This week, to keep things interesting, I asked Steph to choose the first line from the fifth chapter of any book of her choosing. She chose by Julia Glass. The first line of the fifth chapter is as follows:
“Clever how the cosmos can, in a single portent, be ingratiating yet sadistic.”
"Clever how the cosmos can, in a single portent, be ingratiating yet sadistic."
The day began as most, the grating alarm insisting that I get out of bed. After long minutes in front of the mirror, I deemed myself ready to greet the world.
Shivering into the winter morning, I cajoled the car into drive. A quick stop at the corner convenience counter for a glorified hot chocolate pretending to be cappuccino, and my daily scratch off lottery ticket. Then back to the almost warm front seat.
Since I had some minutes to spare, I sipped my over sugared brew and grabbed my lucky penny. I always used the same coin to scratch the silvery mask from the ticket.
Winner. WINNER!! BIGWINNER!!!
Not enough to quit my job, but perhaps an impromptu vacation was in order. The car rocked along with my happy dance as I planned my sun and fun break.
I called off for the day so I could trek to the closest lottery office. Closest requiring a three hour drive to the Big City.
Halfway to my destination, winter threw the inconvenience of heavy snow frenzied by heavy wind. I belatedly remembered the winter storm warning from the morning news.
Travel quickly became travail as traffic slowed to a crawl on the freeway. Visibility was reduced to a few feet beyond the hood of my car, and evidently for the car behind me.
The seemingly gentle bump sent me spinning across the lane and over the edge. It wasn't a long drop by any means, and at least the old beast landed upright. But after a quick trip outside of the car, I could see there was no getting back to the road.
I considered trying to flag a ride. But who would see me? Or worse, who wouldn't see me and ram me unprotected back to my car.
So, I huddled into the barely warm front seat. And the snow continued. And the wind. It wasn't long before the reduced view became no view.
I think its been three days now. I start the car occasionally for heat, but the fear of carbon monoxide keeps me from running it very long. There's snow for water, but not even a candy bar in the glove box to eat.
I haven't heard a snowplow, or any other traffic sounds.
As I consider the cost of medical care for frostbite and starvation, not to mention therapy for post-traumatic stress, I'm pretty sure the sun and fun vacation is off.
I hope my job is still there when the spring thaw finally uncovers me.