Mark tirelessly shook his pen, attempting to acquire the last remnants of ink that it with-held. With the moonlight delicately illuminating the surfaces around him. It allowed an open door into the dark world. Putting the pen to his papers, his mind suddenly stalled. How long have we been out here now? There has been, three night falls? Making this their fourth. Pulling his thoughts away from the journal he had found nested within the drawer of the table, he came back into the room he was seeking refuge in.
He rose his eyes from the journal to the window he was facing. The blanket of snow ever increasing. With the snowfall still continuing, his restlessness and anxiety did too. Mark called over the room to where John was. He sat perched upon an old, rotten stall. Staring into the embers of the fire with a bottle of vodka nested within his arms.
“Do you know we have been out here for almost four nightfall’s now?”
John averted his gaze from the fire and stared blankly back. “Four days? This isn’t good is it.”
Levelling his vodka with the fire, John could see that the bottle was half full. “But hey, at least we have Russia’s best form of recreation in our hands. That counts for something, eh?”
“You waste yourself away with that stuff. Back home and even here.”
John drunkenly made his way over to where John was. Filling the bottle cap up with surprising accuracy, he handed it to Mark.
“To good health.”
“To.. To good health John.”
They both took deep, strong swallows.
John retreated back to his place by the fire. prodding at it with a pair of tongs he had found close by. A strange feeling of tranquility came over Mark. Since finding this journal, he decided that he would write down his last remaining thoughts. For when someone eventually found them either dead or alive, they would atleast have some context as to why they were there and who they were.
He began to write. ‘Outside the world is a sea of whiteness. No wind can be heard, no foreign noises. Just the crackling of the fire and Johns rugged breath. A strange sense of tranquility has fallen before me. I can somewhat be at peace with my surroundings now. Whether this is due to defeat or stagnation, I cannot say. All I know is, we haven’t long left. Our food has let up and we can no longer brave the cold. There is no adequate way to dry our clothes or even ourselves. If anyone happens to find us, please inform the contacts detailed in this journal. Thank you.’
Letting the pen fall from his grasp, he massaged his brow in hope to find some clarity. The stillness of the sea that was once before him suddenly blurred and rippled. The feeling of helplessness and longing to see his family and home had kicked in. He missed his wife Elizabeth. Yearned for her comfort and love. He missed his two children; Emily and Ruby. Their little glowing faces that would fill him with joy everytime he laid eyes upon them.
He continued to write: ‘Elizabeth, my love. I dearly hope you get this. I love you, I always have and always will. The years we have spent together have been undoubtedly the best years of my
life. You gave me life. You and the children are my world. Not an hour goes past where I don’t think of you all. If you see this message instead of me, I am sorry. For what is said here comes
from the heart and is honest and true. I love you. The simple four letter word summarises all of our time together. From the moment we first met, till the last, my feelings have never
Emily and Ruby. You have taught me more than you will ever know. For the times that you think of me, cherish the time we spent together. For the world out there is frightening and ever changing. Be strong throughout your lives. Never cease to learn. Always work hard and dare to fail. Take care of yourselves and your mother, for she will need your love and support.
I am sorry this has happened. Please do not blame yourselves. I love and always will love you dearly. Be strong for one another. Mark.
For the person who finds this journal.
There was an accident. Me being Mark, and John were riding in a car on our way to go hunting roughly 5 miles away from the hotel. We foolishly decided to brave the harsh weather conditions. There was an accident. The jeep suddenly veered to the left and tumbled down a hill that ran adjacent to the road about 10 minutes into our journey. I was unscathed. John had a shoulder fracture, but sadly our driver died.
We gathered all of the supplies we could find within the jeep and attempted to follow the road back to the hotel. With the harsh coldness of the night and lack of visibility it was becoming increasingly difficult to find our way. Luckily, close by to the wreckage, we found this abandoned house. We have been here for almost four days now. We cannot leave due to the snow and bitter cold.
Mark placed the pen on the desk and gently closed the journal. For tonight was the last night they will most likely endure. He got up and made his way over to where John was. It seemed he had drank himself into a drunken stupor and slumped into his chair and was fast asleep. In a moment's weakness, John eased the vodka bottle from his arms and carefully poured till the top of the bottle cap. Thrice he done this. The first for his friend. The second for the warmth and the third for the hope of an easy and welcoming sleep.
They both awoke to a strange rhythmic sound coming from a distant location. Thin Shards of light shown through the creases of the rooms, echoing voices that could be heard coming closer and light hands laid upon them. For at last, they were safe.
© Copyright 2016 Ryan Swann. All rights reserved.