Silence. Silence is all around me, so deep that it’s oppressive. Every detail in the whiteness is obscured, leaving only the slightest indication that something lies beneath the hard, glittering snow.
The headlights of my car glow blue in the stillness of the night. The muted sapphire light bounces from indistinct form to indistinct form. The roadway is nothing more than a flat white sheet slicing between pearl towers.
I try to tune the radio into some station, any station right now would be fine, but all I hear, beneath the thundering silence, is a muted static buzz. Angrily, I twist the knob hard, breaking it off in my hand. I don’t even look, knowing to do so would simply send me spiraling into a tunnel of bitterness and fury. Instead, I toss the useless lump of plastic over my shoulder, into the dark cave of my back seat.
I try to remember why I’d decided to drive all the way up the lonely mountain to my grandfather’s old cabin, alone, in a blizzard, but nothing comes to mind. The last few days have been awful, starting with the fight with my twin brother and culminating with my sudden and loud breakup with my fiance.
Needing company, even if it’s only my imagination, I start to talk to myself. Anything to break the overwhelming quiet of the midnight snowscape.
“You’ve really done it this time, Lesa. Jensen was only trying to help, you know? You’re pretty stupid for breaking up with him over something trivial. Unless it’s just an excuse…,” my voice trails off. I’m uncomfortable with the subject and besides, even in a low, conversational tone, my voice seems too loud in the stillness around me.
I try again, changing the subject, “The world is so pretty, all quiet and white. Granddad always loved snow. I guess that’s why he built the cabin.”
Tired of talking to myself, and being close to my grandfather’s favorite place, inspired me to talk to him, instead. “I miss you so much, Popsy. I wish I was driving to see you. But at least at your cabin I can feel closer to you. It’s just the same as you left it. I haven’t changed anything.”
A tightness bloomed in my chest. My grief threatened to overtake me. Tears gathered in the corners of my eyes, ready to fall with the first blink of my tired eyes.
I reached into the darkness of my car, my hand searching for the box of tissues I’d thrown in earlier. The achingly cold hand that seized tightly to my wrist caused my heart to jump into my throat. The steering wheel shimmied uncontrollably as I released it, flailing in my terror.
Another grave-cold hand clutched onto my already imprisoned arm, talon-like nails digging into my bare flesh.
Words, whispered, floated indistinctly to me on fetid breath.
My muscles were paralyzed with fear and so I did nothing as my skidding, sliding car veered away from the slender white path. The towers of pearlescence, glittering crazily in the bouncing pale blue glow of my headlights, came crashing toward me, leaning down to greet me personally.