Misty Snow

Author: Eriberto Rodriguez

Rated: Teen – Adventure/Supernatural

© 2009 Eriberto Rodriguez

Misty Snow

The two hot coffee cups slid across the counter towards him. Mike Lonegan fished a five dollar bill out of his pocket and handed it over to the cashier. “Keep the change.” he said and smiled briefly at her. She smiled back and said, “Have a nice night and keep warm!” He nodded his thanks and checked that the lids were tight on the coffees. Satisfied that they were, he picked one up in each hand, turned and walked out of the coffee shop.

As he made his way to the exit, he scanned the faces of the other people in the shop. Some seemed apprehensive and everyone moved quickly out of his way. “Any other time I wouldn’t get another glance from people in a store, but as soon as I have my police uniform on, suddenly everyone is on edge.” he thought to himself. Most times it bothers him when the average person seems scared of him but he assumes that it’s just respect for the uniform. Then again, being a cop in New York makes you an enemy to a great many people.

A young kid held the door open for him as he exited out into a chilling wind that was whipping up outside. Mike squinted his eyes against the stinging snow that the wind blew up from the ground onto his face. It was bone-chilling cold outside and the blowing wind only made it worse. He looked up at one of the streetlights, its warm glow contrasting against the dark, cloudy night above. It was starting to snow again. His shoes sank into the snow a few inches as he walked across the sidewalk to the police cruiser parked in front of the shop.

As he approached, the passenger side window slid down. Mike stuck one of the coffees through the open window and said, “ Here you go, Tony.”

“Thanks, man. This’ll really hit the spot.” said a man sitting in the driver’s seat.

Mike opened the passenger door and got in. Once he was settled in, he took a few sips of his own coffee and looked over at his partner.

Anthony Johnston, was a long time veteran of the 52nd Police Precinct in the Bronx. He was a regular hero of the community. Mike often wondered how he got so lucky and got paired up with him. Mike wasn’t a rookie but there were those who probably questioned his physical abilities as a cop. He wasn’t a small guy, but neither was he very big. Standing at five foot nine and weighing 170 lbs didn’t make a very intimidating figure. Not like his partner, the six foot four, two-hundred twenty pound behemoth sitting next to him. Tony could scare anyone with his big bald head and shiny black skin. Nobody dared stand up to him. Mike on the other hand, with his young boyish looks, blonde hair and blue eyes, seemed more suited to be showcased on the nearest billboard in his underwear.

“You playing with that thing again?” asked Mike.

Tony had his head bent forward, his face lit up with the dim glow of the cell phone in his hands. His giant sausage-like fingers rapidly typing on the tiny keyboard. He cursed every few seconds as his thumbs continually pressed two buttons at once.

“Leave me alone, I’m texting my daughter goodnight.”

“By the time you finish typing and re-typing its gonna be time for her to wake up for school!” Mike joked.

“There! All finished. You happy now?” said Tony as he flipped the phone closed and tucked it in his coat pocket.

“We ready to start our night? Hope its an easy one. I’m really tired.” said Mike finishing his coffee and chucking the empty paper cup out of the window.

“Gloria keeping you up all night?” said Tony looking sideways at him with genuine concern.

“Yeah, the baby’s due any day now and she’s having a rough time with it.” said Mike rubbing his face and taking his hat off.

Tony nodded his understanding and put the car in gear. He eased the car into the street and drove off, starting their nightly patrol.

Mike leaned back into his seat, trying to get his mind ready for the long night ahead. Tony was a good driver so he could relax even though the snow was starting to come down hard. Through half closed eyes he looked out at the falling snowflakes and the red and green traffic lights as they cruised through the Bronx hoods.

Soon the snow stopped and a snowy mist seemed to hang in the air. They had stopped at a red light and Mike dreamily focused on the glowing red orb through the haze. The light turned green and started to blink.

“Hmm.” thought Mike as he sat up, feeling like he was waking from a dream. “I’ve never seen a blinking green traffic light. What’s that all about?” He suddenly felt very cold and reached his hand over to the heat vents. The air blowing out was freezing.

“Man, Tony! What are you doing to us? And why are we standing here at a green light?” he gasped. He turned to his partner with a feigned angry look and was startled. Tony was sitting stock-still, his eyes wide open and his jaw agape. His eyes didn’t blink, not a muscle was twitching. It was as if something had surprised him and he was frozen in mid-yell.

“Tony! What’s wrong?” Looking closer Mike could see frost all over Tony’s eyebrows and mustache. His skin was a sickly gray color. Mike nervously reached out to his partner’s face and touched his cheek with his finger tips. Ice cold and rock solid, like a mannequin left out in a snowstorm.

“Oh my god! What the hell?” he grabbed the radio receiver to call for help. But he got nothing. No static, not even a click when he pressed the button. He opened the car door and got out looking around for assistance. There was nothing. No cars, no people, not even a sidewalk or stores or buildings.

“Where the hell are we?” Nothing was visible all around except thick drifts of snow. He looked at the blinking green traffic light and saw that there was no traffic light at all. The flashing light was coming from somewhere in the distance, obscured by the snowy mist all around.

He dashed around the car to the driver side and found he couldn’t open the door. It was unlocked but completely frozen shut. The window was open and he tried to shake his partner awake. He couldn’t even budge him.

Mike could feel every hair on his body standing on end as he fought the wave of panic he felt coming over him. The corners of his mouth turned down as he fought to keep control of himself. The car lights were on, so he reached in and tried to turn the keys. They turned but he got no response from the engine. He was about to cry out in anguish when suddenly he heard a wolf howl pierce the night.

It was dark, but he could see his surroundings as though it was a full moon night. Looking up he couldn’t see the sky or the moon, only more mist. The howl had come from close-by and he strained to see any movement out in the darkness. After a few moments he saw a gray wolf coming towards him. It was staring directly at him, he had no hope of hiding from it. Its yellow-gold eyes seemed to pierce through him, looking into his soul. It stopped approaching, standing about twenty feet away. Mike slowly and cautiously reached for his pistol and pulled it out of its holster. The weapon was loaded and his face was grim as he cocked back the slide, chambering the first round. He leveled his gun at the animal, hoping it would understand somehow and back off.

The wolf stood there motionless, not backing off but not advancing either. As Mike contemplated what to do next he saw movement off to his side. Turning to his left he saw another wolf take a position off to his side. “A wolf pack!” thought Mike as he frantically looked around. On the other side of the car he could see yet another wolf advancing on his position. Keeping his gun trained on the first wolf, he slowly backed away toward the rear of the vehicle. The wolves all stayed about twenty feet away and didn’t advance.

Slowly he reached the trunk of the car and dug in his pocket with his free hand for his keys. He unlocked the trunk and haltingly opened it. Sliding his gun back into its holster, he pulled out the black, pump-action shotgun they kept stored there. But it was not loaded.

Keeping his eyes on the beasts, he took some shells from a box and started to load the gun. He put the first shell in and loudly pumped it into place, ready to fire. The wolves startled at the noise and hunched down ready to fight. One by one Mike loaded shells in and the wolves took small steps, closing in on him. With the gun fully loaded he dumped the rest from the box into his jacket pocket and stepped away from the car, ready to unload on the first to pounce.

He was deciding whether to fire a warning shot or save his ammo, when suddenly the wind abruptly stopped and the air became very still. The wolves turned to look away and suddenly a deafening roar broke the silence. A monstrous roar that shook the very air. Mike’s knees suddenly felt weak and he looked around for the source though hoping not to find anything. The wolves scattered and off to the left he could see a monstrous beast approaching.

A hulking monstrosity was lumbering his way. It stood over ten feet tall with white fur that blended in with the snow. It walked upright like a man, with two immense arms swinging at its sides, and enormous legs and feet that shook the ground. It had shiny golden eyes that seemed to be made of metal and a pair of golden horns stuck out from its head like a goat. It breathed heavily out its massive mouth that was lined with rows of golden teeth.

The monster had already seen him and was coming for him. Mike cried out and brought his weapon up and fired at the beast. BLAM! The hard recoil was comforting and he fired again venting his fear and anguish through the gun. He saw fragments of shotgun pellets ricochet off of the creature’s teeth and horns, its fur was hardly smudged from gunpowder. It didn’t stop. The fiend didn’t even slow down! Faster than its size would suggest it was upon Mike and it swung its big fists at him. He ducked and jumped away into a roll as its titanic strength crushed the back end of the police car.

The cold snow stung his face and filled his ears as he struggled back to his feet. The monster roared some more. Mike ran, as fast as he could through the slippery snow drifts. He didn’t know where he was or where he was going, but his mind screamed at him to escape. He could hear the foul breathing as the monster followed. He remembered the green light he saw earlier.

“Maybe its a beacon? Shelter?” His hands were still gripping the cold metal of the shotgun but he could barely feel it. Still hurrying away he turned and fired a shot behind him. There was nothing there. He couldn’t see the beast anymore through the misty snow but he could hear its belabored breath as it pursued him. He turned back and found the flashing green light in the distance. He ducked his head down and ran as fast as he could.

Soon he couldn’t hear the creature anymore. He was breathing hard and the cold air was burning his lungs. His whole body felt as though it were frostbitten and his legs felt like heavy weights. He had slowed down to a walk and he felt dizzy. He struggled to put one foot in front of the other.

His mind that so urgently cried to run now urged him to stop. To lay down. The snow didn’t seem so bad now. It was soft and comforting. The cold wasn’t biting so much anymore. Maybe a little rest and then move on. He looked up at the beacon one last time as consciousness left him and his body slumped into the powdery dunes.

He awoke with a start. The cold penetrated his body and he stirred. Sitting up he felt the side of his face. There was a warm wetness. Touching it, his fingers came away clean. It wasn’t blood. Bewildered, he looked around and was alarmed to find a wolf laying next to him. It looked at him in what seemed a friendly way and its tongue hung out of its panting mouth. Not sure what to make of it he turned his attention away to find the green light. It was still there. Faithfully blinking away in what was still night.

Mike gathered himself up and decided to push forward. The wolf got up and followed at his side. He pulled his collar up and wished he had his hat which was back at the car. With a wince he remembered Tony was back there. He was probably dead but he couldn’t just leave him out there. Maybe if he could find help, they could recover his body later. If there was anything left. His thoughts turned to the beast and he tried to comprehend what had happened. Nothing made sense to him but the aching chill reminded him that he was not dreaming.

He was so lost in thought that he barely registered the edifice that suddenly loomed before him. He had arrived at a metal building with a curved roof that looked like an aircraft hanger. It was partially covered with snow and parts of the roof seemed to be missing. The roof was twisted and jagged as though something had exploded inside. He could hear nothing other than the wind whipping up. From one corner of the building a metal pole reached up into the sky. Atop was the light, his hope, that he had been following. Mike looked down at the wolf and said, “Shall we take a look inside?”

Walking up to a door on the side, Mike banged it and called out. He tried the knob and found it unlocked. The door opened and he hurriedly got in and out of the wind.

The place wasn’t much warmer inside. Just as he thought it was wide open and the roof was mostly gone but there was still enough shelter to keep most of the wind out. Scattered about the ground were pieces of junk and twisted metal. Perhaps a large plane was in here and exploded? He explored around and saw no one in sight. The place was deserted.

There were several large shipping containers stored in here and he thought perhaps there could be supplies here that he could use. First he wanted to find out if there was a working radio that he could use. In a corner of the hangar he found a small office that sure enough did have a radio but it was smashed to bits. He frowned as he examined the remains. “Why would someone destroy their only means of escaping and communications?” he thought. Could the creature have done it? Somehow he didn’t think so. Perhaps whoever was here didn’t want anyone else to become a victim of the beast.

There were no signs of anyone inhabiting the hanger for a long time. He next set about checking the containers for anything useful. The wolf was constantly in tow. After much searching he found that most of the containers were empty but he did find a blanket in a closet. Wrapping himself up he sat near a window and wondered what to do next. He was at a loss. Cold, hungry and tired, he began to wonder if this was the end for him, to die frozen out in the middle of nowhere.

For comfort he thought of his wife at home. How sweet it would be to hold her in his arms and feel the stirring of the new life they created together. He tried not to think of how hard her night must be, alone and so close to giving birth.

Out in the snowy wasteland he could hear a wolf howl off in the distance. The wolf sitting by him perked up its ears and stood up. “Ignore them buddy. Don’t give us away.” he told it. Again there was a howl in the distance. This time the one by him raised its snout up in the air and started to howl also. “Shut up! Dammit!” growled Mike as he kicked at the animal trying to keep it quiet. But the wolf scampered away towards the center of the hanger and started howling again.

He could hear an answering howl outside, closer than before. The wolves continued to howl back and forth with the ones outside coming closer and closer. Mike picked up the shotgun and loaded some more ammo while staring at the wolf that was with him.

He took a quick glance outside the window. Near the hangar there was a steep slope. As he looked out the window he saw two wolves running up. Suddenly he heard the monster’s roar coming from somewhere far behind the wolves. Behind him he heard a growl. He stood up and turned, flinging the blanket off of him. The wolf inside was growling at him, baring its teeth and setting itself ready to attack.

With a snarl and a bark it leaped at him, fangs aiming for his neck. BLAM! In mid-air it was met with a shotgun blast that flung it backwards, twisting in the air, spraying blood everywhere. He heard the sound of breaking glass off to his side and saw that the other wolves had crashed through a window and were coming after him. He looked for somewhere to go for cover and heard a nearby growl. The one he shot was getting back up! Covered in spattered blood the wolf got up and seemed hardly hurt. Mike saw some stairs at the far end of the hanger and made a run for it. As he ran he could hear one of the wolves gaining on him. Before he got to the stairs, he turned and running backwards fired off a shot just as it was leaping at him. BLAM! As it flew away from the force of the blast another was also leaping. Mike wasn’t fast enough to shoot, but he brought the gun up to shield himself as the wolf slammed into his chest. He fell backward onto the stairs, the metal steps digging mercilessly into his back. The metal tip of the shotgun had stopped its fangs from reaching his neck. The wolf was determined to rip his throat out and gnashed at him. Feeling its hot breath and slimy saliva dripping on him, he stuck the tip of the gun into its mouth and with his thumb pushed the trigger turning his face at the same time. BLAM! The weight was lifted as warm blood coated him. He turned over and started scrambling up the stairs.

He yelled in pain as sharp teeth dug into his ankle. One of them had him clenched in its jaws and it vigorously jerked its head trying to tear his foot off. Mike swung the shotgun and batted the beast on the side of its head repeatedly but it wouldn’t let go. He heard the monstrous roar again and the snow beast tore through one of the metal walls. It looked around until it saw Mike struggling and roared with delight.

Mike pumped the shotgun and blasted the wolf off his leg. Now free, he stumbled his way up the stairs. The monster was closing in. As he reached the top, he turned to see where the beast was. It had reached the stairs and was ascending. The metal steps strained and bent under its humongous weight.

Mike blasted it twice in the face. It flinched but didn’t stop. He turned to run as the monster raked at him with sharp, golden claws. It caught his left arm, tearing through his jacket and into his flesh. He yelled in pain and spun away, stumbling down a gangway trying to find an escape.

The monster was upon him. He couldn’t get away. With trembling arms he could barely raise the shotgun up. He squeezed the trigger and only managed to shoot the floor. His arms were too weak to handle the recoil and it went flying out of his hands and over the gangway to the floor below.

Before it could hit the floor, the beast grabbed him with both hands, claws digging into his skin. It raised him up easily and smashed his body against the metal wall. But unexpectedly, a large section of the wall fell away from the force of the slam. The creature lost its balance and both it and Mike tumbled out into the cold air.

The wall section landed flat on the snow; Mike and the beast landed on it with a thud. The wind was knocked out of him and it was all he could do to even stay conscious. The beast was hardly fazed and it was starting to stand up to finish him off. Then the metal section they were on started to slide and it suddenly became a giant sled.

Mike still couldn’t move and the monster was struggling to keep its balance as they slid down the slope, picking up more and more speed. Soon they were barreling down and he just knew this was going to end badly for him. He turned his head and saw the bottom coming. He closed his eyes and braced himself.

SLAM! They hit a huge drift of snow, and both were flung away. The beast roared as it toppled end over end in the air and landed with a huge thud some distance away. Mike was thrown into a snow mound breaking his fall. He quickly dug his way out and looked around. The beast was nowhere to be seen.

Then he saw a light off to his side, about a hundred feet away. He looked and saw a shimmering wall in mid-air, like a waterfall with scintillating light shining through it. He made his way towards it and could see through it clearly as he got closer. Through it he could see a streetlight on a city corner. People were walking by and seemed oblivious to the shimmering portal.

“It’s home! My way out!” he cried as he trotted that way.

As he broke into a run the wolves appeared, running down the slope. They were on course to cut him off from his escape. He slowed a bit and pulled out his pistol and fired at them. He got one, causing it to stumble and fall in the snow. The rest scattered. He set his sight again on his goal and ran to it. It seemed to be shrinking.

Suddenly the snow between him and the portal erupted upwards. He shielded his face with his hands and heard a familiar roar. The beast stood up and faced Mike, blocking his way. He fired a shot up into its face causing it to flinch briefly. As it did, he dove between its legs and rolled past it. Quickly he got to his feet and dashed the last few feet to the diminishing portal. The monster roared and turned, flailing with its arms trying to grab its prey. Mike leaped and was all the way through when he felt it grab his leg. He hit the floor with a thud. He was on his side of the portal but the creature’s arm was through, clutching his leg.

In desperation, he unloaded the rest of his bullets on its hand. BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! He was stunned to see red blood spurt out and the beast roared in pain as it released him. It jerked its hand back through as the portal disappeared.

Mike found himself sitting in the middle of a city street, clothes torn, blood all over and a gun in his hand. A crowd was quickly forming around him, onlookers staring at him in puzzlement. A beat cop was making his way through the crowd and as he approached Mike thought, “How am I gonna explain this one?”

Finis

© 2009 Eriberto Rodriguez

Copyright 2010 Eriberto Rodriguez

Comments
  1. A great story , especially loved the ending.

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