Monday, January 17, 2011

Heated snow

During the Blizzard of 1978 in Vermont, I was driving a truck bringing food to people snowed in.
I arrived at an intersection that had apparently been completely plowed under with a mound of
snow even my 4x4 couldn't pass. I turned my attention to the bare field on either side of the
road and decided to just cut through when my eyes became fixed on the glint of a convertible in
the middle of the snow covered field with a man in short sleeves sitting behind the wheel. A
queer sight to behold in -10 degree temperature and knee-high snow.

Concerned, I got out of the 4x4 and hurried over to him. Strangely enough, my eyes never strayed
from focusing on the car and the man inside. By the time I was about 20 feet from the car, I
started sweating and sweltering in my heavy snowsuit. Stopping for breath, I realized that I was
no longer in the snow-covered clearing, rather on a loosely sandy isthmus connecting two islands
reminiscent of somewhere in the South Pacific.

I approached the convertible to find the man reading a map of a place I didn't recognize. The
man turned and looked at me, his expression somewhat stunned that I was standing in this tropical
setting wearing a cold-weather snowsuit.

"Goin' my way?" He asked.

I hadn't taken my eyes off of his car the entire time. I was only aware of the odd surroundings
from the periphery of my vision. I began to back slowly away, then suddenly terror broke over me,
I whirled to run.

The second I broke concentration on the convertible, I saw the snow covered field again, and the
4x4 behind me, slowly accumulating a layer of snow on the roof. I looked back around for the
convertible but found no signs or tracks of it or the man in it. I got back into the 4x4 as
though nothing had happened.

About a week later, I saw a report that said under a snowdrift, in the same field, a man was
found in a convertible, frozen to death. The top was jammed down and he evidently hadn't
dressed for the blizzard.

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