Avalanche on I-70

Reads: 355  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
David and Carol go on their new adventure in this sequel to "The Reunion." Carol ends up in a surreal place after going through an avalanche on Interstate 70 in Colorado.

Submitted: April 13, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 13, 2019

A A A

A A A


Avalanche On I-70

By

Brian Lee Clements

 

David and Carol had known each other since high school.  In fact, they were high school sweethearts and everybody just knew that they would get married right out of high school.  But, life happens and they went on their separate ways.

 

David went to college and married his college sweetheart, Grace, instead.  He went on  to work for the Florida Marine Patrol until they decided to move to Colorado Springs in 2000.  He joined the Colorado State Patrol while they raised their kids.  Unfortunately, Grace passed away in 2015 from cancer and he retired from CSP later that year.  

 

Carol, on the other hand, moved out to California and became a computer consultant and had three girls, Joyce, Terri and Kay.  

 

David and Carol met up again at their 45th High School reunion in Panama City. Florida and rekindled their relationship.  They went on two unusual trips; one to Tate’s Hell Swamp in Florida and then took a trip to The Stanley Hotel where they met some unusual people.  The Stanley Hotel is also where David asked Carol to marry him.

 

Then back in December, they were both involved in a murder mystery of her new boss which she never had met.  Soon after the case was solved by their friend, Jack Donovan, they got married.  Again, back down in Panama City.  

 

After the passing of her boss, Carol decided to try her luck with computer consulting in Colorado Springs.  It was a little tough at first, but she was able to get as many clients as she had in California.  David even set up an office for her in the finished basement so she could have some privacy and quiet.  It was a nice little setup in the bedroom/office down there.

 

In February, they decided that Carol needed a little break from her work and thought that a trip to Aspen or Vail would be nice.  Neither one of them have been to either city.

 

“You mean to tell me that you’ve never been to either city and you’ve been in Colorado for how long?...18 years. Carol asked.

“I...we never got around to it.  Grace got sick soon after we moved here and she wasn’t really interested in going.  After she passed away, I didn’t want to go by myself.”

“I understand...It just might be fun to go.  I hear they’ve been getting a lot of snow up in the mountains.  How long would it take us to get to there.

“Vail, about three hours.  Aspen would take about five and a half hours,”

“Wow.  That’s not too bad. Thought it would take a lot longer.”

“It also depends on the traffic.”

“Are there any haunted places there in Aspen or Vail?”

“There may be one or two places in Aspen.  You sure like to go to those type places, don’t you?”

“Why not?  The last two places we went to were pretty different.”

“Different?  Lets see. In Florida, we get directions from a man back to the motel who has been dead for over 100 years.  Somehow we lose a day and then see his picture in the motel we were staying.  In Estes Park, we stayed at the Stanley Hotel.  While there, something or someone puts you clothes away and not mine, sprays you with water in the bathroom, freezes my back with their feet and then we go to a dance that did not really exist.”

“But you did ask me to marry me at the dance.”

“Yea, and then there was the engagement ring on the nightstand next to your side of the bed.  And you want more?”

“Sure, why not?  It give me a change of pace away from my work.”

“I figured you might want to go someplace again so a couple of weeks ago, I check out some places to go.”

“Like where?”

“There’s one place called the Hotel Jerome in Aspen.  It’s about a four hour drive there, again, depending on the traffic.”

“When would be a good time?”

“I checked the motel already and they had some vacancies the first week of March.  Weekday would be cheaper than the weekend.  Plus there may be some snow about that time.  They’ve had a lot so far.  A couple of feet, I think.”

“Feet? Get the ski boots out.  Do you have some?”

“I do.  I bought some when we moved here.  Really haven’t used them that much.  I’m sure you have some,”

“Yes, I do.  Used to go skiing a lot.  Haven’t done much lately.

 

David went ahead and called the Hotel Jerome and made reservations for March fourth through March seventh.  Should be a nice time.  Near the end of the ski season and spring break really has not started yet.

 

The day before leaving, they started packing their suitcases.  David was able to get all of his clothes personal items into one suitcase.  Shoes and snow boots would just be in the back of the SUV.  Carol, on the other hand, had two big suitcases plus her snow boots and five pairs of shoes.

 

“Hope we have enough room.” David says.

“If not, we can leave some of your stuff behind.”

 

David lets out a sarcastic laugh.

 

The next day, they got up at 8am and packed up the car.  The check-in time wasn’t until 3pm.  They figured that they can leave around 10 and get to Aspen around 3:30 depend on how many times they stop.

 

10:00 came around David was ready and waiting by the car.  But Carol was not ready yet. He expected that she will be late and got everything ready.  He learned a few months ago that she is late for everything.  He tells everybody that the theme for their marriage is “Waiting On A Woman.”  Fifteen minutes later Carol is ready and hands David the last bag.  In the meantime, David had to go back and go to the bathroom one more time.

 

By the time David gets in the car, Carol laughs and say, “You’re going to make us late.”

David smiles, says nothing and starts driving.

Carol asked, “Did you lock the door?”

David smiles again and says, “Yes,dear.”

 

Well, it takes David and Carol a little time to get to I-70.  They decided to stop in Castle Rock and the Chick Fil-A to get some chicken nuggets and a couple of large sweet teas. Because of the sweet teas, they had to make a couple of more stops.

 

Then there is the Denver traffic.  It wasn’t as bad as it could be, but it was bad enough.  David thought about going around the city but there was too much construction going on that it would take too much time.  By the time they got to I-70, it had been 2½  hours since they left home. 

 

“How much longer do you think it’ll be until we get to Aspen?” Carol asked.

David responded, “Probably three more yours, depending on the traffic and weather. Traffic seems light right now and not too much snow.”

“You sound like a weatherman and traffic reporter.  Isn’t there supposed to be a lot of snow up here.”

“Sure is.  It’s been snowing every day during the last week.  Probably a couple of feet so far.”

“If you say so.  We haven’t had hardly any snow in Colorado Springs.”

“That’s because it’s protected by the mountains.  All of the Front Range is like that.  But, when it does snow in The Springs, they can be doozies.”

“Do they ever have avalanches up here?”

“I’ve heard they occur at some of the resorts or backcountry.  Why?”

“I’m just curious.  Never seen one before.”

“I’ve never seen one either.  Doesn’t mean I want to see one.  They’re pretty dangerous.”

 

While driving they pass a road sign show Frisco being ten miles away.

 

“David,” Carol giggles.  “I think we made a wrong turn somewhere.”

“Why do you say that?”

“We’re coming up on Frisco.  I’m hoping it's not San Francisco.”

“Frisco, Colorado.  I have no idea how they come up with some of these names.”
 

While they are talking, A small rumbling sounds starts occurring around them.  David decides to pull the car over to the side of the Interstate. 

 

“What in the hell is that noise?”

 

Then they see what is making that noise.  It’s an avalanche about one mile ahead of them.

 

“Don’t look now, David.  But there is another avalanche coming down the mountain right next to us.  I don’t think we can get out of the way.”

 

David yells out loud, “HOLD ON TIGHT.”


 

And then there was nothing but silence.  Cold silence

 

In what seems like a few seconds later, Carol notices the quiet, the deafening silence.  She is not sure whether to open her eyes or not.  She is afraid of what she might see.  Afraid to see if David is alive or ok.  She slowly opens her eyes and sees a small chandelier above her.  She closes her eyes again.  That was different.

 

“Huh?” She says to herself.  “I guess I’m not in the hospital.  Unless this is a fancy one.”

 

Carol opens her eyes again, looks around the room and sees a mirror and dresser across from the bed that she’s laying on.  She then tries to get out of the bed but she gets a little dizzy so she has to grab onto something so she won’t fall.

 

“Oh..my head hurts,” Carol to herself.

She then yells out loud, “David?  Are you here?”  Where are you?”

 

Everything seems a little surreal to her.  She decides to sit on the bed until her dizziness gets a little better.  A soft knock and the door slowly opens.  A young woman peeks into the room.

 

“I thought I heard you moving around up here,” the woman says.  How are you feeling?

“A little dizzy and a headache” Carol responds, “Where am I?”

“You’re in our home.
“How did I get here?”

“Well, we found you wandering out in the snow, dazed and everything.”

“Have you seen my husband, David?”

“There was nobody with you.  I don’t even know your name.  No I.D. on you.”

“My name is Carol Anne.”

“Carol Anne,what?

“Let me think.  My head is still hurting.  Taylor, that’s it.

“Taylor.  Good English name.  Are you related to Zachary Taylor”

“I believe David said he was.  His family is from North Carolina. They moved to Florida when he was six years old.  He moved here with his first wife and son back in 2000. And you are?”

“I’m Grace, and you’re in our home.”

“Where is that?

“In Frisco.”

“Frisco!? I remember seeing a sign for Frisco right before the avalanche.  I was kidding with David about making a wrong turn and ending up in San Francisco.”

Grace lets out a slight giggle and asked, “Are you ready to walk to the kitchen and get a cup of coffee?”

“Sure.  I think I can walk.  How long have I been here?”

“About five hours.”

“That long?  Wonder how I got here?”

“We assumed you walked.”

“I wonder how far.”

“The interstate is about two miles from here.”

 

“CAROL ANNE!”

 

Carol is startled and lets out a slight yelp.

 

Carol asked Grace, “Did you hear that?”

“Here what?”

“I just heard somebody call out my name.  Almost sounded like David.”

“Sorry, I didn’t hear anything.  You could be imagining it.  Remember, you got a bump on the head.”

 

They made their way to the kitchen and dining room where Grace poured Carol some tea while she had coffee.

 

“How did you know I liked tea?”

“You look like a tea person.  Am I wrong?”

‘No.  You have a lovely home here.  I love the wood floors.”

“My husband picked out everything while they were still building it.  The house turned out better than we thought. 

“How long have you been married?”

“We got married right out of college.”

“Where’s your husband?”

“Not sure.  He may still be outside looking for your husband.”

“How did you two meet?”

“High school sweethearts.  You?”

“Same here,” Carol responds, “We went out all through high school.  We then went our separate ways after graduation.  David married his college sweetheart as did I.  Both of our spouses passed away a few years ago.  We then reconnected at our high school reunion last year.  And we got married a few months ago on the beach.

“That sounds romantic.”

“It was.”

 

Carol hears her name again.

 

“CAROL!”

 

“There it is again.”

“What?”

“My name again.  Sounded like David and that he’s looking for me.”

“I’m sorry.  I still didn’t hear anything.”

“That’s so strange.”  

Carol starts to wonder if she Grace can really hear it and is not being straight with her

 

“Can you show me around your home?  I think I can walk now”

“Sure.  I can give you the twenty five cent tour.”

 

While they walk through the house, Grace takes her to the other bedrooms, the finished basement and then to the living room with the picture window.

 

“Wow, what a view.  Looks like you got some critters outside.” Grace says as she points to a deer and a couple of rabbits.

 

Carol continues.  “They’re probably looking for some food.  David and I live in his house that he and his late wife built a few years before she passed away.  Come to think of it, her name was Grace also.”

 

Carol pauses for a few seconds and rubs her head.

 

“My head still hurts a little bit.  Do you have some aspirin or something?”

“I have aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen. Which would you like?”

“How about Ibuprofen?”

 

Grace hands Carol three tablets and Carol gulps it down quickly.

 

The door blows open from the wind and a balding white hair man with glasses comes into the room.  Carol lets out a light gasp.

 

“It can’t be. Greg? How is it possible?”

“Hi, Carol. How are you?”

“You know each other? Carol asked.

“Greg..is...was my husband.”  Carol looks at Greg.  “You’re supposed to be dead.  We buried you.”

“Yes, you did. It was a nice memorial.”

 

Carol gets a confused look on her face.

 

“I don’t understand.”

“I didn’t think you would. Grace said she should meet you here, call me by a different name and that I would come out later.”

“Am I dead?”

“No.  You are in a slight coma.  In fact, you will be going back to David in a few moments. Grace and I just wanted to tell you that we are ok.”

“Thanks for letting me know.  But I don’t know Grace”

“David has never told you about me?” Grace asked.

“I remember his late wife was named Grace.”

“You’re right.” Grace starts to grin. “That’s me.”

“Really, I don’t remember ever seeing a picture of you.  You’re very pretty.”

“Thank you.  We really loved each other. I was very worried about David before I died.  I’m glad he found somebody.”

 

Carol looks at Greg, “Greg, I’m sorry about what happened to you.”

“Why?” It wasn’t your fault.  It was an accident.”

“Thanks for telling me that.  I felt guilty for quite a few years.  I’ve always wondered if you didn’t leave during our argument, you would still be here.”

“We’ll never know, will we?  Don’t second guess the pass.  Enjoy the present and plan for the future.  You have a great husband with David and he treats you better than I ever did.  Enjoy a long life with him.  I guess Grace and I will see the two of you in about 25 years.”

“Twenty five years?  I think I can do that.”

 

Carol’s eyes get heavy and she wakes up in a different location.  The first person she sees is David sitting next to the bed.

 

“NURSE!” David yells out. “She’s waking up.”

 

The nurse and doctor come into the room and shuffles David out so they can examine Carol in private.  David stands outside and his eyes gets a little misty.  He has been worried about her ever since she hit her head during the avalanche.

 

The doctor and nurse come out and the doctor says, “She’s going to be fine.  She has a bruise on her head and will have a headache for a few hours.  We’ll give her something for the pain.  She’s very lucky.”

 

David peeks into the room, smiles and walks towards the bed.  Carol starts tearing up and they both hug each other. 

 

David then says, “I thought I was going to lose you.  You were out for three days.”

“Three days?  So today is...Thursday?”

“Yes.  You’re at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in Frisco.”

“I didn’t know Frisco was that big.”

“At least your sense of humor is still there.”

“Uh?  What an adventure I was on”

“Adventure?  You’ve been here since they bought you in.  You hit your head when the snow hit the car and pushed it into the guard rail. The first responders had to knock out the window to rescue to get you out.

“I remember the avalanche.  The rest of it was a blur.”

“The rescue team and ambulance got you here within thirty minutes.  Any longer and you would had been a goner.”

“Maybe I was.”
“What do you mean?”

“Your wouldn’t believe where I was.”

“You want to tell me about it.”

 

For the next ten minutes, Carol tells David the story about her being in the house and talking to Greg and Grace.  

 

“Wow,” David says as he gets a picture out of his wallet.  “That’s quite an adventure.  What did this Grace look like?

 

Carol describes Grace to a tee.  David is shocked since he’s never shown her a picture of Grace.  

 

“Is this what she looked like?” As David shows her a picture of Grace.

“Yes.  That’s her.  And Greg was there.  How can this happen?

“I don’t know.  It looks like you went on an adventure without me.  You need to write it all down before you forget it.”

“I will. Could you get me a piece of paper?”

 

David finds some paper at the nurses station and Carol writes for the next half hour about what happened to her while she was out.  When she finishes it, Carol hands the paper to David to read.  After he finishes it, he lets out a sigh.

 

“That is a very interesting story.  The house you described sounds like our dream house.  How  did you know?”

“Grace mentioned that it was your dream house and how you pick out everything.  Was she already sick?”

“Yes, she was.  I was trying to distract her and hopefully not dwell on her cancer.  She lived about two more years.  We knew before then that she wouldn’t make it. We even bought the lot. This was in the Mountain Shadows area where they had the fires a few years ago.”

“Do you still own it?”

“Yes, I do.  Never had the heart to sell it.”

“Maybe you can show it to me sometime.

“I would like that.”

 

Well, about a month went by, Carol had healed pretty well. David decided it was time to show Carol the lot. When they got there, the lot was full of lush spruces and aspen trees.  Carol got a great idea and decided to spring it upon David.

 

“David, do you think you’ll ever build a house here?”

“I don’t know.  Do you think I should sell it?

“No.  I think you should donate it.”

“Donate it.  To the city?”

“Yea.  Make it into a park.  They could call it “The Grace Taylor Memorial Park.”

 

Tears started coming to David’s eyes and he give Carol a big hug.

 

“That’s a great idea.  I see now why I married you.”

 

They then sit down on the grass and hold each other while they watch the sunset along the foothills of the Rockies.  Without uttering a word, they both look at each other and wonder what will be the next adventure that will happen and will it be in Vail.



 


© Copyright 2019 Brian Lee Clements. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Fantasy Short Stories