After the fourth day of a continuous blizzard, it appeared the last snowflake had fallen. Bundled up in multiple layers of clothing and snow gear, I pushed open the heavy door of the cabin. I was in desperate need of provisions. There had been no warning of this storm and I was by no means prepared to be holed up in my cabin in the middle of the woods for more than three days.
I trudged slowly through the thigh-deep snow to the barn where the snowmobile was kept. I would take this into town to stock up on food. My husband had had the sense to purchase one when we decided to buy a cabin in Maine as our second home. That was before I found out he was having an affair with his secretary, but it wouldn’t do to dwell on that right now.
The sky was bright, like it always is after a big snow storm, and the wind had thankfully ceased. It was hard enough making my way through the blizzards aftermath as it was. I finally made it to the barn door and began the process of digging a path for the door to slide open. This was slow-going as well. After what seemed like an eternity of digging, I felt I had enough space for the door to give. I yanked on the handle and after a few pulls, I had the door open wide enough to make my way out of the barn with the snowmobile.
I tumbled into the barn and shook off as much of the ever-clinging snow as I could. I grabbed the key off the hook and started the engine. After checking the gas gauge and ensuring the tank was full, I steered her out of the garage and made the trek into town.
It was no surprise that I didn’t see any life on the roads during the 30-minute drive. The temperature was in the negatives and most were surely more prepared than I for a storm like this one. I needed to remember that for next time. It was odd, however, how eerily quiet it was once I turned onto Main Street. Most of the occupants in the town had an apartment above their shops or a house not far away. Surely there would be someone around, right?
I parked the snowmobile in front of the little grocery store and killed the engine. I hopped off and made my way to the storefront. The walkway had been cleared recently; that had to be a good sign. The double doors whooshed open as they sensed my movement and I welcomed the surge of warm air. I grabbed a small cart and began to make my way through the aisles, picking out the necessities. Again, I noticed that I didn’t encounter a single soul as I moved through the store. I thought this was strange, but didn’t psych myself out about it. Sherri, the sweet older woman that ran the store was probably in the back slicing deli meats and hadn’t heard me enter.
Thankfully, Sherri had a self-checkout counter installed a year or so ago, so I didn’t need to wait around. I would have enjoyed some conversation with a friendly face, but I was also eager to get back home. I was starting to get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I rang my items up and stowed them in the backpack I had brought along.
As I left the store, I noticed there was another snowmobile parked by mine.
“That’s odd,” I thought. I hadn’t seen or heard anyone else inside the store. I deposited my bag on the luggage rack of my ride and went to peer in the window next to the grocery store, a little souvenir shop. Unsurprisingly, there wasn’t any activity inside. Most places like this one closed for the winter season since we didn’t get many tourists this time of year.
The uneasy feeling was hitting me hard again though, so I decided to check out the other shops. I peered into the closed stores and went inside those that were open. There wasn’t a single person in this town. It was as if everyone had disappeared.
That can’t be possible, someone else came into town on that snowmobile.
I hurried out of the wine shop I was currently in and bee-lined back to the grocery store. I rounded the corner and stopped short. The other snowmobile was gone.
I went back into the grocery store to find Sherri. I walked quickly through the aisles again, looking for her. After failing, I pushed open the door that led to what I could only assume was the back room. Sure enough, I was right. A quick survey of the room though, confirmed my fear; there wasn’t anyone here.
I could feel myself starting to panic, that uneasy feeling growing steadily stronger. I hurried back to my ride and started the engine. I decided I would pay my neighbor a visit (I say neighbor loosely, since the closest neighbor I have lives more than 5 miles away from me). I knew they would be home though; I had spoken to Angela on the phone two days prior.
I drove as quickly as the snow-covered roads would allow. I reached the driveway of Angela’s cabin and had to creep slowly down the path; hers was windy and on a deeper slope than mine. As I neared, the uneasy feeling skyrocketed. There was no smoke escaping the chimney and the cabin was dark.
I scurried off the snowmobile and climbed the steps to the front door, noticing they had been cleared recently, just like Sherri’s store. I knocked and listened for movement; there wasn’t any. I tried the handle and found it unlocked. I entered the cabin, my breathing fast and shallow. I searched every room, calling out to Angela and her husband, Dave. There wasn’t anyone there, no sign of life.
My worst fear was happening; everyone I knew had disappeared.
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