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Verglas

From a World of Dirt to a World of Ice

By Amber FiercePublished 3 years ago Updated 11 months ago 6 min read
Verglas
Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

I found my phone under a rock, it was partially cracked but it still turned on. I opened the voice memos app and began a recording of my experience surviving a flash winter.

By Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

“June 1, 2100. My left arm is broken and I can barley stand up. I fell off a mountain side.

Close to the bottom of the mountain was a pile of snow that I thought would break my fall, so I let go of the rocks my hands were clenched to. When I hit the snow pile, it was as hard as steel. My legs slipped out from underneath me, my left arm hit a small hole and snapped on impact. My body stopped moving when I slammed into a wall of trees, bushes, and rocks.

I need to find something to immobilize my arm, and a small amount of shelter so I can look at the damage on my legs. The weather dropped to -14 over night, no warning from the weather man, no signs from nature and the temperature keeps dropping. Being camped on top of a mountain didn't help my situation but I'm working on that. I can see how well I've done so far.

I'm trying to keep a level head but my body is choosing hibernation over travel. My thought process has gotten sluggish, and the closest town to me is a kilometer away. I don't know if I'll succumb to hypothermia before I get there, but it's my only chance."

I ended my voice memo, and the sun peaked through the clouds lighting up the snow. The brightness started to blind me, I knew I needed to find something to protect my eyes before the effect was permanent. I found my sunglasses in the side pocket of my pants, but when I pulled them out one lens was crumbling in my hand, and the other one had a spiderweb crack. I looked around, remembering there were trees behind me. I opened my back pack and yanked my knife out from underneath a mess of supplies.

I crawled to a tree with lose bark, and hacked a small piece off, stabbing two slits close to the center. I made myself a pair of glasses that would be more likely used during an eclipse but I had to make do with what was available. While I was washing the bark in the snow, I heard the grunt of an animal in the distance. Which made my adrenaline spike and I started going faster. I kept telling myself it was probably just a deer.

By Janosch Diggelmann on Unsplash

I used a rock to help me stand up. Now that it's easier for me to see against the light it is equally hard for me to see anything, my eyes will adjust I'm sure. It's lucky that I'm in a forest, I feel sorry for which ever poor soul got stuck in a resource-less, barren artic tundra. No trees for them, no caves, no animals, no.... huge, steep mountain sides to scale down. I sighed and said under my breath "Great.."

Okay, before I tackle that I'm going to find a couple of branches and see if I can make a half-assed cast for my arm. I looked around the edge of the forest for something that might be big enough. There are mostly pine trees here so getting a branch without any pine needles, or pine cones on it will be near impossible. There are some birch trees here too, none of their branches are close to the ground though. One of the pine trees had enough space between its branches for me to climb up it and get a better look at my surroundings. Doing this with one arm is going to be hard but I don't have a choice right now. I got up to the fifth branch which was a good 15 feet off the ground and scoped the area. Finally I spotted a branch poking out of a snow bank. It was perfect. I started climbing down and heard something move in the trees. I looked up and saw a tail dangling from a top branch and a pair of amber eyes flashed down at me.

The cougar was jumping down branches catching up to me. Of course this was going to happen, I'm desperate, why wouldn't the animals be. I flew out of the tree and barrel rolled when my legs hit the ground. The pain from my legs sent a spiky shiver up my spine.

POOF

I looked back as I was running, and saw the cougar land gracefully in the snow as he was engulfed in a miniature flurry. I held my broken arm close to my body, and forced my legs to go as fast as they could. My femurs felt like they were going to fracture with every slamming lunge I took. Then I made it to the steep mountain side. The cougar was inches away from me and in a sudden swift moment she swiped at my face, and the snow bank I was standing on gave way.

By Gabriele Tirelli on Unsplash

I flew down the mountain side on a block of snow. I was going so fast I was sure I would hit something and that would be the end for me. Then the block started to shrink. I held on to it's edges and as the snow block melted into the snow beneath me, my body propelled forward into a summer salt. I finally came to a stop after ten rolls. I let my head settle out of its dizziness and regained my footing. When my eyes took in my surroundings I saw an ice cave. That'll do. I grabbed a stick out of a different snow bank that was a couple inches too small for my arm but I would have to make it work. When I opened my back pack it was wet and full of snow. I dumped the contents of it out onto the cave floor organizing what I had. I looked at my thermometer that read -20, and my face began to feel stiff. Right, how could I forget about frost bite.

"AAAAHHHH!" I screamed when I stretched out my arm and put the stick against it. I grabbed a tenser bandage from my supplies and wrapped it around my arm and the stick. Making it as tight as I could, I added a small rope to the mix and tide off the knot using my teeth. I rubbed my face with my hand trying to warm it up and felt a wet spot on my cheek. When I pulled my hand away it was covered in blood. I gasped, the cougar cut my cheek open. I looked at my supplies and found my first aid separated from the rest of my stuff. I looked outside the cave and saw my red first aid bag dangling over a cliff.

I slowly approached the bag, hoping no sudden movements would shift it towards the drop. The crunch under every step I took made my body sting. I was two feet away from it now, I laid on my stomach slamming my two feet into the snow to anchor myself incase the over hang should brake off. My fingers just reached the black strap and I was able to pull my bag to safer ground. I pushed myself backwards knowing I myself wasn't safe yet. Still on the over hang of the cliff I moved at a crawl. Then I heard a crack.

The over hang started to crumble away, I pushed myself hard and fast away from the edge. The falling snow caught up to me faster than I could reel backwards. I pushed my legs back one final time and fell onto solid snow while my feet where over the edge of the cliff. "Damn, that was close." I grabbed my first aid bag and went back into the ice cave. I cleaned out my cut and pulled out a bandage applying it to my cheek. Then I unbuckled my pants and looked at my legs. There was some internal bleeding on both thighs. One large bruise on the left side and multiple small ones on the right. There were probably a few fracturs I wouldn't know about, due to the pain in the rest of my body. Getting into town is crucial. All hospitals and stores should have their back up generators ready incase the power turns off.

Okay Meredith, one final push to get into town, I know I can make it. I scrunched and released my face, at the same time opening and closing my hands to keep my blood circulating. I slipped on ice and saw my reflection, my hair was tangled, and matted. My cheek red with dry blood and the rest of my face looked like wax. In all the commotion I didn't notice that I lost my glasses. I looked up and saw the only thing left between me and town was a frozen pond. As I stood back up a blizzard started to take shape. Come on, I'm almost there. Stay wake, stay awake, stay awake!

By Touann Gatouillat Vergos on Unsplash

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About the Creator

Amber Fierce

I am a Canadian author. I get most of my inspiration from adrenaline spikes. From participating in extreme sports to going on dopamine enducing adventures. A lot of my ideas come from my dreams, and my songs come from my personal struggles.

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    Amber FierceWritten by Amber Fierce

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