Love Me Like That(5)

By: Marie James

Hitting the brakes was the very last thing I should have done but, of course, it was the first thing that I did. Swerving back and forth, the only thing I could think of was my parents’ tragic death. That involved a drunk truck driver, not a moose, but I just knew I’d see them soon, my fate inevitably aligning with theirs.

The car jumps and bucks, twists and turns, but thankfully never becomes airborne or flips over. I hit the ditch on the side of the road and somehow manage not to die. I watch with wide eyes as the huge moose huffs a breath of frigid air from his nose and walks away from the resulting puff of thick steam, absolutely unfazed by the near death collision he just caused.

I need to get out and assess the damage, but it’s freezing cold and that oversized mammal may want to eat me. Fat chance of me getting out of this damn car with the hell-beast out there stalking me like prey. I have just over a half a tank of gas, and the functions of the car don’t seem to have been affected.

I put the car in reverse, planning to get out of the ditch and spend the night in Poison until I can gain my composure and make sure the car isn’t damaged too badly. I gently hit the gas with a shaky foot, not fully calm yet from the near death experience I just had.

The tires spin and the car doesn’t move. I give it more gas, and the same thing happens. I try to convince myself not to panic but as the tires spin and spin that notion is becoming impossible. I put the car back in park and engage the emergency brake. I turn the hazard lights on for good measure, knowing I’ll need someone to stop and help me.

I follow my cell phone charger cord and find my cell phone lodged between the passenger seat and the console. This situation will end quickly if I can reach a tow truck. Just my luck, there is not one bar indicating any level of reception. NO SERVICE mocks me from the top left corner of the screen.

I’m fuming as anger over the entire day hits me. I would ask ‘what’s next?’ but fate or karma or whatever’s been acting against me recently has been one vindictive bitch, and I don’t want to press my luck. The last thing I need is for a logging truck to plow over me while I sit helplessly in my car.

I crank up the heat and sit back, praying someone happens to be just as crazy as I am and is out driving in this weather. That thought also scares the shit out of me. What kind of person will I encounter out here? All of the sane people are at home, warm in front of the fire.

Even though this ‘vacation’ has been somewhat forced, I’m grateful to be here. It’s just the push I needed to take that next step; the outcome I’ve been mulling over for months. Not exactly what my uncle and the other guys had in mind when they told me to get out of town and get my shit together.

It took just over a week, but I have in fact ‘gotten my shit together.’ My condo is clean, the refrigerator empty so there are no nasty surprises for whoever is given the job of taking care of it. More importantly, my will has been updated. Everything is in order.

I try not to think about my parents, Kegan, and the note left on the dining room table at my condo as I start making a mental list of things to email the guys about as I put away the several weeks’ worth of groceries I bought on my way out here. I don’t know how quickly I will execute my plans, but I don’t want to starve to death before I do; that’s not exactly the way I see things ending out here in this cabin. Well, you can’t really call a nearly four thousand square foot monstrosity a ‘cabin’ but it’s made of logs none the less.

Weather predictions for the next week include what they are referring to as Iceapalooza. The wind is already whipping around the house and sending howls through the surrounding trees. It won’t be long before the storm hits and leaves the property and roads in and out covered and impassable.

I pull out my phone and open a new note page as I walk through the house. I’m doing my best to make sure the place will be easy to sell after it’s served my purposes. My interior design people did an excellent job making the house inside look rugged and lived in, just like I’d requested. I’ll need a secondary wood holder. The one they put in the main living area looks great, but it’s not practical for anyone who doesn’t want to run outside for wood every few hours. I add it to the list.

Thinking of the storm and the real possibility that I’ll be on the backup generators before it’s said and done reminds me that I need to make sure the satellite phone is fully charged. I hit the stairs two at a time and dig the phone out of my suitcase, plugging it in to charge. I have no idea why I even worry about it. I have no intentions of calling anyone.