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When The Thaw Comes [Jan2014]

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posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 04:31 AM
“I’ll take a cup, aye,” he said, stretching out a calloused hand.
John rose from beside the fireplace, knees creaking and passed his friend a mug of hot tea. Inside, the house was warm, with a soft glow from the oil lamps colouring the faces of the four men.

It had gone unsaid that neighbour should live with neighbour. The premise had been to save fuel, conserve heat, but the deeper, unspoken words had been understood by each man.

“That’s no letting up.” Callum was by the window, watching the blizzard howl across the hills, whipping the sea into great walls of foam. The lean trees by the church would not withstand much more. He spoke more to himself than to the group; there was no need to report on the relentless weather, but he spoke the words aloud anyway, to break the silence.
“It’s on!” cried Stephen, jumping from his seat by the door. “Move!”
This was directed at Callum, and with a raised eyebrow and quickening pulse, Callum followed the biologist from the room, into the cold, stone-floored hallway. Stephen had found the group soon after the winter had turned; a young scientist studying sea-life off the coast. With no way of getting home to England, the men had offered him a bed and he in turn had supplied them with a trove of mackerel, which John had spent little time getting into racks in the smokehouse.

John rose again, and went to find the others.

Alone by the fire, he thought hollow, painful thoughts.
In a house that months ago had been bustling with life, with grand-children, with noisy toys, his wife Maggie cooking, his daughter Iona dumping her bags on his chair after work, to collect her brood and take them home for tea. It seemed so long ago, but it could only have been months, maybe three, four at the most? Maybe more.

Iona had said goodbye with red-rimmed eyes, Maggie with fury in hers. He had mocked them, told them the papers were full of rubbish, always predicting wild weather. “It’s how they sell them to fools like you”, he had joked.
Iona had protested, it was different this time. This was to be the worst winter in years, and there was no sign of it changing soon. The volcanic eruption had only worsened the freeze, but no one could explain to him why. Stephen had tried, twice, and he was too ashamed of his ignorance to ask again.

The young ones had all gone, heading south, finding a relative to take them, finding anywhere that had a chance of surviving this icy hell. Maggie could not bear to leave the little ones, and had promised her daughter she would come. When the first flakes fell in September, Maggie had bought the tickets. Repeated government statements on the news urging people to move, and move quickly. He had known even before then, when the last flock of birds flew south in midsummer, that something was very, very wrong. They had had a bitter row that night, he and Maggie. He knew they couldn’t manage another plane ticket, no matter how they tried, and they had no one to ask for a loan. No one his pride would allow him to ask, anyway. He had promised Maggie their home would be waiting for them when she got back. She nodded, holding back tears, and they had held each other a long time before sleep came that night.

The men had taken cans from the village shop, the smoked fish would last, and they had housed John’s chickens in the McHardies’ cottage next door. Stephen had assured them he knew which seaweeds had the most nutrition. He prayed silently it would not come to that, that spring must surely come, as life follows every death.
He knew the snow banks held grisly secrets, and knew for sure his sheep lay where they had fallen. There had been nothing else to do. He knew other souls lay out there too, hidden by the virgin snow. When the thaw came, those grotesque secrets would be revealed, alongside the first shoots of new life.

His thoughts were broken, with Stephen’s laughter. “It’s him, it’s The Voice!” he called.
The Voice came every now and again. Callum had fiddled with an old CB radio years ago, which he had tuned into the police radio frequency. “It gives me a heads-up” he had explained, but no-one had taken him seriously. Now the radio was the centre of the house.
The Voice brought hope, and would lift every man’s spirits. Callum spent hours, days, trying to speak with The Voice, waiting for the moment it answered him back. “Maybe tomorrow, eh?”

“Aye, Callum, maybe tomorrow.” he always answered. “When the thaw comes.”

edit on 1/10/2014 by tothetenthpower because: --Mod Edit--Fixed entry tag.

posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 11:03 AM
Loved it. Absolutely positively LOVED it.

posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by AccessDenied

Thanks so much AccessDenied, really, that means a lot. I wasn't sure whether to put it out there or not, but I'm really glad you liked it.

Best wishes

B x

And many thanks for fixing the caption etc, tothetenthpower.
edit on 10-1-2014 by beansidhe because: Acknowledged mod edit

edit on 10-1-2014 by beansidhe because: Sp

edit on 10-1-2014 by beansidhe because: Idiocy

posted on Jan, 10 2014 @ 11:01 PM
reply to post by beansidhe

Good job! My mind filled with all kinds of imagery and of the men and their courage. Optimism is a powerful
survival tool.

posted on Jan, 11 2014 @ 05:18 AM
reply to post by grayeagle

Thank you very much grayeagle. I agree with your signature, vision is certainly more than eyesight x

posted on Jan, 21 2014 @ 05:10 AM
reply to post by grayeagle

I can't edit my post (waited too long) but what I wanted to add was a quote of Nietzche's which sums up the men's struggle: "Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torment of man."

Optimism as a double-edged sword. Scary stuff!

B x
edit on 21-1-2014 by beansidhe because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 05:34 PM
a reply to: beansidhe

Great read, really enjoyed what you wrote.

posted on May, 23 2014 @ 04:39 AM
a reply to: MiguelTheMagician

Thank you Miguel, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

B x

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