Saturday, January 29, 2011


The Red Dress Club prompt this week is all about being stuck in a blizzard. I took this from a short story I started writing a few years ago. I changed it a little, because that story was actually set in August, and had a lot more to it. I decided to simplify a bit. I hope it works.

It was barely noon, but the storm's increasing strength had sent the entire town into hiding.

The Sheriff's office was the last building that boasted any sign of life, and even they were on a skeleton crew. A skeleton crew that consisted of Sheriff Taylor, who was currently out in the big truck, searching for stranded motorists, and Kelly Douglas, who dutifully manned the switchboard.

There hadn't been a single call in more than three hours. The town was locked down.

The Sheriff radioed to say that the storm was getting worse and that she should head home before it was too late. She was in her coat and headed for the door before the radio static faded. The switchboard calls would be forwarded so that if someone needed help, they could still reach someone, though when she looked out the glass front doors, she wondered how help could get to them anyway in weather like this.

Keys in hand, she pushed the door open, but it stopped, stuck against something.

She peered through the fogged glass. The drift was at least 8 inches high already, and she pressed harder against the door, trying to force it to open against the slushy weight. It moved a little, but not enough to squeeze through.

She bent down and reached a gloved hand through the opening in the door, trying to push back enough snow to let herself out. Her hand connected with something solid and closer inspection revealed a dark shape, splayed across the sidewalk.

"Hello?" she whispered.

The mass didn't move, so she shook it.

She sat with her back against the door, pressing her feet into the floor and pushing as hard as she could. The door moved wider now, enough that she could squeeze herself out into cold.

A figure lay face down across the sidewalk. Bundled legs were partially blocking the door. He--at least, Kelly was pretty sure it was a 'he'--didn't move.

"Hey," she said, shaking the figure. "Can you hear me?"

There was no response.

She looked up and down the sidewalk. He needed to get to a hospital, but she would never be able to get him into her car by herself.

Kelly sighed, pulled his heavy legs away from the door and opened it all the way. Dragging him by the arms took several minutes, but she managed to get him inside, out of the storm, leaving him in the entry while she reached for a light switch. Nothing happened. The power was out.

She looked down at the unconscious man, shook her head, and disappeared into a back room to find emergency supplies, wondering how long this storm could possibly last.