Thursday, January 30, 2014

Homestead


It was now eight weeks. Two months since she had last seen or heard any sign of human life. The relentless snowstorms had kept her homebound.  And not the ones that blanketed the fields with white satin sheets, but rather the ones that buried you indoors and left you stranded if you dared venture, with snowdrifts as high as three feet blocking your way everywhere you went. This was this year’s winter’s tale.

“The worst in history,” as she heard say in the radio back when it was still working. But the battery had died a few weeks ago, her only lifeline no gone. The power lines had come down during one of the earlier storms leaving her to old-school it, way back early 19th century style. She had enough food in the pantry to last her until spring and enough chopped wood to provide heat until then too. She’d been cooking her meals in an iron kettle in the fireplace and, without electricity and working radiators, she’d come to respect her ancestors that made the best on what little they had, never imagining the comforts future life might hold. Well, she supposed 200 years from now the same could be said of the 21st century’s living conditions and thoughts as well.

Her nearest neighbor lived 10 miles to the east. Even if she could walk it, the trek alone would put her in more danger than staying put. Just making it to her front gate would be an impossibility and trekking through the woods - the best shortcut - was unwise. The winter hadn't been kind and she guessed many of the woodland's predatory creatures were hungry and mean right about now and she was not up to being their meal anytime soon.

Now more than ever she regretted having made the move to an area so isolated. Yet she believed him when he said it would be one of the best decisions they could ever make for their quality of life. But as of yet she’d not seen any of that. The winters were harsh and the springs and summers filled with too many chores to tend to in a ranch that consisted of too much land and too many animals.

But because he had such an affable nature and she being a sucker for his stupid smile and words, overnight, in what she could only now deem as a form of midlife crisis or low-grade nervous breakdown, he turned into someone desperate to live and experience things without much aforethought. He upended their lifestyle in one moment to the next, convinced her to sell their house in the suburbs and move them to the middle of WTF, USA. And since he always possessed the ability to galvanize people into going along with his crazy ideas, the fault really lay with her; he was who he was and she knew once he set his mind on something, little could be done to change it. But she had free will. It wasn't as if he had put a gun to her head or had dragged her here to this Godforsaken place by her hair while holding a club with his other hand ready to use in case she changed her mind. In retrospect, the more she thought about it, the more she regretted not having put said gun or club in his hand and demanded a mercy killing. Death would've been easier.

And this was where her life was right now. Alone in a house in the middle of one of the worst winters imaginable with a rangy dead body in the barn. The gas tank in their truck had run dry months ago and she was homebound. Homebound with a corpse that once housed the soul of the man whom she loved and stupidly followed when all else screamed different. The one who keeled over one winter morning in the middle of shoveling snow, fatally stressing his heart with his excitable mania. The nut job who was now going to hear her for eternity for leaving her in this mess. Yeah....this wasn't over. Not by a long shot.

15 comments:

Sue J said...

A most enjoyable read. Thanks.

Jae Rose said...

Ooh..nice twist..loved WTF USA..as a resident of WTF UK I can confirm we are frozen in the 1970s and are in a cultural white out..still jiggles the old imagination ;)

rebecca said...

Thank you Sue. Thanks for stopping by...

rebecca said...

Jae, it's nice to visit the past, not live there. I feel ya! One really appreciates modern comfort when faced with not having some of them, no? Still, I'd love to visit the UK one day.

Cara H said...

What a nightmarish scenario! Being stuck in a remote location with a corpse on the property. Brrr!
A well crafted creation.

rebecca said...

Haha! Thanks Cara. I've always been partial to writing dark tales. I think dark is more interesting than light..

ms pie said...

having a sense of humor is really a survival technique that few have acquired... everything about this story was great...

rebecca said...

Thank you Ms Pie! Glad you enjoyed.

Sue said...

A very pleasing read. I only wish there were more!

=)

Helena said...

Had me hooked to the unexpected end! Ah, well, at least the body won't decompose to quickly in the cold!

Tess Kincaid said...

Very much enjoyed...thank you...

rebecca said...

That's the nicest compliment a writer can ever hope to get Sue. Thank you!

rebecca said...

Yes, at least! Glad you enjoyed it Helena! Thanks for stopping by...

rebecca said...

No, Tess, thank YOU!

Lori Skoog said...

Could you please continue this story? I want to know what happens.