Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
It didn't come with a bang. It didn't come in threatening waves, either. In fact, we didn't even really notice that it came at all until it refused to leave. This was all very disappointing to me-- If the world was going to end, I wanted at least to get a good show out of it! But alas, the Frost didn't much care what I thought of it.
It hadn't been a frightening ordeal, just a snow like any other. It came, the weather stations predicted it like they always do, life went on. We didn't start worrying when it kept getting lower, either-- just one of those crazy storms we all get every so often, right?
We had a good when Texas ended up with a pile of snow a foot deep, the poor blokes there didn't know what to do with the cold-- I swear, they thought they were about to die of the cold! The rest of us mocked them for it, but that was before we realized they might be right.
After a week of negative temperatures, even in the midwest we knew something was wrong. Nobody really said anything, but we all wanted the warmth back, as well as a refund from that fraud of a weatherhog, Puncxutawny Phil. It was almost Spring after all, and it was high time we saw some blossoms. Besides that, the roads were all frozen over, and those of us living away from the cities were running out of food.
The day the pipes froze was a bad one for us. Without running water, we had to melt snow to drink, and we could barely cook any of the food we had left. It was all dried goods, beans and rice and such, and it took so much effort just to feed my family two meals a day. But we all persevered, 'it's all going to be over soon' we told eachother. You may pause here to appreciate our timely use of dramatic irony.
We all continued on for another week like normal. We kept in touch on the internet, and social media was full of jokes and memes mocking the unseasonable temperatures as they kept dropping, by now getting below highs of negative fifteen where I lived. Everyone's favorite joke became 'how's the weather?'
It took us another two weeks to stop chuckling about it. The ice wasn't going away, and it began growing too thick on the power lines-- everyone I knew kept vanishing from the internet as their electricity got cut off. Some of them, the ones with data plans, kept in touch for a day or two with their phones, laughing it off and telling us that the power company was on its way, they'd fix it soon. They didn't. Sooner or later they died-- the batteries I mean-- and I never saw them again.
Eventually, of course, our lines got torn down by the cold too. I still had my phone, but that was the least of our concern now, as our only heat in the house was electric, and so was our stove. We put blankets over the windows and doors, and only opened them up when we ran out of melted snow to gather more. We couldn't actually melt the snow anymore, or cook our food, so we ended up having to eat the ice like dry cereal, usually with uncooked beans mixed in. We weren't quite starving, but we were close to it.
The power company promised to restore electricity soon, but we weren't terribly surprised when we heard the repair truck crash in the valley below us. Me and my father went out to try to help the driver, but he was dead before we got there. We buried him in our back yard, my father giving him a rudimentary funeral blessing. We stripped the truck of everything useful, and took the man's phone and coat, and we rejoiced when we discovered it held a hand warmer in the left pocket.
We used the warmer to melt ice to drink and thaw our hands after the digging left them cold and nearly frostbitten. The phone-- ours had all died days ago-- wasn't much good to us, but it did tell us the new forecast; Negative thirty-four degrees. We no longer thought it would get better soon.
Six days and the last of the dried food ran out. It was far too cold to survive the ten-mile walk to town, and for a few days we all tried to survive without anything, hoping vainly something would change. It didn't. On the fourth day of hunger, my father unburied the body.
The pocket warmer is dead now, and one of my sisters has been unconscious for almost twenty-four hours. We're all huddling around her with every blanket in the house, but we're not much warmer than her... I deny it with every bone in my body, but I know she's dying. We're all dying. I'm so cold. My fingers are blackening. I'm starving, and I haven't had fluid in days. All I have the strength left to do is hold her frigid body tight in my arms and let the droplets freeze on my cheeks.