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The crash had happened fast. One moment he had been idly chatting with the man next to him, the next a shrill siren had gone off and the copilot had run out. The man had been sweating like crazy and shaking. He was young, much to young to be doing this. A lady had screamed as the copilot announced the emergency. Something technical had gone wrong, they were going down. Those words had almost made him laugh. “Going down,” that was a movie cliché, something that you never expected a real person to say in a real emergency.
This was a real emergency whether the copilot had said a movie cliché or not, they were “Going down.” The man next to him closed his eyes and laid his head back, he appeared calm.
It was a small, tiny two engine plane. It held eighteen and the two pilots, small and uncomfortable. Two people per row, no hostess, and no over the head compartments. When Zach had first got on he had frowned. The plane smelled, reeking of sweat and crap, not a pleasant combination. The metal was rusting and the seats greasy. The plane shook as it took off the small runway, as if it was going to fall apart before it even got in the air. Zach had closed his eyes and rested his head much like the man sitting next to him was doing now. The take off and ascent were hellish, the windows had rattled in their frames and the seats quivered.
After the beginning was over it got much better, the ride had smoothed out mostly and he got comfortable. The view outside his window was beautiful, an ocean of untarnished, fluffy snow stretched on into the distance. There were no clouds and the sky looked perfect, a blue unmatched in anywhere else in the world, a picture no artist will ever be able to draw, a world were humans do not go, a perfect land.
He had even seen some kind of deer running across the snow. His feet shooting himself across the snow. He was majestic, the ruler of his world. His coat blended in with the snow and made it hard to discern him from the flawless blanket under his feet. He had run with the plane for a while before being left behind.
After that Zach had turned to his neighbor and engaged him in conversation for the next couple of minutes. That was when the young sweaty copilot ran out and announced they were “Going down.”
“Please remain calm,” the copilot said and raised his hands up for attention.
The women screamed again.
“Please, we're going to half to make an emergency landing, so you need to fasten your seat belts and put your head in between your legs,” the copilot said and raised his voice, “We'll be making the landing in about five minutes so please remain calm until it had ended,” the copilot finished and lowered his hands. He turned his back on the passengers and took one step when the plane smashed into the snow.
The copilot flew forward and smashed his head into the wall. There was a thick smear of blood on the wall were the pilot's head had hit. Zack lurched forward his seatbelt cutting into his chest and shooting the air out of his lungs. The window shattered and sprayed Zach with glass, snow rushed in and coated his arms and legs. He glanced out the window and saw the wing rip off, metal tore into the snow as the wing flew behind them a twisted resemblance off what had once helped them into the air.
Zach glanced to see if his neighbor was okay and saw the wall on the other side of the aisle rip off. It crumpled away and a gaping hole was left were the wall had once been. Snow rushed in and buried several people. A seat with a screaming man still seat belted onto it ripped out of the floor and flew through the hole in the wall.
More snow rushed in and ripped another piece of the wall away. There were people screaming, wind ripped at him and he heard his seat groan under the force of the rushing wind and the snow. The man next to him (he had never gotten his name) flew out of his seat. His belt had ripped and the man was whipped away, he screamed once before he was sucked out of the hole and lost in complete whiteness.
He heard his seat groan again and it tilted forward, then the plane stopped sliding. It just stopped, he fell back against his seat and rubbed his head. He was bleeding above his left eye. His arm hurt were it had pressed against the seat belt. Zach reached down and unbuckled his seatbelt, he collapsed onto the floor of the destroyed plane.
He laid there for several minutes breathing heavily and crying. He had survived, he couldn't believe it. The others, that thought flashed through his mind but he still didn't get up . He laid there for another minute then dragged himself up his arms quivering. He stood on shaking legs and looked around. The cabin was buried under snow. The people, he had seen several get buried, they had probably suffocated by now but he had to check. He lurched to the other side of the aisle and dug his hands into the snow trying to find the bodies of the people that had sat there.
“There's no use,” the voice shot through the plane and relief coursed into Zach's blood.
Zach whirled and saw a middle aged man standing in the middle of the plane, his arm was bleeding and his glasses sat crookedly on his nose, both the eyepieces were missing and he still had them on. He had a thin patch of hair on the back of his head, balding, and his eyes, resting behind the frames of his useless glasses were filled with sorrow.
“What do you mean,” Zach asked and stared at the man?
“Those people under there are dead by now,” the man said and took off his glasses, he looked at them and tossed them to the ground.
“Shouldn't we check,” Zach questioned?
“Why, so we can pull the bodies out,” the man said and looked up at Zach, “Just leave them there.”
“I think we should check,” Zach said and pointed to the the mounds of snow.
“Fine, check,” the man said and he shrugged and turned his back.
Zach looked back at the mounds of snow and realized how useless it would be to dig up the bodies, it would just waste energy. Zach turned and followed the man to the back of the plane. The man was checking the other passengers. All dead, a women had broken her neck. Another man had cracked his skull. A handsome man's seatbelt had broken and he had been flung around the cabin.
Zach almost cried again looking at all these people who had die, in the same crash that he and this other man had survived. They turned around and went to the front of the cabin, the copilot was dead, his head had busted open.
He was looking at the body of the copilot when they heard a quiet moan. Zach turned around and saw a man in his early twenties sitting in the front seat. He had been unconscious and was just now regaining conscious. His eyelids fluttered and he lifted his head, he stared at Zach for a moment then the other man.
Zach ran over and undid his seatbelt, the man pushed himself to his feet, quivering, and stood.
“Holy hell, what happened,” the man said.
“We crashed, your lucky to be alive,” Zach said and smiled.
“Are you two rescuers or something,” the man asked he was squinting and his eyes still looked dazed.
“I wouldn't be expecting rescuers anytime soon,” it was the man who Zach had first met after the crash. He was staring at the new man.
“What,” he asked?
“Were in the middle of the Himalayas, it would take at least two days for a rescue team to get out here especially if they didn't know where we crashed,” the man said he was tugging at the door to the cockpit trying to pry it open.
“Well that bloody sucks,” the man said and nodded to Zach, “My names Henry.”
“Zach,” he said and shook the mans hand.
“My names Richardson,” the man had stopped trying to open the door to the cockpit and had joined them.
“So what the hell are we going to do,” Henry asked?
“That's a good question,” was all Richardson said and he turned his back from them, after a moment of silence he said, “we should try to open this door.”
“Okay,” Henry grunted and walked over to Richardson together they tried to pry the door open. It didn't budge and after a moment of grunting and heaving the two men gave up. Henry put his back against the door and slid top the ground. Richardson placed his hands on his hips and stared at the floor.
They all stood there for several minutes in silence, each one of them lost in their own thoughts, “I'm going to check the outside of the plane,” Zach said shattering the silence.
“Good idea,” Richardson said and turned to face him.
Together they walked to the giant hole in the side of plane, leaving Henry sitting against the door. They stepped out of the plane and were immediately hit by the full force of the cold, it ripped straight through their clothes, slicing through their skin and burrowed into their bones. Their breath appeared in front of them curling around their heads before disappearing into the air. Their feet slid deep into the snow making it hard to walk, and their hands were instantly numb.
The plane was dug deep into the snow. It was pure white covered in a deep blanket of snow. They walked around to the front of the plane, it was ruined. The front was obliterated, smashed and crumpled beyond recognition. It was a twisted replica of the front of the plane, made of twisted metal and snow, it looked like it had been made of paper and crumpled up by a giant fist.
Richardson walked up to the front of the plane and stared at the wreckage, “We should go back inside,” Zach said, Richardson nodded and walked back to the giant hole. Zack also turned looking back once at the front of the plane. The metal had been smashed into an interlocking web of shrapnel, there were spots were the metal wasn't crumpled together that you could crawl back into the plane through the front, it would be a small fit but he could probably do it. He would have to navigate through the metal to get to the door, and that would be useless. They didn't need the door open especially when the cockpit was destroyed.
Zach walked back to the hole and climbed into the plane. Richardson was walking to the back of the plane, and Henry was still sitting with his back to the door. Zach walked over to henry and told him the news about the front of the plane.
Henry didn't give any acknowledgement that he had heard, he just sat there and stared at his hands.
Zach was about to leave when Henry whispered something to quiet to be heard, “What,” Zach asked?
“I said I have kids, man,” Henry repeated there were several small tears trickling down his face.
“Well don't worry you'll see them again,” Zach said and sat down by Henry.
“What makes you so sure,” Henry asked?
“Do you want to see them again,” Zach asked simply?
“Yes, of course I do,” Henry said and looked up at Zach.
“Are you going to give up and sit here or are you going to get up and help us get out of here,” Zach said.
“What do you mean get out of here,” Henry said raising his voice, “where do you plan on going. Were in the middle of the Himalayas, there isn't anywhere to go,” Henry shouted.
“Well then we can survive until someone rescues us,” Zach said quietly and Henry stopped yelling, “now are you going to sit here or are you going to get up and see your kids again,” Zach said and got to his feet.
Zach left and he heard Henry getting up behind him. He walked up to Richardson to see what he was doing.
“I found a kit of useful stuff back here,” Richardson said and handed Zach a red box, it had a flare gun with two extra flares, a water bottle, and a health kit.
“It must be an emergency kit in case someone gets lost at sea or something,” Zach said and closed the box.
“Or lost in the snow,” Richardson said and took the box back.
Zach studied Richardson out of the corner of his eyes, the man was quiet. He was silently reserved, he didn't talk about the situation or what they should do to fix it, he just accepted it and was walking around like he had a plan but didn't want to share it with them. He was annoying Zach on a small level and he hadn't even done anything annoying, it was almost like the man didn't have any emotions, Zach thought.
“I think I'm going to walk outside maybe try to find the people who got sucked out,” Zach said.
“Why,” Richardson asked and stared at Zach. He was probably studying me just like I had studied him, thought Zach.
“Just in case, maybe they had something useful on them or maybe their alive,” Zach said.
Richardson stared at him for a moment longer then shrugged.
Zach turned and walked a couple of steps when Richardson said, “Take this,” and tossed him the flare gun.
Zach caught it and nodded then left the plane.
The cold hit him like a train again when he left the plane but this time he was prepared for it and he wasn't totally caught off guard. Looking back he saw the mangled trail that the plane had left in it's path. Chunks of metal lay at differing increment. In the distance he could see a large chunk of metal , probably the wing.
Taking a deep breadth he lurched forward, his feet dug into the snow causing him to walk slowly and uses more effort, but after awhile he reached the piece of metal that he had seen glinting in the sun. it was the wing, but it was mangled and ruined.
Looking up he noticed that the sky was darkening with incredible speed and darkness was creeping up on the snow. Zach turned around to head back toward the plane when something in the snow caught his eye, in the distance possibly a hundred and fifty hards out there was a shape jutting out of the snow. Maybe it was a seat.
Zach thought for about a minute if he even wanted to see what was probably attached to the seat. Pushing the thoughts out of his head he slowly and arduously made his way to the shape.
He didn't think about what he was probably going to find, he thought about what he could find. Zach had always tried to find the best things in hard situations, throughout his whole life he had. Even when his dad had died of a heart attack he had been the one who had consoled his family members, he had cried by himself with no one to help him and yet he was always their for other people. He would lead them in the right direction and he had never been in a bad situation where he couldn't find something good out of it, or where he couldn't see hope. To him there was always hope somewhere.
When he finally made it to the seat the sun was in its last stages, night teetering on the edge of completeness. However even in the diminishing light he could still make out the horror of what sat in the seat. It wasn't the body of a passenger, it was part of a passenger.
The body was destroyed and not by flying out of a plane. His stomach was ripped open and his insides gone. His face was chewed and his limbs ripped off. The snow was dyed red with blood and the ground was littered with scraps of flesh.
Zach stared at the horrible picture before him before he turned around and emptied his stomach on the red snow. He took several steps backwards, his brain was suddenly clustered with questions.
What the hell could of done this? A polar bear? No they don't roam the Himalayas. A wolf? Did they live in these mountains?
Zach turned away from the seat and started walking back to the plane. The sun flickered one final ray across the snow before it vanished and complete darkness claimed the white valley. Zach walked his feet sliding deep into the snow.
Zach had never been one to be afraid of the night. But now for the first time since he was a child he felt the fear of the dark creep into his body. It wrapped itself around his stomach and squeezed , causing him to continually look behind him and cast his eyes around the dark snow.
It was this that saved him, looking backwards at the sound of snow crunching he saw the beast. It was at least fifty feet back and stood on two feet. As soon as Zach laid eyes on it, the creature raised its arms and roared. It was a sound unlike anything he had ever heard in his life. It ripped across the snow and enveloped him. It was the sound of hunger and ferocity of nothing any normal animal in the world could replicate.
At the distance it was, Zach couldn't make out the finer details. It was big, the size of a grizzly bear. It stood on two feet and it's arms hung by its sides, almost like a human. It had a snout and two eyes that glared in the darkness, like a dogs.
Zach ran. He turned his back and ran. Any rational thought left him, his instincts pushed their way into his gears and spurred them into motion. He picked his feet up and ran. It was then that he became aware of how slow he moved even when running as fast as he could. In the snow his feet sunk and he was already out of breath.
He could hear the monster running behind him. Throwing a wild look behind him he saw the creature running on all four legs. It soared easily over the snow, like a bird in the sky, this creature was in it's world. It was perfectly created for the snow, it was hunting easy prey. The beast wasn't even trying it knew it had him. It was an easy meal, almost as easy as the poor soul in the chair had been.
He could hear the beast gaining on his, he could hear the breathing, easy and relaxed. Zach would of screamed if he had the breath but it was all leaving his body, he was focusing intensely on running as fast as he possible could, even though he knew it wasn't fast enough.
He heard the snow crunching under the monsters feet directly behind him, the breathing , the fear. It all fed into his body and he knew he couldn't give up, he couldn't become like the person in the seat, torn to shreds by an animal.
Zach's hands reached into his pockets and he wrapped his fingers around the hilt of the flare gun. At the tough of his skin on metal relief and energy coursed through his veins . He pulled the gun out and turned.
He didn't aim, he didn't have the time to. He simply pulled the trigger. The darkness around him was disintegrated by the sudden powerful flash of light. It blinded him and the sparks sizzled on his clothes and the snow at his feet. It split the night apart and exploded in a fiery cloud of sparks and light. It smashed into the creature like a holey bullet of sunlight. It lit the creature up in light. Causing Zach to get a horrifying look at the face of the creature.
It's snout was covered with blood and filled with fangs the size of fingers. They glinted red in the sudden burst of light. It's eyes were squinted by the sudden burst. The creature was pure white covered in the snow colored hair, except for the parts smeared with blood. Its arms ended in hands each equipped with wickedly sharp and curved nails. Its arms and legs bulged with muscles and its paws were padded so that it easily ran across snow.
The flare exploded on the creatures chest sizzling fur and causing the monster to roar in pain. Zach smelt burning flesh and the monster fell to the ground. Zach turned suddenly and started running again while reloading the flare gun.
The monster roared again and Zach looked back only to see it's dog like eyes glinting in the night. Then they were gone and Zach was running alone with the creature behind him, giving up.
Zach kept running, he didn't stop to catch his breath until he saw the plane before him. He almost shouted with joy when he saw the plane and stopped. Placing his hands on his knees he bent forward taking deep breaths of the cold air, it hurt his lungs and he placed his hands on his head to allow the air better access to his lungs.
Then he saw the eyes.