A heavy blast of wind said hello the second I got into the alley. Based on how bitterly it stung my naked face, I judged that the temperatures were probably hovering somewhere around 10 degrees. I didn’t have long to find a solution or I would have to face a problem maybe even scarier than my mom and some rat poison.
I fought through the wind and was able to make it to the street which ran behind Gram and Gran’s house. I knew the street eventually led back into the meager little town of about 700 people, but I couldn’t remember exactly how long that took and whether or not it passed any houses I could go into for help. Also, knowing rural America, its undying love of guns and hair trigger for confrontation, I didn’t know if walking up and knocking on random doors on a frozen Christmas Eve night was the best idea.
And yes, I have the answer to your question about why I didn’t just dial 911. I already knew I didn’t have service anywhere in Gram and Gran’s poop smear of a backwoods town. Thank you very much, T-Mobile.
After staggering for about 15 minutes and knowing my disappearance clock with my family was probably running out of sand, I knew I had to do something. I had yet to pass a house that didn’t look like have at least four broke-down trucks in the driveway and which didn’t look like a set from The Vermont Chainsaw Massacre and had also yet to see a hint of the one Stop sign town I knew eventually would come into play.
Panic started to set in once I felt my bones start to shiver in my skin and my legs grow wobbly. Maybe it was even colder than 10 degrees? The snow was only lightly fluttering down now, but that was almost worse. It’s absence seemed to let the pure, unfiltered cold and harsh wind take over the world all around me.
Everything in my field of vision started to get fuzzy. The trees which lined the road now looked like pipe cleaners. The lights of the town, finally coming into sight ahead, looked like blurry stars on a drunken sky. I was losing it. I could tell.