Friday, January 10, 2014
I am staring into the deep blue eyes of a man with a shock of black hair spiraling out from under a worn brown hat. He is wearing a blue flannel shirt with a white thermal shirt under it. I am shaking and he is tugging at me.
"Get away!" I shout as I yank my arm away.
"Whoa, miss, I am helping you. You need to let me help you. You need to get warm."
"Who are you? Where am I? I whisper. Now, I realize that I can barely speak. Now I realize that I am alive. Now I remember the snow, the cold....
"I am Sam and I need to get you dry." He slowly unbuttons my coat. I let him. I am too tired to fight. I hear popping sounds like firecrackers. I turn my head toward the sound. I see bright red, yellow flames. Oh my God, heat; so good. Sam is rubbing my hands. I look at this man. He is almost handsome, except for his nose. Life is stabbing me through frozen death. My hands begin to tingle. I open my mouth to scream but nothing comes out. The man is saying something, something about water. He turns to leave. Oh no, I think, don't leave, don't leave.
"I am heating some water to unthaw your hands and feet." He is placing a pot on the wood floor, helping me sit up and telling me to put my feet in the pot. I look down at my feet. They are bare. My legs are covered by a blanket and I am wearing a clean flannel shirt. My cheeks heat up when I discover that I have been undressed.
"Yes., I had to get the frozen clothes off you. now, take this." He held a steaming bowl of broth in one hand and began spooning the liquid into my mouth with the other hand. I tried to sip. Some went in and some went dripping down my chin. "Lucky for you, Jake found you." I looked over and saw a tawny colored dog curled up on the rug in front of the fire. At the mention of his name, he got up and ambled over and laid his head on my lap.
"Thank you, Jake, I whisper. Thank you for being here, both of you.
"You're welcome but speaking of being here, what in the tarnation are you doing out here in the wilderness by yourself?
(to be continued)