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Often, Aspiring Writers Will Take it Upon Themselves...

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Often, aspiring writers will take it upon themselves to go into isolation; such was the case for Michel Turner. The cabin in the mountains was his isolation tank, a secluded little dwelling where he hoped to finish his writing. Michel was a rather pathetically lonely man, and could not handle what his writing required. His remedy to this problem came in the form of his neighbor and friend, Ryan. The role his neighbor had been assigned was not a task of maintenance and house chores, but was more of a crutch for Michel to lean on so that he did not lose his sanity.


The smell of coffee and Jack was stale and pungent as Michel awoke. He slothfully pulled himself from his desk and his paper pillow and headed toward the kitchen. Glancing back and seeing his desk covered in trashed ideas and spilled drink made him grimace. A strong drink was going to be needed this morning. A hangover was something that Michel had grown accustomed to, as his writing began to take a toll on his mind and body. His writing was the only thing that mattered to him, but what he wrote was never good enough. Perhaps it was the drink that kept him from his work. But without the drink, the cabin was too cutting, too mean. If it weren’t for Ryan, Michel would have drowned in his only friend.


Ryan was a saving grace, not many people would agree to such a camping trip as Michel had planned. Someone to talk to was all Michel needed to stay satiated with his hiatus from society. And, when Michel was deeply engrossed in drink and plot, it was good to have someone to watch the cabin, to make sure nothing had caught fire or been harmed. Ryan’s shortcoming in his mental support was that he did not talk much. Simple gestures and nods sufficed for what Ryan needed to say, and this is what made Michel uncomfortable. Though he needed the silence to write, a conversation was something that he wanted even more, so that he could hang on in that little house a day or two more.


One particular evening, after a few suspenseful days of preparation for the blizzard that had come and made it’s dwelling atop the cabin, Michel and Ryan sat by a fire, talking of their situation. “This is a big storm, I don’t think that this little cabin can hold it’s own.” Michel said as he took a sip from his drink. “The radio said that it’s the worst one in almost fifty years, that kind of news is a little disheartening considering the fact that the Rangers probably won’t be able to make it up here.” Ryan turn his head toward Michel, and acknowledging the situation let out a slight groan. “A man of few words has never spoken so well my friend” Michel sputtered through his cup, “It’s a shame that the two of us may be facing the end of our passages here up in the desolate little box.” Perhaps we should make the best of this though. I mean, there is nothing dreadfully wrong besides the storm, we have food, drink, it’s warm, and we have each other. Things could be much, much worse.” Ryan stood up and headed toward the window, peering out into the snowdrift, a wall of white, shrouded in darkness obscured all view of the outside world. They might as well had been underwater for all they could tell. “You know Ryan, I have never been able to figure you out. I see you and talk to you every day, but all you do is look at me with that stupid look on your face and let out a grunt of some sort. I know that I need my personal time and privacy to work on my writing, but you could at least try to carry on some sort of human interaction with me.” Ryan just kept his hands on the windowsill, staring out into the storm. “That’s great, real mature buddy. I oughta just throw you out into the storm all the help you give me.” Ryan did not flinch from his spot. “Are you even listening to me!?” Michel sputtered. He grew red in his face and hurled his cup at Ryan, shattering on the wall near him. Ryan whipped around, his teeth bared to Michel, staying low as if ready to fight. Michel was intimidated, but satisfied with Ryan’s reaction, finally, an affirmation of humanity in that silent man.


“Yeah, he’s up here” Said a man in an orange suit, “He’s up here working on his book or something like that. He’s stupid if ya ask me.” The man plowed through the snow, following the half covered trees as road markers, his partners were in the back suiting up and getting shovels. As evening drew close, they neared a mound of snow that was once the cabin. “Everyone out! Get the shovels and ice picks, come on we don’t have much time!” All four of the men began to shovel through the thick layers of snow that enclosed the swelling where he was confined. They struck wood and used the ice picks to force their way into the cabin, where they found Michel. He was in the corner of the cabin, balled up and covered in frost. The fire had died long ago; the fireplace was littered with bits of charred pieces of paper. The rescue team lifted him, he was still and a breath was did not escape his frozen body.


Something in the fireplace moved. The whole teamed turned to face the source of the noise, a golden Labrador. “That was his dog, Ryan, he brought it up here for company while he wrote his book. We better get him something warm and put him in the truck.” They placed him in the back of the truck and gave him some hot water, which he lapped up gratefully as they drove to the bottom of the mountain. “I think I’m gonna keep this little guy, he’s quite a fighter, he’ll be good to have on base. I’m sure he’ll keep me company too.”





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RStranger said...
Dec. 8, 2008 at 11:37 am
I like it. The ending was very reminiscent of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge".
 
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