|Lines In The Snow (standard:drama, 1137 words)|
|Author: Hulsey||Added: Nov 17 2002||Views/Reads: 2886/1524||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A rescuer at the site of a crashed aircraft discovers horror and a letter written by a young girl.|
The cruel elements had conspired to inhibit us in our quest. McHenry's Peak, one of the more anonymous climbs, was difficult in the best of weather, but these conditions were most unfavourable. In fact, it was the worst winter on record. The reason for us being in the Rocky Mountains in such hazardous conditions was Flight 637, a passenger aircraft that had disappeared off the radar screen, some six weeks ago. This was our third attempt at the peak, the slight improvement in the weather encouraging us. Spotter planes had flown over the Rockies several times, but their search proved futile. The last transmission from the aircraft, suggested that their route would take them somewhere close to McHenry's peak. The authorities had insisted that it would be madness and pointless, making such a climb in the given conditions. Myself and my two companions, Jonah and Fozzy disagreed, and set out to prove them wrong. The reason for our commitment was the passenger list. Aboard the stricken aircraft were forty children, aged between twelve and fifteen. They were returning to their hometown after a school outing. Common sense told us that the chances of finding any survivors were slim, but we had to try. We reached the summit of the peak at midday and lay there fatigued, the freezing air biting at our numb faces. We laughed and congratulated one another, as our eyes scoured the pristine, white landscape. Our search had yielded a piece of aircraft, which filled us with anticipation. The cry from Fozzy alerted us, and we struggled towards him, the deep snow constraining us, even though we wore snowshoes. We looked down into the gully where he was indicating, and we gazed upon the numerous dark forms that littered the pure, white snow. We made the tricky climb towards our destination, unaware of the images that would be imprinted in our minds for the rest of our lives. The tiny bodies were lined up in the snow, as if God had demanded that they enter the gateway of heaven in an orderly manner. The mutilated bodies bore witness to the carnage that must have occurred in this tranquil wilderness. What horror they must have encountered, for someone so young and innocent. Their confrontation with death was beyond the bounds of comprehension. The freezing, howling wind was deemed insignificant in this desolate cemetery. We remained silent; each of us in our own dreamlike state, realising the implications of what horror had befallen these children. The bodies, or what was left of them, were preserved by the freezing conditions. There was no sign of the cockpit, and we realised that the remains of the aircraft was scattered for many miles. My forlorn eyes were attracted to a dark shape that was half buried in the snow. It was isolated from the other bodies and the fuselage. The remains of a small girl lay secluded, as if she wanted to dissociate herself from her companions. What frightful and ghastly events must have taken place in this cold bleak gully. An untouched letter lay close to her body, as if it had pardoned by the horror. I picked up the sodden paper, my eyes filling with tears as I read it. I now realise the insignificance of trivial matters, such as being late for school and visiting the dentist. In comparison to what has befallen my friends and I, it is but a small ripple in a giant ocean. Never in all of my short life, had I imagined such pain that hunger can induce. The writing was now faint and undefined, as if the ink had stopped flowing, just as her blood had. I read on. “Mr Sayer died this morning after losing so much blood. He was the last of the adults. How dare he die and leave us to fend for ourselves? We wept, when we realised we were merely infants, left to survive in such cruel conditions. We have been here for ten days and the food is long since gone. Several of us have frostbite and are too weak and cold to help ourselves. The decision to eat Mr Sayer was suggested by one of the older boys, Philip, who has assumed leadership. I refuse to partake in this sacrilege, even after my brother, Andy, beseeched me to do so. I would Click here to read the rest of this story (43 more lines)
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