Saturday, April 27, 2013

Early Frost

(originally posted on on Saturday October 17, 2009 )

He was one half of a mile ahead of the other squad car and two miles from the abandoned Miller farmhouse when he saw the figure in the haze staggering along the side of the road. He reached for the Mic hanging from the two way radio and called back to the second car.
“Mitch, heads up, we’ve got a live one. Left hand side of the road about three quarters of mile up. You two stop and load them up in your car, I’m going to the Miller place. Meet me there.”
He slowed to check the person on the shoulder of the road, it was Tom Harold. His clothes were frosty white his eyes staring strait ahead but he was walking slowly almost like a zombie. He slammed on the brakes and the car careened into a long skid and stopped twenty feet past the walker.
He jumped from the car he slowly approached him.

He slowed slightly but didn’t answer, his eyes unblinking still staring straight ahead. The second car came to a stop twenty feet from them. The two deputies both got out. Now all three men went to Tom Harold and ushered him into the back seat of the second vehicle.
“He’s alive but half frozen to death, keep him warm in the back of your car. There were five other people with Tom Harold when his vehicle disappeared from town. I’m betting that they’re all at the Miller place. And we’d best get a move on if we‘re going to find anymore alive.” he told them.
They all returned to their vehicles and continued onto the farm house, another mile down the road and then a quarter of a mile down the dirt drive way they had finally arrived at the abandoned Miller house. They all three got out and with weapons drawn surveyed the scene the house, Tom Harold’s car, the garage, the barn, everything around was ghostly white covered in frost. He turned towards the front of the house and nodded to the deputies. There at the edge of once was a grassy lawn was another body.

He saw her through the frost of his own breath, lying there, still in the grass. Her silk skin carried on it a icy look of its own, white, cold lifeless skin it was. Her eyes too, seemed frozen in place. Staring to the heavens through the mist laden morning. Twenty two steps more that he counted before he would reach her. And there he was kneeling down at her side, as if expecting her breasts to rise and fall with the breath of life. But there was no life there for Marilyn Hatton. She had frozen to death during the unusually cold night. He turned to face the two men behind him and nodded towards the abandoned farm house. “Check inside.” he told them. His hand brushed the frozen hairs from her face and he began to carefully examine around her for signs of a struggle. She died peacefully. He looked up at the cold sky. The air outside was cold and bitter.

Everything as far as the eye could reach was white with frost, and seemed to consume the entire area around them, locking their little corner of the world away in an unyielding grip of ice. He rose to his feet as one of his deputies approached him from the direction of the house.

“Nobody inside Andy, Just Tom Harold so far.”

“Mitch and I are going around back to check it out, we’ll call in a wagon for the girl.” He nodded.
Sheriff Andrew Connors rose to his feet his eyes never leaving the body of Marilyn Hatton. He turned to the farmhouse just as the two deputies were rounding the corner. He opened the door and sat down in the front seat of the squad car curiously watching the shivering form of Tom Harold. He slowly began to come around and to recognize what was happening. He looked up at Andrew Connors and then out the window.
“Tom? What happened here? What happened to Marilyn? Where is Clark Hatton? Tommy? Where’s Michael? And Rachel?”
He stared out the window into the sea of morning frost.
“They’re all.. Dead.”

“Tommy.. How? The last thing I heard is people saw the five of you leaving town together.. We get a 911 call telling us to come out here.. And we find you here. Tom what in the hell happened here?”
“Emma.. Its was.. Emma Penrose.”
“Terry Penrose’s little sister Emma? Tommy, you have to let it go, Emma Penrose disappeared over sixteen years ago. Nobody’s seen her since. A ten year old girl? Out here on her own? She couldn’t have survived.”
He started to step out the door to go join his two deputies when Tom Harold grabbed his arm stopping him, he looked in the back seat where Tom was staring up at him.

“Andy.. Emma didn’t disappear.. She died sixteen years ago.. Right here on that porch. On that night.. Emma was supposed to be spending the weekend at her friends house. Mike, Clark, Marilyn, Rachel and me were going to come out here and party. We bought a couple of cases of beer and got a radio, and on the way out we found Emma walking beside of the road all by herself. Terry was gone for the weekend. And he and Emma’s parents were out of town. So we decided to pick her up and bring her with us so we could keep an eye on her. Well we came out here and started to drinking and getting loud, and Emma must have gotten scared because she came outside and we forgot all about her. I don’t know why she never came back inside. We all passed out, and must have gotten an ice storm or something in the middle of the night, because the next morning we came out and found Emma on the porch. S. S. She was dead.. She must froze to death. It was so cold.. Clark and Mike both freaked out and said that we would all go to jail if we didn’t hide the body, so they took her out in the woods and got rid of her. Then yesterday we were all driving out here, because Terry sent us all an email, he said that somebody told him what had really happened to Emma and if we didn’t come out here to meet him he was going to tell the police everything. When we got here, it was just like that night all over again, it was so cold, just like that night, we found Terry when we got here, out behind the house. he froze to death just like Emma did. We all tried to leave but the car wouldn’t start. We went inside to try an build a fire. But it wouldn’t stay lit, that’s when Clark saw her looking in the window at us. It was Emma. She was all covered in frost, and white as a sheet. Clark and Mike went out after her. We never saw them again. Next she got Rachel.. Then Marilyn.. Then.. She came.. for me..”

Andrew Connors pulled his service revolver and stepped from the vehicle, he looked back in at Tom Harold. He slowly made his way up to the side of the farm house and began to softly call to his two deputies. First he found Jeremy Parks, he was cold pale looking, leaning up against the corner of the house with his weapon drawn. His eyes darted towards the sheriff as he came around the corner.
“Jeremy? What happened?”
“We were looking through the edge of back yard, and Mitch sees this Girl.. Standing at the edge of the tree line. She was just standing there watching us.. So Mitch.. He starts to walk towards her.. And she disappears back into the woods and Mitch follows her.. Andy.. didn’t.. you hear him?.. Screaming?”

Andrew Connors slowly walked to the edge of the back yard of the Farm house and then stopped to look back at Deputy Jeremy Parks. He was shaking almost violently pointing his weapon into the woods. Out of the corner of his eye he could make out the form of something moving back through the trees and it made him want to follow it. Thirty yards in he found the body of deputy Mitchell Haynes frozen up against a tree. In path in front of him twenty five yards away was the form of a young girl slowly walking towards him. and as he looked down a his coat sleeve he could see his arm beginning to turn white. He fired off two shots right at her but she kept coming so he did the only logical thing that came into his mind, he turned and ran back towards the farm house. He stumbled through the backyard where Jeremy Parks body was frozen to the side of the house. He ran back to the driveway where both squad cars were now frosted over, where Tom Harold lie frozen to death in the back seat. He looked back towards the woods and he couldn’t see any sign of what he guessed to be Emma Penrose.

Neither of the two squad cars would start, so he began to make his way on foot down the driveway all the while keeping an eye out for Emma Penrose. He walked for what felt to him like miles until he reached the road, keeping his legs moving so they wouldn’t freeze. He would stumble along the side of the road trying to keep his thoughts about him. But it was so cold. And when he’d thought that all hope had left him he heard the distant moan of a siren. And he’d suddenly remembered that The deputies had called for an ambulance. He tried to smile knowing that he would survive this day. The ambulance slowly pulled to a full stop the paramedics burst open the doors they escorted him to the back of the Ambulance. Once inside the warm vehicle he drew his first sigh of relief. He closed his eyes listening to the paramedics talking back and forth. One of them knelt in front of him.
“Take it easy Sheriff Connors, we’ve got to get you two to a hospital.”
He slowly opened his eyes and looked at the paramedic.
“Us.. Two?”
“Yes sir.. You and that little girl we found walking beside of the road.”
He slowly turned and looked to the small girl huddled in a blanket in the back of the ambulance. Her icy cold stare chilling him to the bone. Suddenly he could feel the temperature begin to drop.
“Don’t worry Sheriff Connors.. We’re going to take really good care of you.”

~Scratch A.B.T. copyright © 2009~