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Lines In The Snow (standard:drama, 1137 words)
Author: HulseyAdded: Nov 17 2002Views/Reads: 2839/1489Story 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 


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