indoors but I don’t think Aaron and I can stay here for much longer. That’s because I think those things are getting bolder. The other night I heard the sound of breaking glass and then the sound of screams. I think they may have broken into our neighbor’s house. They may have actively broke in. If that is the case what’s stopping them from breaking in our house. I started considering all of this earlier today because I noticed that the baseball bat my neighbor’s kids had left out on the porch before the snow started falling was missing. It had been there for almost two weeks but now it’s gone and the window to their kitchen looks smashed.
I wonder if they were waiting for something before they broke in. I mean they were smart enough to call my phone with Carl’s. Maybe they were just biding their time. Maybe they were just waiting until the food stopped coming to them or waiting for the power to go out. I mean anything is possible. For now I’m just going to sit and wait while Aaron holds his shotgun. Aaron said he was a pretty good shot and he has quite a few shells. So, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.