Lost and Frost

February 5, 2017

Have you ever gone to do something you’ve never done before, and have something go wrong? That’s exactly what happened to Bobby, while chopping down trees with his brothers.  Jake, Bobby, and Drake were three brothers who lived in a log cabin in the middle of a dense, lush forest.  Drake was a twenty two year old, and he was tall and broad.  Out of the brothers he was the most outgoing and daring.  Next was Jake who was eighteen years old, he was short and muscular.  Jake played football for their school, however he dropped out of high school one year ago.  Bobby was sixteen years old, medium height and skinny.  He was still in high school at the time, middle of his Sophomore year.  Bobby preferred to stay in the cabin doing his homework or reading a book, rather than hunting or chopping wood. 
The brothers’ cabin was surrounded on all sides by woods in all directions for miles.  No neighbors for at least five miles.  There was a one mile long dirt driveway running to the nearest road, which was a highway.  Drake did own a black Ford pickup truck, only using it when the brothers had to go to the nearest town, which was thirty miles north.  The cabin had five rooms total, including two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a working bathroom.  The cabin did have working electricity and plumbing.  The two bedrooms were given to Bobby and Jake, while Drake slept on the couch in the living room.  Although they had a box television and radio, however the television did not work and the weather messed with the radio occasionally.The cabin also had a fireplace, that the brothers used to heat the place up.  They eventually ran out of wood, meaning they did not stockpile enough before winter came. 
It was late January when the brothers ran out of wood.  An inch of snow covered the ground but the weather was cloudy and cold.  The next snow wasn’t supposed to come for a few days.  So Drake and Jake decided to go cut down some trees to get more wood before the next snow.  Bobby was in his room reading.  He came out of his room when suddenly his brothers start to argue.
“He is too young yet.  We are not taking him with us,” Drake stated.
“No he isn’t.  I went out with you when I was sixteen, and you went out with dad when you were fifteen,” Jake argued. 
“ I want to go.  I don’t want to be left behind while you guys go on an adventure,” Bobby interjected, startling the two older brothers. 
“Fine but no goofing around with the axes.  And you have to stay within my sight, no wandering off,” Drake warned Bobby, as if he was his own son.   
Bobby could tell Drake was worried and skeptical of his decision.  Nonetheless, Bobby  ran to his room.  He threw on his long johns, jeans, hooded sweatshirt, and Carhart coat.  He also grabbed his hat and gloves.  He ran back to his brothers at the door.  Once outside, Drake handed Bobby an ax.  It was two and a half feet long with a sharp blade on the end, with an orange handle.  Drake and Jake also grabbed similar axes, but theirs were three feet long with a sharp blade at the end.  Drake’s was red and Jake’s was blue.  All three axes had covers over the ax heads, in case they were messing around. 
The brothers started their journey through the forest to where they would chop down trees.  As they walked, Jake showed Bobby how to correctly use the ax on a tree by demonstrating the motions he should do.  Then Jake showed him the motions to split a log.  After demonstrating, Jake said it was Bobby’s turn to show him the motions.  Bobby started with the splitting of a log motion which he did correctly, which was then followed by the motion of chopping down a tree.  Stopping at a tree to use as an example, Bobby did the motions correctly, however he didn’t stop the ax in time.  This caused the ax, with the cover still on it, to hit the tree.  Bobby became fearful that Drake was about to yell at him. 
Instead Drake walked over calmly, handed Bobby the ax from the ground, and said with a smile, “You’re a natural at it, but at least take the cover off first.”
The boys decided to cut down the tree that Bobby had hit with his ax.  The thunks from the axes hitting the trees and the grunts from the brothers echoed throughout the entire forest.  They all took consecutive strikes at the tree, Drake struck first, followed by Jake, and finally Bobby.  They kept doing this cycle until the tree was weak enough that Jake could push it over.
As Jake pushed and the tree gave away, he yelled, “TIMBER!” And the tree came crashing down to the ground taking off limbs of other trees and shaking the ground.
Sounding like a parent,”That was absolutely unnecessary, we are the only three out here.” Drake said while looking at the other two.  “But let’s cut down that one over there,” he said while pointing to a similar tree twenty feet away.
The brothers kept cutting down trees until they had seven or eight trees down in a close vicinity.  They used the same cycle used for the first tree on the rest.  Thunks and grunts were heard all around, with a TIMBER coming from one of the brothers every time a tree fell.  Soon all three of the boys were tired and decided to take a break.  However, they had failed to notice the wind had been picking up while they were cutting.
“Guys, is the wind picking up?” Bobby questioned with a hint of worry in his voice.  As this could mean a storm was brewing. 
Looking around at his older brothers, Bobby soon got the answer to his question as the first flakes of snow began to fall.  They started to pack up, but the storm hit them, causing them to rush.  Snow was whipping all around them.  The howl of the wind rang in their ears.  They had very little visibility, barely being able to see one foot in front of them.  The temperature was well below freezing.  Jake was leading them through the woods back to the safety of their cabin.  However, Bobby, who was in the middle, lost sight of Jake.  So he just kept running in a straight line hoping to catch up.   Drake, who was behind him, soon lost sight of Bobby.  He yelled for Bobby to slow down, but it got drowned out by the wind.
Jake reached the house, and fought the wind to open the door.  Barely being able to open it as the wind pushed against him, he shoved his ax so the door would stay open for his brothers.  The next brother to reach the cabin was Drake.  Just like Jake, he could barely open the door.  As he got inside, he pulled the ax out of the doorway, thinking everyone was inside.  He was overcome with the temperature difference that he forgot to notice one thing.
Looking around concerned and worried, “Where’s Bobby?” Drake asked with the look of fear on his face. 
Jake also looked around, and realized he failed to notice Bobby was not there.  He could only muster an, “I don’t know.” as he looked at his older brother.
“NO, no, no.  This is all my fault.  I never should have let him go with us, “Not accepting the results, Drake paced the room, thinking of where Bobby could be.  He thought about yelling outside, but it wouldn’t work because of the wind. 
“Calm down Drake, We will find him.  But we can’t right now it’s too dangerous, one of us might get lost too.  Just think of where he could have gotten lost at,” Jake said caringly.
“He could have missed a turn.  It all looked similar out there. Plus we knew the way back.  It was his first time outside,” Drake thought aloud.
“Ok. That’s a good start.  We will have to start in the morning.  It’s too dark out now and the storm is not letting up,” Jake stated sadly.
Drake and Jake stayed in the cabin all night, Bobby never left their thoughts.  They attempted to fall asleep, but kept turning and rolling over, thinking of worst case scenarios.  However, they did fall asleep eventually from exhaustion.  Waking up in the morning to fresh snow on the ground, and no more storm.  The two brothers put back on all their layers from yesterday and headed out to find Bobby. 
They first started by walking back to where they were chopping down trees.  Then they turned around, retracing their steps to the first turn that Bobby possibly could have missed.
“There is no way Bobby missed this one.  Look, the trees are too close together, he would have ran right into them,” Jake announced after investigating a bit.  Also there was nothing on the ground or trees, meaning Bobby was not there. 
At the next turn they found one of Bobby’s gloves barely sticking out from the snow.  Drake only saw it because it’s black.  They went straight instead of turning, similar to what could have happened to Bobby.  The boys walked for a while, seeing nothing.  Jake started to turn around and walk back when Drake saw something. 
“Hey. See that big tree straight and a bit to the right? Is it just me or does it look like a bright tree branch leaning against it?” Drake questioned.  The brothers walked toward the tree.
“This is definitely his ax.  He must have put it here while running.  He has to be this way then. Let’s go,” Jake encouraged.
They kept walking in the same direction for a few minutes, but soon came to a hill that went down into a valley.  Drake and Jake feared Bobby could have fallen down it and kept running.  So instead of going down the hill, they settled on yelling a few times to see if Bobby would respond. 
Drake sent out the first call, “BOBBY!” After waiting a minute or two there was no answer.
Jake took his turn, “BOBBY!”  To their dismay, there was no answer again.
Drake tried again, “BOBBY! If you are out here yell back!”  No answer, however they did hear some snow move and fall down the hill. 
Jake looked down to see the snow fall, and reveal Bobby’s tan Carhart coat.  The two brothers ran down to the coat.  Jake fell down as he ran.  Drake tried to lift the coat.  But the coat was heavy.  With the help of Jake they lifted to coat, and Bobby out of the snow. 
Shocked, Jake and Drake exclaimed, “Bobby!?”  When his eyes opened out of fear, but he then realized who it was and embraced them.  They all hugged for a few minutes before unanimously deciding to go back to the cabin.  Bobby was carried on his older brothers’ shoulders. 
Once they got back, they set him on the couch.  Drake went to get some wood for a fire and Jake cooked Bobby some warm food and got him warmer clothes.  They did not push him to explain what happened, they wanted him to be comfortable.  Jake did notice he had frostbite on his pinky, ring, and middle fingers of his left hand., but it was not like he was going to lose the fingers.  This was because he lost his glove, which they found.
Eventually, Bobby warmed up enough that he could explain what happened, “So as we were running back, I lost sight of Jake and forgot that we turned a few times.  I remembered the first one, but not the second.  I kept running straight and my left glove got caught on a tree and pulled off.  I just ran.” Taking a break to drink some hot chocolate, Bobby continued, “I got tired so I leaned against a tree for a minute and set down my ax.  Then I started running again.  At one point I remember looking back for Drake, and that’s when I ran straight down that hill.  Falling into the snow pile and not being able to  move because I was buried in snow.  That’s all I remember.”
“You must have passed out in the snow,” Drake guessed, “But you are safe and warm now.  Get some rest.” 

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