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Poetry/Short Stories

by RacerKey

As we all know some things are harder to do then others. One of the hardest things to do is to remain neutral. It’s easy to be a good guy, even easier to be a bad guy. But walking on the grey line that separates white from black is one of the hardest things to accomplish in the modern world. John Lock was one of the few truly neutral people in the modern era. He had no religion, no preference, no hate, he kept to himself. He truly was one of the biggest loners in the entire country. This equation seems to add up to a very boring person. But John’s life changed forever on a lonely night. He ended up being another person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was February the 15th, John was "somewhere" in upper Minnesota, enjoying one of his few hobbies, snowmobiling. He had spent many winters in his home state of Wisconsin enjoying the trails, but this year the winter was very mild, he had to travel north to find decent snow. It only took him a few minutes to realize he was glad he had drove north. Unlike in Wisconsin the Minnesota snowmobilers simply rode were they pleased. There were few houses or people to bother and no need to mark any trails in the vast ocean of snow. John was not used to such freedom, he liked it, and he liked it so much he began to forget what the gauges on his snowmobile read. It was nearly 11:00 o clock at night; John was cruising across a bare plain of pure white snow. The small two-stroke engine screamed, the speedometer read 50 MPH and was still climbing. Then with out warning the engine began to cough and wheeze. The warning lights began to flash, and slowly the machine lost speed. The engine let out a few more pops and wheezes in its death throws and then fell silent, with no electric power the lights also defused.

"Dammit, not now!" John unsaddled and removed the hood from his ill machine. He had not even begun to inspect the motor before his nose told him the problem; his nostrils were filled with gasoline fumes. As he poked around under the tiny engine he found the torn fuel hose, and soon knew that his night had defiantly taken a turn for the worse.

Story continued below


"Oh dammit now what am I going to do?" It didn’t take long before his anger drained out of him and he returned to his levelheaded self. He stretched his body across the seat of his sled; he gazed up at the full moon. It was a clear night, the stars were very bright, and the snow reflected the moonlight so that even with out the snowmobile's headlamp it was easy to see the landscape. He soon decided that it was of little use to sit and enjoy the scenery (although he would have had things been deferent). John cracked open the trunk of his sled and pulled out its cargo. The owner of the lodge suggested that he take a few things with him for the trip, food, flares, a flashlight, and a gun. This was before John knew about the dangers of going out alone in the vast wilderness; he only brought the flashlight and the food. John was on the way back to the lodge before his engine had called it quits. He had no idea how far he was from the lodge but he knew (thought) he was close. He soon had it all laid out in his mind, he would work his way back toward the lodge. There were almost fifty snowmobilers stationed there, the came and went as they pleased. Some preferred to ride during the day, others enjoyed the night. Sooner or later he would run into one of those snowmobilers and he could hitch a ride back to the lodge. It was easy going; John soon found a trail left by another snowmobile. As long as he stayed in the hard packed snow his feet didn’t sink in as much.

"Shoot at this rate I’ll be back in no time at all" With his spirits raised he began to hum "YMCA" to himself as he trotted along. Then, without warning a long howl pierced the peaceful silence. John halted in mid step; his heart skipped a beat. "Its ok, its ok," John repeated to himself "Your in Minnesota, they have wolves in Minnesota, they named their basketball team after them." He continued on, the howls seemed to grow in frequency. "Its ok a wolf would not bother a human, if he did he’d have been shot by now."

As John continued on he had no idea that he was being watched, off in the distance two large grey figures lay on a hill looking down at him.

"Were do you suppose he’s headed?"

"Beats me, he’s most likely lost whoever he is" John pointed his head toward the hill, he had no idea the creatures were their. The smaller of the two beasts examined John from the distance; his nocturnal eyes sliced through the darkness like a razor. He turned to his companion, "Look at his eyes ounce, what do you see?" The other beast now focused in on John, he studied John for a long time before he turned back to the other beast.

"Nothing, I don’t see a bleeding thing."

"That’s exactly what I was thinking." The cold winter winds began to kick up; they howled and whirled around the werewolves.

"This is bad news for him."

"Yea, he had better get to were he’s going soon." The smaller wolf got up and began to head down toward John.

"Were are you off to?"

"I wanna see what’s going to happen to him."

"I’m sorry was their something else we were going to do tonight?" The larger wolf opened his mouth, but closed it in frustration and followed in his companion’s footsteps.

Down at the bottom of the hill the winter winds were even harsher. They blasted John’s face with the powdery snow that covered the landscape. Soon the trail John was following had disappeared under a blanket of white snow. John paused for a moment and scanned the landscape; it was hard to see through the cloud of snow that wrapped around him, he could only see a hill through the mess.

"Ok you didn’t cross over a hill on the way out so you should not have to cross over one on the way back." The trail John was on had ran even to the hill, so he decided to keep going and use the hill for a reference point. Problem was the hill was horseshoe shaped and John had crossed it on the other side on his way out. Soon he was headed away from the lodge, and out into the wilderness again. The powdery snow began to pile up as the wind blew stronger and stronger. Soon John was sloshing through knee-deep snow; each step took more effort then the last. He was working very hard, even in the now sub zero weather he began to sweat, rarely did a bead of sweat get past his chin before the icy winds froze it to his face. Off on the hill the two figures still watched as John marched on.

"Sheesh that poor bastard, he has a strong will I’ll give him that." The smaller werewolf remained silent, he simply watched as the man pushed on through the deeper and deeper snow.

John meanwhile was now fighting snow that was waste deep in some areas, a snowmobile could slide across the snow with ease but a person had a much harder time. John paused for a moment, panting and gasping.

"This is no time to take five, your almost there." He tried to take another step, but the snow clung to his leg and he fell into the soft, snow covered, ground. John dug his hands into the snow and pulled himself forward, for a short time crawling actually seemed easier; you didn’t sink into the snow as much when you were spread out. But soon his arms became tired, his fingers went numb from the cold snow, and the wind still blew harsh and strong. Closer now then ever, the werewolves stood and watched.

"This is wrong man."

"Indeed, I thought the fellow was going to make it for awhile, but what can we do?" The large wolf turned and began to walk away, but he stopped when the other wolf did not follow. He turned and walked back to his friend. He took no notice of him; he simply starred at the man (that was no longer moving). Finally the wolf turned and glanced at his pack mate. The large wolf saw something in his eyes, something he did not want to see. The smaller wolf proceeded toward John.

"NO NO NO you’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking!"

"Yes I am, I’m going to help him."

"Dammit have you lost your bleeding mind?!?"

"This man is not like the others, I saw it so did you."

"Four paws is gonna kill you when he finds out."

"Four paws is not here watching this guy freeze to death!" They reached John the smaller wolf began to pull John’s boots off and then started to fumble with his parka. The larger wolf simply stood and watched.

"Dammit don’t just stand there, bloody help me, or he will be froze before I can help him!"

"I can’t believe I’m actually helping you." The larger wolf began to fumble with the ski-bibs that John wore, he soon became frustrated with the buckles and simply tore trough the nylon straps with his teeth. The winds of the harsh winter were soon filled with howling ounce again, but there were no human ears to hear it.

Two days later Sam Boyd was back at his lodge he had just begun to open the door for the small cafe in the main hall when he noticed a police truck pulling up. The local sheriff met him at the door. The last time Sam talked to him was to report one of his tenants John Lock as missing. John had left one night to snowmobile and never came back; he had left a nice Truck behind so Sam knew that something had gone very wrong.

"Mourning Bruce, what’s the good word?"

"Remember that snowmobiler you reported missing a few days ago?"

"Yea, that guy from Wisconsin his truck is still parked outback."

"Well we found his Skidoo a little ways up the trail and we found his clothing a few miles west of here.""His clothing??"`

"Yea apparently the local wildlife had themselves a nice supper."

"Sheeeesh when will those cheese heads ever learn." With that Sam turned and fired up the griddle, and put the coffee on. "What will it be Bruce the usual?"


Thanks for reading Hypothermia, a few years back I was snowmobiling in the UP of Michigan. The wind chill factor got all the way down to 40 below zero (I loved it). If you have any rants, raves, requests, or info I’d like to hear it. You can drop me a line at RacerKey@aol.com. Have fur, will travel.........