October 14th, Arrival, Afternoon.
We made it to the cabin with no trouble and luckily with little of the perma-snow getting into our boots. Sitting on a tree stump that I’m using as a make-shift seat-- while pine needles try to find their way into every crevice of my clothes-- I can see what Jed meant when he said that everything is clearer when you’re up here. The sun pierces through the clouds and illuminates everything around us, enhancing the changing color of the leaves, the branches on the ground and even turns the greyness of rocks into a happier hue. The air is colder up here, but that just seems to make it more bracing. Wind whistles through your clothes and grasps at you, almost like an embrace, so pure that it seems to get rid of all negative thoughts, even ones that you don’t fully feel like you could ever forget.
The snow provides the canvas, the nature provides the color is what I feel like you would say if you were here.
Jed, the park ranger, hiker extraordinaire, adventure guru know-it-all as it is, already told me all of this in his long ass speeches about how beautiful the location is,, how I must “pack warm” and “layer up,” but I’ll be damned if I give him the satisfaction of saying that he is right. He is also currently hollering at me to get off my ass and help him unpack the sleigh. Crates need to be unloaded, food put away and blah blah blah. I still don’t think it is enough food for two weeks, but again, he is the know-it-all, so who am I to judge his extreme wisdom?
I was never the adventurous type, I barely got to First Class in Boy Scouts before throwing in the towel; I still don’t know how Jed convinced me to come out here. But at least the area is beautiful, and journaling to you may help me pass the time, or at least keep me sane.
October 14th, Night.
I thought the sun itself was beautiful, but that sunset was something else. Violets and oranges that you just can’t get in the city.
We got everything unpacked into the cabin, our food supply just perfectly fills up the kitchen, looks like Jed was right again, might even have to admit that I was wrong. Sometimes I wonder if I ever had a correct thought in my head, you and Jed always seem to prove that everything I say or think is wrong.
The cabin is beautiful. If you were here, I know you would absolutely adore it. It’s entirely made out of logs from the surrounding trees. Consists of two stories, the first floor being dedicated with a seating area that contains a fireplace, a fully decked out kitchen, a dining table, and a bookcase filled with books about wilderness survival, boring info about the flora and fauna and even more boring info about the location. Upstairs is smaller, but still just as nice. It’s a half floor, with a small little hallway/banister that allows you to look at the floor below. The only actual room up there is the bedroom, but with its queen-size bed, wicker chairs and window that faces the east, it more than makes up for being the only thing upstairs.
I’m also glad that I decided to bring more jackets and blankets than Jed said I needed, it's bloody colder than I was expecting. We have propane heaters, and a fireplace in the sitting area stockpiled with God knows how much wood, and an axe to go out and chop more, but even that doesn’t seem to combat the chill that has begun to seep into my bones. Wood floors and walls look nice, but would it have killed them to add SOME carpet!? Anything to add some dormant heat in this place?
Jed is taking the room, leaving me with the couch. I asked Jed if we should sleep in the same bed to preserve body heat. He hit me, I think I deserved it.
October 15th, Morning.
Morning arrived earlier than I expected, and earlier than I wanted it to be. I am not a monk, this rising-with-the-sun shit is not for me. Luckily Jed was already up and made me a cup of coffee, its smell waking me up before he could. I’m starting to think he actually cares for me, or maybe he just doesn’t want to deal with cranky morning me. It's probably the latter. He probably remembers pre-coffee me from when we were freshman roommates, but still, it’s the thought that counts.
No real plans for the day. Jed wants to hike around and show me the area. We are bringing the .22s in case we come across any small game. I think that's the real reason we are hiking; Jed needs to shoot something and he wants me to share in the experience of killing small rodents. I think coming with him is a bad idea, I’m more likely to shoot him than the game, but my cries don’t sway him. I asked Jed if he could just shoot me instead. I don’t think he appreciated that, probably still thinks that it is “too soon,” considering what had happened, considering its the reason we are up here. I know you would have liked it though.
October 15th, Afternoon.
No luck with any game, but the area sure was pretty.
October 16th, Night.
We’ve only been up here for two days, yet I’m already bored. Sure the area is pretty and nice to walk around, but that's pretty much it. Jed has me playing card games with him once the sun goes down, but it's not like there are a lot of games that you can play with just two people, and after my upteenth game of Go-Fish, I finally addressed these frustrations to Jed. He just scoffed at me though. Boring is good, he says. Boring means that nothing is going on, and that means there is nothing we have to worry about. He may like boring, and maybe I am just a city-slicker, but I could go for some excitement. I know all of this would be easier if you were here though, but writing these feels like I am talking to you, like you are actually here, which is the best I can get right now.
But I’ll take anything.
October 17th, Morning.
It feels like the days are beginning to get colder, and the clouds look heavier than they should; it seems like night is refusing to give way to day. Jed says there is nothing to worry about, that I’ve spent too long reading the books in the cabin and am just getting scared of stuff that I don’t fully understand. Apparently it’s just regular mountain weather, and I quote him here, “Nothing to get my panties in a twist about.”
I really can’t help but worry though, I’m getting the same sense of foreboding I got when… you left, the feeling of being in the eye of the storm, where everything is calm, right before the rain blinds you and pulls you in to drown.
I wish you were here, I know you could ease my nerves better than Jed ever could.
Snow has started to fall. Jed still says it is okay, but I think I see a small glimmer of worry in his eye every time he turns away from looking through the window.
Two feet! Two feet of snow, according to Jed’s estimation. He says that it's fine. Mid-Autumn snows like this are apparently common up here, the books that I love so much (according to him) say the same thing. Plus, a little extra snow never hurt anyone according to him. I don’t know how he can call this little. The clouds haven’t let up either. I asked Jed if we should cut the trip short, but I am still being told not to worry. We can still get off the mountain anytime we want, and while we may get more today, it won’t last long. He also claims that while he could get down right now, I would not be able to easily trek down the mountain while walking on two feet of snow. And if I cared to read the books a little bit more than I cared to bitch, I would also see that the snow will melt just as quickly as it came. I hope he is right about this all, but I’m starting to doubt it.
The snow started back up again. Jed still says that it is fine. I’ve started to read any book now that mentions the snow, or survival in the snow. It isn’t doing anything to alleviate my fears.
24 hours later and the snow still hasn’t stopped. My worry is turning into panic, and Jed isn’t masking his worry anymore, I can feel his nerves penetrating around the cabin, washing over me like a wave, colder than the snow. He says everything is fine, but I know he doesn’t believe it himself, that it's just some line he thinks he has to sprout for my benefit, even though I was the one who brought up the concern in the first place. He’s also begun to pace around the cabin, and I think he is muttering something to himself, or planning something by himself.
The wind is also beginning to start up again, and whenever I go outside to use the outhouse it won’t embrace me like it used to, instead I can hear it in my thoughts, whistling its sweet melody in my brain, whistling like you used to do.
The wind has picked up and, surprise, the snow hasn’t stopped. Jed advised that we begin to ration food. When asked if it was possible that we just leave everything and get off this forsaken mountain, he said no. The storm would impact our vision and we may never find our way down. Plus with how cold it is getting and how slow moving it would be, we wouldn’t be able to get down before night, and who knows what hypothermia or other cold-related afflictions will we get when the sun goes down.
I snapped, told him that we should have gotten off this mountain earlier, to which Jed replied by locking himself in the bedroom. I don’t give a fuck about his hurt feelings though. I know I’m right, and through the whistling of the wind, I hear you agree with me.
October 22nd? Maybe the 23rd
I can feel you in my mind more now, the whispers that I heard before have changed to full words, spoken in your voice. Maybe it’s just an echo of you, me clinging to your remnants so I have someone to talk to, someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to keep me sane.
I can tell that you’re not always here, sometimes you leave, and no matter how much I call, you don’t respond. Even when you are here, I feel like you can’t hear me, even when I speak aloud, but I can hear you. But while I can’t see you, I know you can see me. This journal is proof of it. Everything I write in you respond to. Maybe it has taken the shape of a reverse Ouija board, one where you speak, and I write.
Maybe I really am going insane.
I can tell that Jed doesn’t like the fact that I continue to write in this journal, he scoffs every time I pick it up. But with how much time he is spending up in his room now, those scoffs are few and far between. Even if we couldn’t communicate with it, I know I would keep doing it, just to piss him off, because even though he is one of the last people I could imagine wanting to see right now, he is the only person I can see right now, and bitter scoffs are better than no human interaction in my opinion. Plus, he got us into this situation, he can deal with my journaling.
What do you think?
Yeah, I thought so.
I’ve Lost Count
The snowfall has stopped, but we are still in no condition to go anywhere. It is piled so high that we can barely walk through it. This morning I think the door was actually frozen shut, it took Jed banging against it multiple times to finally open up, and his efforts were rewarded with a wall of snow. We can still get to the outhouse, but only barely. And if a 100-foot walk takes minutes, I can only imagine what going down the mountain would be like.
Food is running low; I don’t know how much longer it will last. Wood supply is also running low, and due to the snow, we are in no position, nor even have the morale, to chop down more.
Two more inches of snow, because apparently we didn’t already have enough
I agree, this is all Jed’s fault. He is the one who wanted us up here. He is the one who didn’t take us down when it started getting bad. He is the one who didn’t pack enough fucking food. And now with the snow starting up again for the who-knows-how-many-time, who knows when we will get off this fucking mountain.
Oh, and this even harsher rationing of food, where does Jed get the balls. We only have three days left of food if we continued with half rations he says, but I don’t buy it. We had at least a week left of food if we ate at a normal pace when the ration started, how are we already down to three days of food at half rations. I’ve only been eating half rations, how are we down this far?
No, Jed wouldn't be eating more of his share, he can’t be. He’s an ass, sure, but he is better at this than I am. He wouldn’t break the ration rule, even if it would spite me. You’re wrong, you have to be wrong.
But are you?
Where are you going?
I think I can see you, out in the snow. You’re always out of sight, and always leave right after I see you , but it has to be you. I don’t understand why you’re out there, maybe you’re finding us a path so we can get off this mountain, maybe you’re just embracing the weather, you always did love the cold. We can leave Jed behind, he deserves it. I hope you get back here soon though, we can’t talk if you're not here reading this, and I miss you.
I can feel my stomach eating itself
I am so hungry, I don’t remember the last time I ate, when the food ran out. Do you remember?
I thought so.
Jed is jealous of us, I can still see it when he looks over here, he is just mad that he doesn’t have a wife by his side, someone that would be by his side even after their death, mad that he doesn’t have anyone to talk to. It’s not my fault he stopped talking to me, I tried. Its not my fault that he is so fucking uptight. That he spends more time in the woods than with his wife. It’s not my fault that she left him. We’ve tried talking to him, you know we have. But every time we speak up, he just looks away. When you were away, I tried to go into the room, I swear I did, but he wouldn’t open the fucking door.
Oh? You were able to go up there when I was asleep? What did you guys talk about? What do you mean you guys didn’t talk?
What do you mean he was hiding something?
The day (and night) of splattered blood
I did what I had to do right? You agree with me, it was justified. I did what had to be done, no one can fault me on that. He deserved it.
He was smuggling food. I knew that we weren’t running out of food that quickly, that we couldn’t have been going through the rations, that ration that he implemented, that fast. You were the one who told me that he was hiding food from me. You have to realize what my reaction would have been when I found out you were right. Bags of beef jerky, cans of chili, some oranges, all tuck away, out of sight and out of mind, in a room he locked me out of, since the beginning. He never wanted me in that room, even during the first day. I was condemned down to the couch, while he slept like a king, all tucked away from the lowly peasant that he must of thought I was. Was this the plan all along? Finally grew tired of me weeping about you, so he decides to bring me up here and starve me out, as some sort of sick, slow killing torture?
You weren’t here for this obviously, you were out there again, trying to find a path down I’m sure, but you must have known how I felt. He tried to defend himself, that it was just for when things got even worse, so he could cheer me up. As if. How much worse could it get? I’ve been without food for days, and yet not a word from him. You told me that he was smuggling it away from me, why would I believe him when I have you.
And nobody can fault me for what happened next, it was to be expected, it was natural, survival of the fittest, retribution for my wrongs, getting rid of the weakest link. I am justified! Anyone would have done the same, you would have done the same right? You wanted this to happen right? Why else would you have told me? You always wished that I took charge more, and now I finally have.
I still don’t know how the axe got into my hands. Maybe you came back and put it there, to usher me forward on what I had to do. The .22’s sat in the corner, using them would have been kinder for Jed, but the axe, oh, the axe; the feel, the heft, the power in it, it was the best feeling I’ve had since our wedding. Yeah, the axe felt right. He screamed and screamed and screamed, so loud that you must have heard it, so intensely that it would have broken the confines of this journal, but I didn’t care. He brought me up here so no one could hear my cry, and that sword can cut two ways.
I’ve never been one for hunting, you know this. The thought of killing another animal always made my stomach turn. I was a hypocritical carnivore. I could eat the meat, just couldn’t stand to acknowledge where it came from and how it got here. But bringing that axe down rendering through flesh, was ecstasy. The blood gushed from the ruin of his arm, flying so high that it splattered into my laughing mouth, and oh, it was nice. Tasty. He stopped pleading and tried to defend himself, but I was in control now, and I would allow no quarter to be given. I brought it down, again and again. First into his other arm, then into his leg, my screams of excitement joined his scream of fear, creating a haunting melody, the perfect soundtrack to his ruin and my ascension. Again and again I brought it down. Flesh and bones, fingers and toes flew off and around me, a perfect storm of red to forget the insufferable storm of white. I don’t know when his screams stopped, all I know was until I walked out of the room, a wealth of food items in my hands, mine never did.
Oh it was a feast. Juice running down my chin, the taste of jerky in my mouth, the feeling of chili warming me up from inside my belly. His body sat slumped in the corner where I drag it, the holes where his eyes once were watched me the entire time, but what about it. He tried to rid me of my rations, so now he got to watch me feast.
Rations are running low
I knew you wouldn’t have blamed me for what happened, that you saw the justice in me killing him. And you’re absolutely right about the current situation, the remaining food won’t last much longer. And he is already in pieces.
It really would be a shame to leave his body
Rations filled back up
The snow preserved what I couldn’t eat. I never knew that flesh could taste so good. The blood that sprayed into my mouth during my justice stirred up my appetite for this without me even knowing, and finally indulging myself in him, oh that was a treat. Beef could never compare. I don’t know why we aren’t offering this in restaurants everywhere, it’s practically the same as cow. Rarer, stringier, juicier cow.
I wish you could eat some, you could experience what I am tasting. Remember that fancy steakhouse that we went to for one of our anniversaries. You got the veal, you said it was the best thing that you have ever eaten, I took a bite, and I agreed with you.
This doesn’t even compare. Nothing will ever compare.
There isn’t enough, not enough to last me. I need to get off this mountain, but was Jed right, was there no way off, was it still too dangerous?
No. Jed was weak. He succumbed to our situation, to his hunger, to my fury. He knew he couldn’t get off this mountain, but I can. I have you Cecilia, you’ve been looking for a way off this mountain. You’re out there right now. You’ll find it, you’ll save me.
And then, we can be together again.
I see you out there, beckoning. Could it be possible that you found a way off this mountain, for us to be together. I can see it in your eyes, it seems like you actually can hear me. Is that true? It is!? Do I no longer need this? I’ve been writing in it for so long, I can see your arms, beckoning me to move faster, but I must write this down, this is how I started my journey, and it’s how I want to end it too. There is no time to put on a jacket, or to put on shoes, you need me now, you’ll protect me, you’ll lead me away from this mountain
We can finally be together again.