The Blizzard

The below came about through The Red Dress Club’s prompt for the week,”This weeks prompt is to imagine you are trapped alone or with others at a single place during a ginormous blizzard or its aftermath.”

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Rachel held the candle up and looked through the pantry shelves again as if food might have miraculously appeared from out of no where. Nope, they were still almost empty. A tug on her skirt caught her attention.

“Momma I’m hungry.” the small voice repeated.

“I gave you some beans, and you haven’t even touched them.” said Rachel.

“I’m tired of eating beans. I want mac-or- roni and cheese.” said Layla doing a little shimmy after each word. Her face was so bright and happy it was killing her.

Usually that would’ve been cute. Now it was just a reminder that no one around her knew the gravity of the situation.

“I told you we don’t have macaroni and cheese. We have beans. And we have rice, but the rice is for supper.” She smiled to herself at the absurdity of it, as if meal planning were even possible when you were limited to two items.

The blizzard had been unexpected. It had started to snow 2 days ago. She remembered standing at the windows with the kids as they cooed and awed each snowflake when it first started. She had even promised that they’d go out in it once the winds died out down. That snowstorm had been consistent and continued into the next morning. And it had left them with around a foot of snow.

They knew more snow was possible but they had never expected the 2 plus feet of snow that had fallen later that night trapping them inside their house. She remembered lying with all of them in her bed as the winds shook the walls of their house. She held each one and promised it would be okay and hoped to herself that it really would be. They got up the next morning to discover that they were pretty much snowed in.

She was angry at herself for not venturing out after the first foot of snow had fallen. She thought it would be best to wait on her husband to get back home and then go from there. They lived so far away from everything and Paul had been out of town on business. Was it even possible for him to get to them now? The chances looked slim at best. And Rachel was housebound with four little ones and dwindling food supplies.

Oh Lord, she thought to herself, why didn’t I go to my mother in law’s when she asked us to? She didn’t want us to stay here alone with Paul out of town. But I wanted to prove that I was capable. Who cares about that now? Poor Thelma she must be worried sick, and who knows if she’s even okay?

She tried not to think about it. The power lines were apparently down, that meant no phone, no television, and no lights. It was if civilization had been wiped out from under her. Their house had a fireplace and that had been their main source of light and heat and where they cooked their meals.

Okay, we have a lot of beans, not so much rice; there are hot cocoa packets and chicken bouillon cubes. She thought to herself.

She suddenly felt stupid for using some of them in the beans she had just cooked, chicken bouillon added flavor to the beans and that was all well and nice but she should’ve saved them to make chicken broth.

Always have a well stocked pantry. It used to be her favorite line before she had gotten laid off. Now it was buy what you can to tide you over to next week. Their shopping day was supposed to have been tomorrow when Paul’s check got direct deposited.

“Mama, macaroni, okay?” smiled Layla

“She doesn’t have macaroni, she just said that!” piped up Sophie

“Okay, I want peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, no jelly.” said Layla

“There’s no peanut butter or jelly either you stupid head just stinky beans, duh.” Continued Sophie

“I’m not a STUPID HEAD! Momma she called me a stupid head!” screamed Layla

“Okay ya’ll need to stop, now. I know that this sucks. It’s what it is I can’t help it, lets not start with the yelling and name calling okay?” said Rachel

“She said suck!” they both said wide eyed “Suck is a naughty word; suck is a naughty word, suck…”

“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.” Cried the babies from the living room

“Do you see what ya’ll do? Stop now! Stop it now! I can’t…..” Rachael burst into tears shocking them both.

What kind of mother was she? She knew this was bad and that she had to be strong but she was so lost. Why had she let him talk her into moving here? She had never even seen snow before and now she stuck in a damn blizzard, alone. Could she go outside now to get more logs? They had almost run out and she knew that just wasn’t an option. Even with the fireplace going they had to wear several layers just to stay warm. What would they do without it?

“Mama, okay?” asked Layla slipping her chubby little hand into her own. The smallness of it gave her strength and made her weak at the same time.

“Right. Yes, I’m fine. Thank you sweetie”, she squeezed Layla’s hand and dried her eyes. “I’m sorry mommy just had a mini melt down. C’mon lets go have our picnic by the fire okay? We can bring all your stuffed bears and we can even share a hot chocolate, how about that? And guess what? Bears love beans it’s their favorite, okay?” she tried to say it cheerfully what else could she do? She would feed the kids and then see if she could force her way out, she’d hope to God that she could find her way back. What else could she do?

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This post is open to constructive criticism.

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