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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 22, 2017

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Submitted: May 22, 2017



423 miles is the distance separating my family and I from paradise. We are now six hours away from my grandparents little humble abode in Destin, Florida. It feels like we have been driving for months without end.

As we are entering Tennessee a snow storm had just started. It has been continuing to snow and the total height is at least 10 inches in some parts of Tennessee. We are now reaching the mountainous terrain just outside of Nashville, an area hit hard by the storm. Now this is something I did not like to see especially since it is my turn to drive. Although the speed limit is 65 mph everyone is only going 40 mph. This slowed our trip down a ton creating some frustration in my family. We have been going 25 mph under the speed limit for a solid hour. I see a gap and I decide to take the chance at getting into it and actually getting ahead of all the cautious drivers that are resting their feet on the brake pedal. As the clock reaches 1 a.m. I find myself surrounded by semi-trucks, and only semi-trucks. The gap keeps taunting me to try and squeeze into it like a baseball player hopping around as if he was going to steal home.

Eager, nervous, and intensified by the thought of finally breaking away from the pack holding me back, I think to myself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

I slightly tap the accelerator and just as I clear my previous lane I hit a huge patch of ice. My thoughts are jumping all over the place just like our car. The thoughts go from thinking we are going to die, all the way to this must be a dream. Immediately I start spinning out all over the two lanes, just before a bright yellow J. B. Hunt semi-truck T-bones our car. We continue to spin out and finally are stopped when we get pinned against the sketchy mountains with overhangs reaching out over the highway. Tall slanted trees line the border of them.  

I wake up in a fog after being knocked out to find myself dizzy, confused, and bloody. My head is pounding just like my heart when I am nervous. As I start looking for my family I notice a huge hemorrhage on my head. I check to see if they are okay, but they are all still knocked out. It looks like I got the worst of the injuries. Looking for my phone since it was sitting in the cup holder, I scatter around the front seat. I am guessing it got thrown around during the accident, because I cannot not find it anywhere. Try grabbing for the Ford Escape door handle, but there is no budge. The driver’s side is pinned up against the mountains. My claustrophobia starts to kick in as I realize I am trapped. Of course the steering wheel is locked and jammed on top of my legs with the airbag pressed tightly against my chest and face.

I start yelling, “Guys wake up! Guys?” Nobody responds, as I start to freak out.

Suddenly I hear some voices from outside, “Can anyone hear me in there?”

“Yes, please help. Can you call 911?” I respond.

“I already did,” the strangers voice rang out. “They are trying to get units sent out this way, but they don’t know how long it will be because of the storm.”

I start going through the scenarios of what could happen by the time help gets to us. Could our car get trapped under all of the snow? Will my family wake up by then?

The stranger speaks again, “Are you still there? Hello?”

I do not know how to respond as the thick snow continues to fall. The semi-trucks loudly speed by, covering up the tone of my voice as I try to talk to the stranger outside my car.

“Can you try to open the doors by you?” I ask but as he tries, the doors do not budge.

“They must be frozen shut! They won’t move at all,” he yells to me.

I can feel the adrenaline starting to shoot through my body as I panic about being stuck in the little driver’s seat of our car. Taking out the keys from the ignition, I start stabbing the airbag hoping to pop it. It pops and blows a gust of wind into my face. Next I fidget with the steering wheel to try to find the switch to move it up, hoping to free my legs. When I do find the switch it is broken and I lose all hope of moving it. I give one final push and somehow break free.

My dad is sitting in the passenger seat still unconscious. His side was hit directly by the semi-truck. All I can think to myself is, “How could I let this happen? This is all my fault.” As these thoughts go through my head, I check on my dad and try to wake him up. He is laying bent over with his head on the dashboard. I reach over and lean him back to feel his pulse, which is still strong. Next I turn and see my mom and sister in the backseat. My mom is right behind me still unconscious. Then I look at my sister as she starts to wake up.

“Hannah are you okay?! Hannah talk to me.”

“Jacob I can’t see anything…are mom and dad okay?” she responds.

“Dad is still unconscious and I think mom is too. Check on her and try to wake her up.”

I keep looking for my phone but I still have no luck in finding it. Hannah has hers in her pocket so thankfully we can use her flashlight to light most of the car. Emergency vehicles are getting closer, as I hear the sirens more and more every second. My eyes catch a bottle of water in the cup holder, the one my dad was drinking. I start emptying the water on my dad and he awakens almost immediately.

“Do you have any water back there?” I yell to Hannah.

As she scavenges to find water I tell her to dump it on mom in hope of her waking up too. After I finish talking with Hannah I realize that my dad is knocked out again. Sirens are right outside of our car now. I yell for the stranger but instead I get a response from the county sheriff, who starts to talk me through what I need to do from the inside, but I suddenly find myself drifting off into space. I try to comprehend what he is saying but everything seems to mash together. The words start steadily slurring, putting me to sleep.

As I try to listen closely to the sheriffs’ words, there is a disturbance that distracts me coming from the mountains right above our car. Fear fills my body. If someone were to look into my eyes, all they would see was a wide-eyed guy who looked like he saw a ghost. The panic sets in more now than ever before, as I fidget around like a chipmunk when it is spotted by someone in their yard. I slap and yell for my dad.

The rumbles occur again and are closer this time. I yell for the sheriff, “What is that noise?” but his response does not seem legitimate.

His tone sounds as if he is lying. “Oh…oh that was nothing. We will get you guys out of there soon.”

As he says all of this I turn to look at my sister and I can tell she is doubting his statement as well. Hannah goes on to ask about the same noise, but the sheriff is not giving us a straight response.

“Enough with the noises, I need you guys to be my eyes inside of the car. Is anyone severely hurt? Have you tried…” and he continues asking questions which seem to be a waste of time.

I try to look out the windows but they are scattered full with the soft sparkly snow. A little bit of light starts coming through the window as the emergency workers try to brush them off. Until they get to the solid layer of ice coating the window like thick icing on a cupcake. All of that hope of getting out soon dissipates. Hearing the little murmurs of talk outside of the car, but not being able to make out the words intensifies my anxiety.

Asking for the sheriff I say, “Please tell me you have a plan!”

“Yes we do…I’m not sure you will like it though,” he says in reply. He goes on explaining a lot of sophisticated things including a forklift type plow, tow trucks, and only two things for us to do inside the car. One is to keep the defroster on high heat the whole time, and the second is to try and wake up our parents and make sure everyone is stable. My sister and I listen to the sheriff in hopes that he knows what he is doing.

The saying is that the third time’s the charm and this is true. The rumbles start up again and the streaks of sunlight coming through the windows quickly disappear. The rumbles keep going and going until a complete silence falls over us.

“Was that an avalanche?!” Hannah blurts out to me in fear.

This is the only reasoning that makes sense to me. “But in Tennessee?” I ask myself.

I start calling for the sheriff but all Hannah and I hear is silence, no cars, no birds, nothing at all. Hope withers away in my heart at the thought of never getting out. I only imagine that snow keeps tumbling off the mountain and continues to fall from the sky, each flake piling on top and subtracting seconds from our time to survive. Little avalanche after little avalanche through the mountains. I think to myself about what had to have happened to the sheriff and all the other people working to get us out. I can only think that they too are now trapped under all the snow just like us.

Now who would come to save us? How are we going to get out?

There really is not an answer though. I keep scattering through the scenarios in my head of scenes in movies and shows of how they got out of troubles like this but all thoughts lead to dead ends. Our lives and all other people trapped are in the hands of whoever has witnessed this.

I remember that my family has a cooler with food in it somewhere in the car. Hannah stars scavenging for it in the back seat and finally comes upon it. As she opens it the smell of sweet, crisp apples, sausage, and cheese scents slide into the air as I sense my starvation setting in. I had not realized how hungry I really am because of the chaos going on. At the same time my dad starts to gain consciousness again. Coming to his senses, he starts to mumble words of nonsense. I talk to him in response as he starts to make sense.

“Hannah, dad is waking up! Dad are you okay? Dad can you hear me? Dad?” I start yelling to get his attention.

I can only hear him mumble what seems to be the response of “Yes.” Happiness overcomes some of my fear because of having my father back. My mother on the other hand is still not doing well. She still has a steady pulse but without any medical attention, being unconscious for this long seems like a hazard. We have to work with what we have, so Hannah and I make sure our dad stays awake as we give him water and food.

Finally, my dad can formulate full sentences. Hannah and I go through the whole plot line of how we are in this position. It goes all the way from myself driving, to spinning out, and getting hit by the truck. Then onto getting pinned against the mountains and finally having the sheriff and help show up, only to get covered up by the snow, or so we think. The expression that covers my dad’s face explains it all, pure shock and disbelief.

He starts screaming, “You must be joking there is no possible way all of this has happened! How could you pull a prank like this?!”

Then he feels the trickling of blood dripping down his face which Hannah and I had not noticed before. There is a gash across his right side from his ear all the way to his chin. As he touches the gash and winces in pain, the belief sets in. My dad starts shouting out random ideas as if Hannah and I have not already tried them, from trying to drive the car, break the windows, jimmy open the doors, and so many more which have not worked for us. Silence is still everywhere as he rambles through these attempts for survival. He even throws out the idea of somehow going through the bottom of the car in hope of no snow being under it. Hannah and I both look at each other when he says this idea and we come to the decision that he must not be in a stable mind set yet.

Soon the silence surrounding us turns into a jittery clinking. This clinking is coming from under the hood of the car and moves closer and closer by the second until millions of red and yellow lights start flashing on the dashboard. All of this happens until the car automatically shuts off out of distress. I turn the ignition but all we ear is more clinking and clinking and clinking. Soon this sound starts to resemble failure as I continually try to start the car.

As the thoughts of being trapped flow through my mind, it comes to my head how it cannot be possible to be in here without some source of air. When I turn around I am halted by the steering wheel still shoved up against my body. Dizziness comes back into my system and confuses my thoughts. The words coming out of my mouth are mixed in all forms of crazy. None of this seems to matter though as I catch sight of something remarkable and astonishing; light. A source of light, like something I have never seen before. It is shining like the sun would if I were flying only miles away. The light though is not any normal light I start to notice. It has a sense of difference from the natural light of the outside world. Movies scenes are all that I can think of when the light starts to become more prominent and prominent.

“What can this magnificent light be?” I keep questioning. As the answer starts coming to me, I begin moving towards it. 

© Copyright 2019 Mike Loehr. All rights reserved.

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