Third Person Thursday: Lost in the Storm
He had focused so much on the task in front of him that he hadn't thought about the return trip. He was regretting that now.
As Butch turned to begin his trek back home after dropping off his package, he didn't recognize a thing. The snow blew sideways and swirled past his face, leaving him barely able to see a foot in front of his nose. He saw everything in shades of grey, and now mostly white. Even the tracks he had left behind on his journey had been blown over by the drifting snow. There was no trace that he had ever traveled this way. Butch suspected that if he stood still much longer, he might be drifted over as well.
His first instinct was to call out. Immediately after doing so, he thought about how silly he was to think it would help. The rest of his party was safe and warm. He was the one who had insisted on venturing out in such conditions. He was the one who absolutely had to make that drop off. He was the one that couldn't wait.
His next step was to begin moving in the direction he thought was right. As he did, he sank into drift after drift. He had to use all of his strength to bound over the hills of snow and more kept piling on top.
Before he knew it, he had reached a wall. He knew it wasn't the way he came from and began to panic. Having obviously already headed the wrong way, he had now thrown off his sense of direction even further.
He called out again in fear.
All hope seemed lost. Anger began to well inside of Butch. He pictured the rest of his group huddled in the warmth. They never should have let him go out in these conditions. Not by himself.
He called out again and again. He had no idea what else to do. Butch was certain that he would be lost forever, his frozen body encased in a mountain of snow only to be found in the Spring thaw.
That's when he heard something. His eyesight and sense of smell were useless in the blizzard, but his impeccable hearing picked something up. He moved instinctively toward the sound.
It came again. He still couldn't make out what it was, but he had to keep moving toward it. He had to hope that it was something that could save him. He had nothing else left. While trudging forward, his legs burning, his eyes straining to make out something in the haze of grey and white, the frigid winds bit at his nose and ears.
Just as he was about to give up and lie on his side in the snow to await an icy grave, he was able to make out a figure in the distance, through the blustering snow. The hazy outline of the figure stood as if it was waiting for him. With the rest of his remaining strength, he moved toward it.
"Come on, damn it, it's cold out here," the voice from the figure shouted. "If you're done taking your crap, get inside and quit barking."
Butch didn't mind being spoken to that way. He was just happy to see his master again. He stopped quickly to lick his master's hand then ran into the house where the warm pillow with his name embroidered upon it waited next to the heating vent for him.