Coconino in Winter

The snow just kept falling in the North Country of Coconino. Harsh yet beautiful were the road conditions. He finds the gate, unlocks the entry, and then closes it again with a loud thud. Only a black crow hears the sound. He carries on into the unknown.

The icy road is treacherous as he slowly rumbles along, and soon he stops, not wanting to risk going further and becoming stuck in the snow. He breaks out a pair of ski’s and decides to explore further on this mode of transportation.

He hears no sound on the mountains as he climbs mile after lonely mile. The snow grows increasing deep. Eventually he turns around and finds joy as the wind whips his skin into a reddish glow and he glides and turns his way back down the mountain.

He realizes he must drive a little further along the road if he is to locate his homestead for the evening. The road to the cabin is buried under a foot of snow, maybe more. He shovels a pathway as far as he can muster, and looks lovingly at his weekend respite.

The door opens without much effort, and the shock of the air inside slaps him into reality. He must work quickly to start a fire in the wood stove located in the center of the room. Frostbite will win if he doesn’t move quickly.

The fire slowly starts to come to life, yet no warmth for the man. He finds a pile of blankets to wrap up in, and waits in silence. No phone or television to distract him, not even a ticking clock to watch the minutes go slowly by.

He only has himself.

Whiskey and nightfall bring slumber to his body, yet in the early morning hours the fire dies and he is awakened by the bitter cold. He starts to stoke the fire again in the pitch dark of three a.m.

It takes hours to boil water for coffee. His mind plays trick on him as he sits in silence and waits. As light slowly starts to trickle into the room, he sees the single plate he has brought with him. The last remaining dish from a sibling long gone. He writes a simple note onto the plate, then heads outside to bury it in the forest. The night has brought a new layer of snow, several inches deep. He drips blood onto the newly formed icicles.

He grabs the shovel and repeats the laborious process of digging himself out of this Coconino winter. The goal of survival was met.

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Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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