ZachG2018

A Survivor’s Tale—Chapter 1: The Lights

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It was totally out of the ordinary. I'd been sitting amongst the bushes and snow all morning, patiently waiting for that perfect buck for hours on end. Nothing was out of place, nor did I get the feeling that something was going wrong. Until the wind started to pick up. But then again, Northern Canada always had those sudden gusts of frigid wind. I brushed it off, thinking nothing more of it. 

 

I sat for another one or two hours when finally a large buck came strolling into the clearing followed by a likely pregnant doe. He was a good size with around 12 points. I slowly leaned over and picked up my rifle. I rested it on my knee and looked through the scope. The crosshairs bounced around on the unsuspecting deer until I managed to slow my breathing and steady the gun as much as possible. I waited for the buck to move closer and more into the open. But it kept walking. It came closer and closer to where I was seated, so close that I was afraid to breathe for fear of scaring off possibly the only buck I'll see the whole season. It kept walking. The deer was standing right in front of me, so close I could feel it breathing. It looked up and directly at me before grunting and turning to walk away. I was dumbfounded. I sat there blinking, not knowing what the hell had just happened.

 

Eventually, I got up and decided I should probably get back to the cabin before nightfall. Many people have died out here at night due to frostbite and bears; I wasn't too keen on joining them. I tried to shake the thought of the buck out of my mind but it kept coming back. A deer. Usually they bolt at the first hint of a person but this one came right up to me and looked at me. I slung my rifle over my shoulder and started trudging through the thick snow, the occasional leaf or twig crunching under my heavy boots. My cabin was a still a 15 minute walk from the clearing and the sun was beginning to set, throwing brilliant streaks of orange and pink across the clear, empty sky. The wind had finally died down leaving nothing but a rather eerie and deafening silence, only broken by the snow crunching beneath me, my breathing and the occasional Crow squak. 

 

Another 5 minutes had passed by when I noticed a strange color shoot across the snow. I stopped, looking around myself at the white snow when the color flashed again. Green? Turning to look up at the sky, I was met with a brilliant display of cosmic warfare as beautiful slashes of green, purple and pink arced across the darkening sky. The Aurora was always a sight to behold, even though it was the Earth's desperate attempt to keep the Sun from stripping the planet of its atmosphere. I decided to take the time to watch for a few minutes; My watch said the temperature was still well above 32 degrees. The Aurora continued for a good while, illuminating the night with gorgeous colors. My awe-inspired trance was abruptly ended when the lights suddenly stopped, leaving the sky empty and black. The silence that ensued sent chills down my spine. The wind was no longer blowing and the trees no longer rustled; The silence was deafening. As I was getting up, an impossibly bright array of red and green exploded over the sky, so bright I actually had to cover my eyes. The hairs on my neck and head began to stand on end and I swore I could hear a faint crackling in the air. The flashing continued for a couple of seconds before stopping all together once again. Then my watch went nuts. 

 

My watch began to beep and ring like crazy. I pressed the alarm button but to no avail. The beeping continued. When I turned on the back light, I saw the time was going hay wire too. In fact, it wasn't even displaying the time; Just a bunch of numbers that kept changing. It was only when I took off my watch to shut it off when the beeping stopped and the display went completely dark. 

 

"What the?" I tapped the glass in question when I froze in place. From behind me, I could hear snarls and angry growling. Wolves.

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The Long Dark: A Survivor’s Tale—Chapter 2: Hunted

 

I stood there, frozen in fear as the wolves got closer, snarling and growling. Other than fear, my mind was flooded with thoughts as to why wolves were getting close to me. First the deer, now the wolves were getting bold too? My heart was racing, beating audibly against my rib cage when two rather large wolves circled in front of me. Were they...glowing? Sure enough, their heads were low, ears back and teeth out. They were here to kill. 

 

The bigger wolf, likely the Alpha male, started walking directly at me, his eyes glowing a ghostly green in the moonlight. My eyes focused on him and I began to back up, only to meet the growls of the rest of the pack. I could either run and hopefully outrun the pack or stay and try to fight the Alpha off. My legs seemed to move on their own. Before I knew it, I spun around and sprinted into the dark forest, passing tree after tree, the wolves giving chase. They barked and howled, exchanging orders between each other like the team of specialized hunters they were.

 

I continued to run, adrenaline surging through my veins. I glanced to my right and saw that I was being flanked by the wolves. My legs began to burn when I suddenly fell face first into the thick snow, followed by excruciating pain in my calf as a wolf sunk its teeth into my flesh. It began to drag me backward, the wolf's sharp teeth digging into my leg. All I could do is scream in anguish. I desperately grabbed at the snow, foolishly trying to find a hand hold. The wolf's teeth struck a nerve and my leg suddenly shot out and nailed the animal in the face, causing it to let go and yelp in both surprise and pain. I took the opportunity to get up and keep running, adrenaline keeping me from collapsing. I ran blindly into the forest, my foot catching on a tree root. 

 

I slammed into the snow, and started rolling, the world becoming a sickening blur. Each bounce knocked more of my air out of my lungs. I finally came to a stop by hitting a tree. I laid there, writhing in pain, trying desperately to inhale. Once I somewhat had my bearings back, I looked up at the hill. There was a nice, long trench in the snow and a trail of blood where I had been, leading to where I was now laying. I couldn't hear any howls so the wolves had given up. I sat there for a moment, dazed. Then the adrenaline wore off and a searing, burning pain shot up my calf. Shakily, I examined my leg, dark red blood running down my skin from the teeth marks. If I didn't clean it soon, my enemy wouldn't be the cold, but infection. 

 

Once it started to snow, I gathered my self and slowly stood up, taking in my surroundings. Trees. Lots of trees. Then I saw it. Not that far in the distance, was a small cabin.

Edited by ZachG2018

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