Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Long Dark Pt.1

The wind that night had carried whispers with it as it blew into town. Whispers of sorrow, and death, and ruin, but also whispers of love, and recovery, and change for the better. No one knew quite what to think when the snow began to fall. The light, fluffy white kind at first, blanketing everything with a fragile, glimmering coat. But then the snow began to fall, as wet and as heavy as rain, and trees began to bend and groan under the stress.

For three days the snow fell without a sign of relenting. The older men in the village began to make jokes that the weather gods has forgotten about them. 

And as suddenly as it had began the snow stopped.

It wasn't until the first shipment of supplies after the storm that we began to notice something was amiss.

The storm had changed the outside world, or perhaps more accurately, it had changed our perception of it. The people of Carlston suddenly felt as though the trucks bringing supplies on the ice roads were in some way dangerous. Not dangerous in the sense that the drivers couldn't be trusted, these men had been driving this same delivery route for decades, and knew nearly all of the small town's inhabitants by name.

No, this danger was in the change that the storm had begun, and these outsiders had not experienced.

When the McDaniel's old farmhouse roof had collapsed under the weight of days of wet snow, these outsiders weren't there to help dig out the frozen carcasses of the family. We were.

And when Paul Gregory had passed out in the road after a night at Jim's Tavern, these outsiders hadn't been there to help give the bad news to his children. I was,

This wasn't a sense of resentment that the truckers had been home, safe in their warm beds, while the people of Carlston were dealing with these tragic events.

No, they simply would not be able to understand that the people of Carlston did what needed to be done.

All of us.

Paul couldn't handle it, and so he had gotten so piss drunk that he knew he wouldn't make the walk back home.

We all knew that if our new world was revealed, it would quickly be destroyed.

The truckers presented a danger to this new reality in Carlston, and for the remaining winter months they would be the only danger for miles.

The old summer camp on Lake Mephisto would open in June, but that seldom brought more than a dozen children to town. And this winter had been much too cold for the ice fishers. Another aspect of our new reality.

In fact, we knew that if we could distance ourselves from the danger presented by the truckers, our new way of living could continue.

We all knew.

The older men no longer laughed when they spoke of the gods forgetting us.

Here, in this narrow valley, a change had occurred. A change all at once horrifying and beautiful and tragic and glorious.

The gods had truly forgotten us.

Or perhaps more accurately, they had turned their backs on us, ashamed of the changes which they had wrought.

How could they possibly forget the atrocities we had committed in the name of survival, and the name of advancement?

To Be Continued...

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