It had been the first time in a while that I, or, we had seen buildings in a while. By the time we got to the town, Holly was asleep. She couldn’t be because that sled ride had us constantly jolting up and down. That meant she was doing worse. Although we were together for a short period of time, we have all grown to like and protect each other. I remembered that time that seemed like forever ago, when I was admiring her when she was patching up my gauze. Holly was not only funny, but kind. We were worried for her. Especially Will.
We got out of the sled outside of the town. The town had the snow cleared up, and there were roads, with cars parked outside of the houses. The houses were all small-they mostly had white exteriors with green roofs. The roads were cracked. There was a pub, an inn, and a small hospital. I wondered who even worked at the hospital.
The guy working the sled rental was old, and slim. I wondered how long he had been there. Had he ever seen the city? Was his entire life chained to this city?
I didn’t think too much because we didn’t have time to think. Abigail had us moving. She unchained the dogs and put them in this large pen. I assumed the dogs weren’t hers, as this was a sled dog rental place. While we were waiting outside, she paid the man in the shack, looking to be in a rush. The shack was old and wooden, with a faded sign that read: “Dog and Sled Rental”
If Abigail and Garrett were paying for the sled, dogs, and gear for the winter, how much were they getting paid for mail delivery? I wondered how they paid for anything else.
“Come on, guys. Ya’ll have to go to the hospital and fast,” Abigail said, fishing keys out of her pocket. Everything was so spread out; I didn’t think Holly would survive the walk. We would drive. Abigail led us to her car, which was a truck. Garrett also drove a truck. Holly and Will went with Abigail, and Charlie and I with Garrett.
Abigail and Will helped Holly into the truck as Charlie and I hopped in Garrett’s. His truck smelled of old something. I sat in the front and struggled to put my seatbelt on.
Come on, it can’t be that hard! I couldn’t seem to put the seatbelt in, and I watched out of the corner of my eye Abigail’s truck speed out of the abandoned parking lot. Mind you, my hands were so frozen I could barely get a grip on anything.
Garrett put his in easily, and I gave up out of annoyance when Garrett reached over me and pulled the seatbelt, then I heard it click. I started to say something about how frozen my hands were, but Garrett interrupted me.
“You don’t have to say anything. Your hands are probably frozen, anyway,” Garrett said, cranking the keys to start his car. He adjusted his mirror, turned the music on, and then left the parking lot.
“Anyone want gum?” He said, holding an old pack of gum in the air once we were on the road. When we didn’t say anything, he said, “That was a joke, by the way,” putting the gum back down.
“I’m sorry, but does your car have heat?” Charlie asked from the back, voicing my thoughts.
“Oh! Oh yeah, you guys aren’t as clothed as I am. Sorry. Putting it on now!” Garrett said.
It was quiet in the car, but I didn’t have enough power to speak as often as I used to. When we were at the camp, back in the forest, we would barely talk at all. It was hard to. I just wasn’t used to it.
I looked out the window. I could barely keep my eyes open. I was so comfortable, with the heat now just barely blowing, and an actual seat for godsake. Abigail’s truck was now out of sight, the tailgate just barely visible in this morning fog. I felt my entire body defrost. The crappy car heat washed over me like the desert sun.
I didn’t care if I looked like an idiot. I was grabbing unto the first specks of real warmth I’ve felt since before the plane crash. The fire did nothing to us besides making us want to get closer until we burned ourselves. I stuck my face into the vent that I would’ve once called crappy, and then swapped it for my hands. I warmed them up like I would next to a fire. I must’ve looked like a madman.ns184.108.40.206da2