Leaving the Wreckage (Not Finished either)

It was bitter cold and the wreckage of the train was miles back. It was a cargo train but it held a few passengers. Most of them died in the crash and most of the ones that didn’t died in the cold. The glowing light from the flaming mass of metal and wood glowed just below the horizon while the northern lights shined above. The blanket of white covered everything and was undisturbed aside from the few trails of footprints. There was three of them left and they pushed through hills and woods, rocks and ice to get back to camp or some likeness to one. When they first left the wreckage there were eight trails of prints. After the first couple miles one of the trails of prints ended in a frozen mass. The remaining seven trails carried on after the frozen mass was stripped bare of any resources. Several miles after that another frozen mass dropped to the snow. It continued as such until there were only the living three. Beards and lashes hardened with ice and uncovered flesh blue with the onset of frostbite. When they decided to finally rest they held close to the fire that reminded them of the one that had, only a few hours prior been inside the bellows of the train that carried them. This fire gave them far less hope. When they had ensured that the fire was built enough to last through the night they slept. When morning broke two of them stirred and the other remained still. The fire was not enough to stave off the hypothermia that was already set in. Another frozen mass lay in the snow. The other two began to carry on. The snow rested just short of their knees every step they took, deeper in some parts, shallower in others. Movement was slow through the rows of pines and birch trees but they made their way. They weren’t sure exactly how far they had traveled but they knew the general direction they were headed. A noise became more and more apparent they further they went. A sort of shush that started softly at first but as the trees began to clear it grew louder. Then when no trees were in front of them and the noise was deafening they saw it. With rushing waters and spraying mist the river lay before them. Ice caped rocks lined the shores of the water that was too fast for the cold to slow. It lay before them and split their path. A mountain may as well be what separated them from further travels. There were two options as they saw it. Either strip naked and swim across with the hopes that they could wade the current with their clothes and gear held dry above them or spend a day cutting trees and fashion a raft. Neither one was appealing but they had no choice. They opted for the raft. Each one with hatchets in hand began to cut away at the trees and the light faded slowly as they did. Another fire was lit and they rested. Morning broke yet again and they continued their work. Halfway through the cold gray day their work was complete. A raft big enough to hold two men and supplies that was enough for eight. Water splashed and whatever it touched turned to ice as they traversed the river. All they could do was use the current and long sticks to guide them across. It wasn’t pleasant but it worked. They were across in twenty minutes. Quickly they built a fire to thaw themselves and their equipment. Ice melted slowly but it did melt. They again rested for the night. There were no sounds throughout the night save the crackle of the fire. The night was perfect but it was not meant for them. It was meant for the creatures, the tress, the snow, and the stars. Green and purple streaks shined above the reaching branches of the snow covered forest. They were intruders in this world that was ruled by the mountains and governed by the cold. It was up to them to survive this world for everything else in it was against them. They have provisions for three more days. They needed to find more and they needed to survive. Jon had a wife and three children to live for. Peter had a wife and used to have a son. Those they were to survive for shared the same stars but not the same world. They were safe in the warmth miles away. Those at home and each other where what they drove on for. Until the day they reached them and the warmth they were at the mercy of this new unforgiving world. As the night stars began to fade away with the new coming day they rose again. Again they packed their things ate what little they could ration and carried on.

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