Excerpt from Mary Jo’s Journey Home (3)

We kept our heads down, looking only a few feet ahead. Shannon stopped in the middle of the road, in the middle of Montana, in the middle of nowhere. I passed her and took the lead. I didn’t look back to see if she followed.

snowy road

A small snowflake sailed past. I looked up. Lots of snowflakes. The clouds dropped down, darker, denser. Soon, hard flakes pelted my face, coat, and legs. Snow weighted down my eyelashes. My feet were no longer part of me, heavy, wooden things below my knees that moved with each step, but I couldn’t feel them. Was Shannon right? Were we gonna die?

The snowflakes changed into large, fluffy puffs, sailing in the wind. Shannon took the lead again. I watched her tracks in the snow. At first they were an inch deep, then two. A river of wind-blown white flakes streamed past my ankles.

My jeans froze solid except at the knees where they bent, and ice cracked with each step. Snow piled on my tennis shoes as I slugged through ankle-deep drifts. Ahead of me, Shannon’s coat and jeans disappeared under a frozen layer of white. I was too cold to care if I died.