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Footsteps in the Snow

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What do weather people know? They predict the weather for a living and generally get it wrong more than they get it right. They have been predicting big snow in Castletown for the past four winters and no real amount of snow has stuck in that amount of time, well apart from the winter just gone that is. The winter before last it snowed for a couple of hours but it didn't last much more than that and when four days had passed you couldn’t tell that there had been any sort of snowfall at all.

It was the year previous to those four years that when there last was any real snow to speak of and that lasted two weeks. It was nothing of any real serious proportion though it did bucket down for at least a few hours. It always amazes how unprepared Castletown always is for any kind of snowfall. Roads are poorly looked after once the weather turns nasty and traffic can become a nightmare. Stores would close for days as would many public places. You would think that with time lessons would be learnt.

It was twenty-five years ago when the last major blizzard prior to the winter just gone hit, but this past winter, that blizzard, well that was really something.

Isn't it always a strange thing how people should know better and they probably do know better but still as with times gone by they go off on their travels in such terrible conditions trying to get to somewhere or another when what they should be doing is staying indoors and keeping warm.

There were a couple of young people who went missing during that most recent storm. It is not really known what it is exactly that happened to them but I do have a fair idea. How would I know or have a fair idea as to what happened to these people? Well, that would be down to what happened to me during that particular blizzard twenty-five years ago. I’d be willing to bet that it returned.

Brother and sister, Benjamin and Sharon Steiner, both in their early twenties and separated by just fourteen months in age with Benjamin being the older, decided to head off to go be with their parents despite the fact that it had been snowing thick and heavy for a good six hours straight and that their parents lived a good sixty miles away.

It was Sharon's idea or need that set the trip off in motion. She felt the strong need that she and her brother should be with their parents but it was Benjie's idea, for Benjie is what Sharon always called her big brother, to go through the back roads after having already been stuck on one main road in particular for a good half hour or so, a half-hour or so which had been slowly getting them nowhere.

Neither Benjamin nor Sharon are married or have children so they both were free to head out into the wilderness. Benjie was driving. The street lighting on these back roads was poor with the street lights being few and far between and non-existent in some places. The discussion between the two became a slight distraction, a distraction which led to Benjamin misjudging the road and pretty soon the two ended up off-road.

The snow had stopped falling at this point but conditions were bad, bad enough to ensure that the wheels on the car would do no more than spin making it impossible to get back on the road despite all of Benjamin's pushing. He would be quick to lose his temper.

'You would want to go to mom and dad's on a day like today,' he would say to his sister with a tone that more than suggested that he would much rather be at his own home eating pizza and downing a beer or six.

'I worry about them, you know that, besides it was your decision to come this way.'

'Yeah well if you hadn't of distracted me.'

'Don't be so mean … you're always being mean to me.'

'This is what big brothers do, we get to be mean to our little sisters.'

Benjamin smiled as he got back into the car having indeed been out trying to push it, now feeling a little more … festive than angry. Sharon could see this smile and in turn, it made her smile. Things would be fine, once they get going again.

'So what now?' asked Sharon.

'We get help, that's what.'

Taking out and looking at his phone would make sure that Benjie would lose his smile, still, nothing to get too worked up about … yet.

'Damn it, no signal. Have you got any signal or internet?'

'No, I don't,' came Sharon's response.

Before anything else could be done or said, a loud thud hit and shook the car from the roof.

'What the hell was that?' asked Benjamin as his sister let out a shriek.

'Benjie don't,' she would soon say upon observing her brother's itch to get back out of the car to view what was going on. 'There could be anything out there.'

There had been only one thud, no other sound or movement followed other than that which came from the siblings. A minute or so passed and the older sibling would exit the vehicle. There was nothing on the roof however it had been dented. There was no sign of life anywhere.

Unfortunately, it had most definitely appeared that only Benjamin had the misfortune of believing that the back roads would be quick and safe. Sharon would get out of the car and notice something very strange straight away. Off to her left and on into a field there were footsteps, footsteps in the snow. She would inform her brother of her discovery.

There were and are only one set of footsteps in the snow and they headed off and away from where the siblings stood. The footsteps also suggested that whatever or whoever had made those imprints began a journey from right where the sibling’s vehicle so happens to be.

Before there could be any speculation as to whom or what created these apparently fresh footsteps both brother and sister would notice a number of street lights up ahead of them begin to go out.

'There are blankets in the boot. You stay here and I will follow those footsteps.'

'You will do no such thing Benjie.'

'There is something off out that way and it could just help us out.'

'And what? You are just gonna leave me here.'

'Don't worry, I'll be back soon sis, I promise. I may have been mean to you but I have always looked out for you and right now is no different.'

Benjamin began to follow the footsteps and nothing his sister could say or do would make him change his mind. Sharon got herself some of those blankets, got back into the car and wrapped herself up. An hour passed, two hours passed and Benjamin had yet to return. Sharon was not gonna wait any longer and there was the need to get out of the cold. She would follow in the direction with which her brother went. Neither sibling has been seen or heard from since.

I had a similar experience. In that storm twenty-five years ago I was in such a position with which Benjamin and Sharon had found themselves in. I too saw footsteps which led off and away into a field. I did follow them. Wanna know what those footsteps led met to? 

 

 

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