The clogging white. The blinding flash. A sickening crunch.
These were the last things Erik and his two friends remembered before their Chevy wrapped around the trunk of an old evergreen. What had begun as a small snowfall had soon escalated into a storm, and before long the radio was blaring warnings of an incoming blizzard. Erik had thought that he could outrun the tempest; the deserted straightaway they were on allowed him all the speed he wanted. The blizzard wouldn’t hurt them. Nothing would happen to them. They were teenagers, with their whole lives ahead of them, and that’s why Jeremy, sitting in the passenger seat next to Erik, turned the speakers off.
Now there was only blackness. Erik didn’t know whether it was day or night, and his head hurt so much he thought it had split open. He pulled himself from the wreckage of the truck and stumbled out into the heavy blanket of snow. Too much snow. The clogging powder was nearing a foot and a half in height already, and Erik was in a daze with his unknown concussion and a new inquiry that prevented any movement in his right arm; it had broken in the crash.
Clumps of snow were already beginning to cover Erik’s body, but he hurriedly brushed them off once he heard a pained moan emanate from the truck’s back-seat.
“Matt,” he mumbled over freezing lips, “Matt, are you alright?”
Nothing answered him but more grunts and moans. Erik started limping around the truck’s front and the enormous pine tree. The vehicle resembled only unrecognizable twists and shards of metal and glass entwined around the unharmed tree. The Chevy had done no more to it than a cat might have done running into your foot. This was only from what he could see of a crash; the whiteout was preventing vision farther than two to three feet.
“The darkness was becoming more absolute, the temperature plummeting through the negatives.”
“H – Help!” Matt was finally able to voice, although Erik could barely hear it over the howling wind. He sped up, nearly tripping over the knee-high snow as he did so, and finally made it to the opposite side of the truck.
There was no need to open a door, for there wasn’t one to open. Erik saw Matt lying in the back seat, clutching his leg and wincing horribly. Streaming tears rolled from his eyes as he fought the pain, only to slowly freeze on his face. Erik looked at his friend’s leg, and his stomach churned. Halfway up his calf, the limb jutted forward and Erik was sure that was bone protruding from the leg’s back side.
He stumbled back, hardly believing what was happening. With a sudden horrible thought, he turned his attention to the front set. His heart dropped and a blank noise filled his mind. Like Erik, Jeremy had been sitting in the front seat. Unlike Erik, however, the truck did not seem to have excluded him from its destruction. His limp head was tilting forward even while his neck was twisted at an odd angle, and nothing on him moved. Snow was building up on his body, further destroying any hope Erik had.
He stumbled back only to trip over the heightening powder and fall flat on his back. He didn’t know what to do or even where they were. He didn’t even know how long they had been unconscious. The truck had stopped steaming some time ago, and Matt’s already pale lips were a deepening shade of blue. The darkness was becoming more absolute, the temperature plummeting through the negatives. Night was approaching, and Erik was injured, stranded, and had his friend falling to hypothermia right beside him, clutching a leg that would never again move.