The Snow Cabin
“Hannah! Hannah, did you hear that?”
The shaking against my shoulder was enough to wake me. It was still dark out, but Luke didn’t seem to care about that little detail whatsoever as he nudged me again.
“mmm…what is it?” I mumbled, burying my face back in the pillow.
“Something’s outside the cabin.”
Didn’t he realize this was the woods? There were noises everywhere. All the time.
I fought a yawn and forced myself to answer my brother before I fell asleep. “It’s probably just a deer or something. Go back to bed.”
He rocked my shoulder. “Seriously, Hannah. It sounded like it was really close.”
I rolled and pushed back the covers. My bare feet hit the carpet as I padded over to the window and peeked my head past the edge of the curtains. We were both still naked, and after being wrapped in the warmth of the mattress comforter while we slept, the air was nippy against my skin. The sooner I was back under the covers, the better.
Outside the window, the snow fell in thick, white clumps, piling up over the last twelve hours. Even with the streetlight over the cabins, I couldn’t see any animal tracks outside, not without going to check, and no way was that happening right now. It was freezing! A gust of wind howled and shook the snow from a few of the evergreens outside. Maybe Luke had heard the wind, or maybe it was the creaking structure of this old cabin.
“It’s nothing,” I said, looking back at him. He was hiding under the blankets, the comforter drawn to his eyes. “Come see if you want. I think you just heard the wind.”
“I’m good,” he half-whispered. His eyes glanced quickly over my naked torso, so I figured he must have calmed down at least a little.
“Well I’m going back to bed, so try to let me sleep.”
I was just about to sprint back to the warmth of the covers when a glow from Luke’s nightstand caught my attention. It was faint, just bright enough to cast a dim, blue hue against the wall. I thought maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me, but as I stepped closer, the glow became more discernible. I picked up the necklace, running my fingers across the hand-crafted talisman. What had the woman said in the diner last night? Something about it being windy? Wind go? I couldn’t remember.
A shiver ran up my arms as I looked toward the curtained window. Maybe something was outside after all. If so, would we be safe inside the cabin?
“It’s doing it again,” Luke said, getting out of the bed beside me. He took the necklace in his hands.
I couldn’t help but sneak a peek between Luke’s legs, surprised his penis was soft. It was only two inches long now as it rested against his balls, so different than when it had been sticking straight up during our game of strip poker.
“Do you remember what that lady said at the diner?” I asked him.
“The crazy one?”
“I’m not so sure she was,” I said. “She seemed pretty scared.”
“You’re freaking me out, Hannah,” he said.
My heart was racing in my chest, and a cold pit spread in my stomach. The old woman said the totems were meant to warn her people. She had gripped her necklace like it was some kind of safety blanket, but at the diner, neither hers nor ours were glowing. So the glow must have meant something dangerous was near. Whatever she had warned us about was very real. Very dangerous. It scared the shit out of me.
“I’m sure it’s nothing,” I lied to Luke, and tried to smile for him.
“Are you sure?”
I gave him a soft kiss on the forehead. “Absolutely. Let’s get some sleep for now. We can hold each other if you want.”
That seemed to cheer him up, and soon we were back under the covers, scootched together like our first night when the heater cut off. It already felt like so long ago. Despite how uninterested I was in the vacation when it started, things had really turned around. Even between Luke and I, it really felt like we had grown closer than ever before. A few nights ago, he freaked out when he’d grown hard against me, even though he had on his underwear. Now as we lay together, his bare penis began to chub up against me, pushing against my inner leg, and this time he only giggled.
“Of course you would be scared one minute and hard the next.”
“Sorry,” he said with another giggle. “You know I can’t help it.”
“Mhmm, I’m sure.”
Even though Luke’s penis was only a few inches from the opening of my vagina, I focused on getting back to sleep instead. Did I think my brother and I were going to fool around during the last two days of our trip? Probably. But now wasn’t the time. The pillow was still warm and smushed from before, and my eyelids were heavy. Before I could even think about what the next day might bring, I conked out.
When I began to stir again, it was to a pleasurable kneading sensation against my breast. I’d been having an intense dream involving a few hot boys in my 8th grade homeroom. Each of them were stripped down, massaging different parts of my body as they kissed me all over my neck and breasts. At times their hands were on my breasts, at times my pussy, all while massaging their own cocks. I guess my dream had a way of filling in the blanks since I’d never seen a real-life penis before Luke’s.
I groaned as the pleasure coming from my nipple intensified. When my eyes fluttered open, Luke was grinning at me, one hand working my breast while a thumb rubbed against my hard nipple.
“Didn’t anyone tell you you’re supposed to ask first?”
I pulled his hand away, despite the slick moistness between my legs.
“Didn’t you like it?” he asked.
“I did,” I told him, “but I also don’t want you to think it’s okay to touch people when they don’t know about it. You know, consent?”
“I thought consent was just for…you know…for sex,” he said, whispering the last word even though it was just the two of us in the cabin.
“You should always ask for consent. Doesn’t matter if it’s just touching or not.”
“Even for kissing?”
“It’s a good idea, at least starting out. Until you know the other person is comfortable with it.”
“Well…” he said, trailing off as we stared at each other’s faces. “I’m comfortable with it if you are. You can kiss me whenever.”
“Oh, yeah?” I asked, drawing closer to his face. Inches away, I could feel his breath grazing against my skin, and for all his bravado a moment ago, he could do nothing to fight the blush that inflamed his cheeks.
“Yeah…” he whispered, eyes closing as he leaned in for a kiss.
A devilish smile spread across my face as I suddenly dug my fingers into Luke’s ribs and tickled him. He jumped and squealed as he tried to fend me off, flopping his legs beneath the covers.
“Stop! Hannah, stop!”
“Apologize for grabbing my boob.” When he tried to roll away and escape, I moved with him and pinned his body down beneath mine. Between attacking his ribs and his bare armpits, I was merciless.
“Okay, fine! Fine, I’m sorry!” He was gasping for air as his eyes brimmed with tears from his laughter.
“Sorry for what?”
“H-Hannah, don’t make me pee myself!”
“Sorry for what!?” I insisted.
“S-sorry for grabbing your b-boob!”
Satisfied with my revenge, I released him and rested down on him, feeling his hardness pressing up against my butt. Luke stared down to where our bodies joined, and I realized how close his penis was to my vagina. Feeling flustered, I rolled off of him before I could let the thought flourish.
“Come on, dork. Let’s see what’s for breakfast.”
After we had our clothes and jackets on, I pushed open the door and fought against some of the snow drift that had piled up against our cabin. Outside, the ground was a great white canvas. Things hadn’t been nearly this bad when we left to ski the day before. Even going to dinner last night had been manageable, but now, the snow was as high as the tires of our car, and while the sun glistened beautifully off its surface like little white diamonds, I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were trapped here.
“It’s never snowed like this back home!” Luke said in awe. “I bet we could build a crazy huge snowman.”
“Maybe later on we will,” I said.
Mom and Dad were already up when we knocked on their cabin door. Because of the overhang over the porch, the snow hadn’t blocked them in. They were as surprised as Luke and I with how much had fallen overnight. We sat together in the kitchen area eating toasted bagels. It wasn’t the best breakfast in the world, but it beat going hungry.
“I’ll call Hank and see if he can’t get us sorted out. Besides, we leave tomorrow, so there’s got to be something he can do about all this,” Dad said, vaguely gesturing to the snow outside.
“Hank can’t control the weather, Brian,” Mom said. “Even if he clears the snow away, that doesn’t make the roads safe.”
“I know,” he said, biting into his bagel. “We’ll just have to see. Oh, kids, take a look at what I picked up in town the other day for New Year’s Eve.”
Of course! How could I forget the New Year’s holiday? We’d been so busy lately with all the different activities that it totally slipped my mind. Luke and I walked over to one of Dad’s black duffel bags and opened it up to a stockpile of fireworks. He had everything from sparklers to roman candles to those insane tube launchers that exploded in the sky.
“Apparently the town does a small show, too,” Mom said. “We could watch it from here. Might be nice to set them off around the same time.”
“These are awesome!” Luke said, wielding one of the roman candles like a magic wand as he pretended to blast imaginary monsters.
While we ate, Dad used the time to call Hank on one of the corded phones installed in each of our cabins. Turns out Hank had a snowplow he could use, sort of. It sounded like it was an attachment that hooked to the front of his truck. Didn’t matter to me as long as we weren’t going to stay trapped here. We learned Hank was responsible for helping manage some of the New Year’s activities in town, so he wouldn’t be around until nightfall to help clear the path. Dad told him we were fine staying at the cabins for the day.
“Think of it as a day you two can bond together,” Mom said.
I think I played it cool, but Luke was tomato red as he hid his face from our parents.
With breakfast wrapped up, we took Luke’s suggestion to build a snowman, which proved to be challenging. The crunchy snow made it tough to keep our footing, but we eventually rolled up several massive snowballs for the base, body, and head. Luke, Dad, and I lifted the body together as Mom watched on, and then lastly came the head. Luke and Mom scoured the nearby forest for some suitable arms to stick in its side while Dad and I centered the snowman’s head. We grabbed an extra scarf to wrap around its neck, but we were still staring at a faceless snowman until Luke came up with the idea to use his M&Ms from the night before.
After Luke squished the last of the M&Ms into place, we all thought the snowman was about as perfect as it could be. It was just a smidge taller than me and slimmer than a snowman should be, but all in all, I was pretty proud of our work. I pulled back my scarf to let in some of the cool air against my sweating body. We had on several layers to keep us warm, but after working to roll and assemble the snowman, I was getting hot.
It was Mom who tossed the first snowball. I laughed as it struck Luke’s padded chest with a dull thump, spraying snow in his face as it struck. And so began Snowmageddon. We chucked a furious amount of snowballs back and forth, whopping each other whenever we had the chance. The snow was that perfect, powdery mix—not like the icy sleet we had back home. After the last snowball was thrown, we were all exhausted, laughing together as we caught our breath.
Luke and I decided to check out the steep incline near the property’s edge. It was the perfect view of the mountains ahead of us and the valley below.
“Kids, be careful,” Mom said, patting away the snow from her jacket. “Don’t get too close.”
The town looked like one of those scenes in a snow globe, picturesque with all its little shops and streets as the snow drifted lazily overhead. This spot would make a great view for the fireworks tonight.
Luke peered over the steep embankment. As he did so, the snow around his foot collapsed, and Luke lost his balance. We lunged for each other at the same time as he cried out, and I grabbed Luke by the forearm. He face-planted against the snow, but we held on to each other so he wouldn’t slide any further. I doubted he would’ve flipped and tumbled down the mountain, but I think we would have both agreed that wasn’t a risk worth taking.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
Luke’s face glistened from all the snow covering it, and he spat out some of it from his mouth. “Fine, I guess. Did Mom see?”
My guess was neither of our parents had seen Luke slip based on the lack of frantic shouting from either of them. “I think we’re okay. Come on, I’ll help you up.”
I tugged on his sleeve as Luke shimmied back up the slope. A couple times, his feet slipped against the snow, but eventually I pulled him away from the edge.
“Thanks, Hannah,” he said, casting a worried look once more behind him.
I helped brush the snow from his jacket and face, and together we headed back inside our cabin, eager to grab a hot shower. While Luke fumbled with his clothes, I went into our bathroom and began running the hot water. When I walked back to our bedroom, he was struggling with the zipper to his coat, so I went and unzipped it for him, helping to peel away the heavy jacket from his arms. His t-shirt looked as drenched with sweat as mine felt. He shivered as he stood there, his hands still shaking.
“I started the shower for you,” I said, tossing our wet clothes in the corner. Our pile of dirty laundry was getting larger each day, but I guess there wasn’t much we could do about it right now.
“I thought you wanted the first shower.”
“It’s fine. I don’t mind waiting to get one.”
I walked toward our bed and planned on resting until Luke was finished, but he stopped me.
“We should just take one together,” he said. “It’s dumb to wait. Besides, we’ve already seen each other naked, so what does it matter?”
Luke didn’t wait for my answer, instead unbuttoning his jeans and working them down his hips. Maybe I thought Luke would have reservations about what we did last night, but if anything, he seemed completely unbothered. When his wet briefs came down, I drank in the sight of his cock, which looked extra shriveled because of the cold and wet. His balls were practically withdrawn inside his body.
He smiled when I started shedding my clothes. By the time I had my top off, my nipples were hardened knobs at the end of each breast. I removed my pants and sweats and finally the black panties I wore that day, leaving me as bare as Luke. In doing so, it looked like his penis might have regained some of its girth.
“Let’s go,” I said.
Leading the way into the steamy bathroom, I opened the shower door and tested the water’s temperature. Hot, but not scalding. We stepped inside, and the water streamed down my neck and body. I ducked my hair under the shower head while Luke climbed in beside me. When we traded places, I grabbed my shampoo bottle from the ledge and squirted some in my palm before running my fingers through my hair and scrubbing my scalp. I shut my eyes to keep the shampoo from burning, but after rinsing my hair and opening them again, Luke was gazing at the sudsy trails streaming down my breasts and legs. His hard-on pointed straight to the ceiling, and he gave it a few absent-minded tugs.
“Hannah, you’re so pretty,” he said softly, making me blush.
“You’re just saying that because you’ve got a naked girl in the shower with you.”
“No, really. I mean it,” he said. “Plus, I’m your brother, so you know I’m not bullshitting you.”
I smirked as he used the same line on me that I had on him when we first kissed a few nights ago. Luke shampooed his hair, and it was my turn to admire him while I soaped up my body. The suds washed past his shoulder blades before reaching the globes of his pale cheeks and slipping through his crack. My pussy contracted some as I imagined running my fingers along that groove, feeling and teasing the hole there while my other hand gripped his dick and brought him to another shuddering orgasm. As before when I laid on top of him, I wondered how different it might feel to have his cock shoved up inside me as opposed to his fingers or mine. How would it feel to have him flex that impossibly hard muscle within me?
“Uh, hello, Hannah?” Luke said, waving his hand near my face.
I swallowed the saliva building in my mouth. “Sorry, I guess I was distracted. What did you say?”
He smirked like he understood exactly why I wasn’t paying attention as he flexed his erection under the stream of water cascading down.
“I said, do you need me to soap your back?”
“Uh…sure,” I said, presenting my back to my brother. I heard Luke uncap the lid to the body wash before squirting some out in his hand. A moment later, his hands were at my shoulders, kneading them and working his way down, rubbing his thumbs over the tense muscles. When he reached my ribs, I jumped as his fingers tickled me, but I relaxed as he kept massaging around my ribs and the base of my breasts.
“Don’t worry,” he said, close to my ear. “I’m not gonna tickle you. I’m not mean like you.”
I turned my head and stuck out my tongue at him. He moved downward, eventually getting to my lower back, still felt tight from yesterday’s ski trip. I groaned at his touch as he pressed his thumbs in circular motions. He paused as he reached the top of my glutes.
“Hannah…” he asked open-endedly.
“It’s fine,” I told him. “You can touch me.”
He needed no further invitation as his thumbs dug into each of my cheeks. I shivered as he cupped my ass in each hand. In all honesty, I think we both knew I could have easily washed my own bottom, but if we admitted that to each other, the moment would pass. His hand continued gliding across, pulling up on my cheeks, and my pussy grew wetter each second, feeling the slickness from my juices grow between my legs. When he stopped, I felt light-headed from both his touch and the steam building up in the shower. I turned around as Luke grabbed his erection with his soapy hand before running it along his drooping sack.
“My turn,” I told him, turning him around as I grabbed the soap. His muscles were lean against my fingers as I massaged his shoulders. Luke still had plenty of growing to do, still half a foot shorter than me, but already his body was so toned from baseball. No, he wasn’t some ripped-out-of-his-mind jock, but there was certainly the potential for him to have that physique one day. I couldn’t quite reach his cheeks as easily as he could mine, so I got down on one knee, bringing myself eye-level while I worked on the firm muscles inside his butt. Occasionally he groaned, one hand on the shower wall to support himself, as I dug into certain tender spots. He’d spent the entire day before falling on his tushy time and time again, so it was no wonder he was sore. After I finished, I gave his butt a little slap, and he turned around to face me.
We both froze. This was the first time his penis had been so close to my face, and I could see every little detail on it: the way its purplish mushroom tip bobbed every second with his heartbeat; his pale, four-inch stalk, a single blue vein tracing along its side. The running water made the three or four stray pubes at his pubic region more distinct. A sudden urge to try something washed over me and made my pussy juices flow even more. It was something Sarah and I had both seen that day we watched porn together. At the time, it seemed so gross, so…dirty, but now…seeing Luke like this, after what we’d experienced already…
“Hannah?” he asked quietly.
“Tell me if you want me to stop,” I said and leaned forward to plant a small kiss on the tip of his penis. Above me, Luke gasped as his penis lurched, smearing a small amount of his cum against my lips. Although, I suppose it was more like the pre-orgasmic juices my vagina made when I was turned on. Instinctively, I ran my tongue over my lips to measure its taste. It was slimier than saliva, and had a unique, almost…bittersweet quality to it. I leaned forward again, this time, letting his penis slide past my lips as it entered my mouth for the first time. Almost immediately it pressed against the softness of my tongue, and Luke gave a shuddering thrust forward with his hips, gagging me as his erection shoved to the back of my throat.
“Sorry,” he said, in a strained, high-pitched voice. “Wow, this feels…so good…oh my god.”
I ran my tongue all against his boner as he moved in and out, and Luke seemed to enjoy it best when I rubbed my tongue against the underside of his penis near the tip. Each time he glided along the surface of my tongue, he groaned loudly in the shower, and I was thankful that our parents weren’t around. This would be a tough one to explain. He began thrusting frantically as he placed his hands at the back of my head, seemingly wanting to hold me in place and push me away at the same time.
“Gonna cum already,” he whined, shaking on his feet. Reaching around to grab hold of Luke’s ass, I craned my head up. His head had tilted back, rolling from side to side in pleasure. I figured I’d already tasted a little of his cum already, and last night he hadn’t made much, so I didn’t mind him finishing off in my mouth. The thought send another jolt of pleasure through my pussy. I was so turned on that I was close to frigging myself as I gave Luke his first blowjob.
“Here I go…” he shuddered, and his penis swelled in my mouth before twitching away, firing off a thin jet of cum against my tongue. I was shocked at how warm it was, but not unhappy with its taste. If anything, it might have been sweeter than before. As his meager cum pumped out, my tongue smeared it along the tip of Luke’s penis as I continued to lap around it. It was a good dozen twitches before his penis stopped bouncing, but no less hard than when we’d started.
“What was that?” he asked as he leaned back against the shower wall. The tip of his penis looked an angry red after having just cummed.
“It’s called a blowjob. I…saw a video of it one time…” I said, not wanting to go into too many details.
“You watch porn?” he asked, a look of mild shock on his face.
“Not really. Just this one time. Sorry, I don’t know what came over me, but I thought it might feel good.”
I stood to my feet, and Luke nearly tackled me in a hug. If he realized his still-hard boner was pressing dangerously close to my entrance, he didn’t show it. He just kept squeezing the air from my lungs. “That was even better than yesterday! Thank you.”
When he finished hugging me, we looked into each other’s eyes a few moments before exchanging a soft kiss on the lips. It was tender, not as lust-fueled as the one from last night, but still sweet.
“Maybe we should turn off the shower,” I suggested, knowing we were wasting the hot water by this point.
“But what about you?” he asked. “You didn’t get to cum.”
Hearing Luke talk dirty in his squeaky, innocent voice only made me wetter. Surely I must’ve been flowing down my leg. I told him not to worry about it, but he frowned as I shut the water off. There was an old towel from the day before we used to dry each other off, and although it wasn’t perfect, at least we weren’t dripping water on the floor as we returned to the bedroom. I leaned over to sort through my bag for some fresh clothes when Luke stopped me.
“Here. Come to the bed.”
“What? I have to get changed first.”
“No,” he said, and when I turned around, my brother stood with his hands on his hips, his penis stretching upward. “It’s your turn to feel good now.”
In a daze, I made my way to the bed, wondering if Luke really meant to do what I was imagining. My twelve-year-old brother, Luke, who—prior to this trip—had zero experience with a girl whatsoever beyond his right hand and his fantasies. As I sat down on the cool mattress, Luke walked over and spread my legs before dropping to his knees. I tried to steady myself with a few ragged breaths, but it was tough to breathe. Tough to think.
“Tell me if I’m doing something wrong,” he said, inching his face closer to my crotch. His mouth was open, and I could feel his hot, moist breath against my crotch. He began by kissing my labia, pressing his face against me as he inhaled deeply through his nostrils. Then came his tongue as it traced the outside edges of my pussy before working steadily inward. My eyes fluttered closed, and I leaned back on the mattress. Luke lapped his tongue against my pussy like a puppy. Occasionally he slipped between my lips, mixing his saliva with the fluids pumping out of me. As his face climbed up my crotch, his nose brushed against my clit, and I moaned into the open air of the bedroom, rolling in the pleasure. As he dragged his tongue across my clit, I had to redirect him to lick around it instead since I was too sensitive.
And still, his tongue went rogue, at times glancing off my clit in delicious ways. At some point, I was thrusting against him, my legs propped on his shoulders with my feet dangling in the air as he went deeper and deeper still. When Luke’s jaw tired out, he switched to his hand, teasing his index finger in and out, at times adding his middle finger alongside it. By then, I was ready to cum. I needed to be rubbed vigorously. But when I reached my fingers down to touch myself, Luke grabbed my hand and held me away, working his tongue back up, knowing what I was desperate to have. No doubt Luke was familiar with the level of horniness I was experiencing. That burning, building desire that screamed how badly you needed to cum right then before you burst wide open. He clamped his lips around my clit, flicking his tongue back and forth as my pussy began to clench.
“Ah…Luke…ah…ah…” I panted as the pleasure became overwhelming. I careened over the edge as Luke plunged both fingers inside my vagina at the same time as his tongue fluttered repeatedly over my sensitive hood. Once the contractions began, I couldn’t stop them, only ride out the wave and squeeze my thighs against Luke’s head as I tightly gripped the covers of the mattress beneath my hands. By the time my orgasm finished, I felt like I might pass out. Luke wasn’t kidding—having someone go down on you was way more intense than just rubbing yourself off.
“Luke…that was incredible…” I trailed off. When he raised his freckled face, it was smeared with a mix of my juices and his saliva, but he didn’t seem to mind as he crawled forward to lay at my side. His steely erection was harder than ever as it poked against my hip. I doubt it went down at all since the shower. He placed a hand on my stomach and rested his head on my shoulder as I caught my breath.
“I love you, Hannah,” he said and gave me a soft kiss on the cheek.
“Love you, too,” I whispered as I kissed the top of his damp hair, breathing in the floral scent of our shampoo.
“Can we make each other a promise?” he asked.
“Sure, anything,” I said.
“When we get back home…I just don’t want this to end. Feeling close to you like this, I mean.”
I took his hand in mine, locking our fingers together. “Trust me. Nothing is going to break us apart. We can be close like this whenever you want.”
He gave me another soft kiss, and angled himself so his dick wasn’t jabbing into my side. We laid together in silence for nearly half an hour, just listening to each other’s breathing as the snow fell softly outside. There was a risk in laying naked on the bed together. For one, at any point in time, Mom or Dad could barge into our cabin, although I thought they would probably knock first. Still, it would be best if they didn’t see Luke and I spooning against each other without any clothes on. That might be tough to talk our way out of, and then promises be damned, I’m not sure what would happen next. So we decided to get dressed in our regular clothes. There would always be more time for play later on, especially after the fireworks tonight. We chilled together and watched whatever shows happened to be on the local network until it was time to join Mom and Dad for dinner. Outside, the snow drifts had grown taller, now a few inches past the wheels of our car, and even our snowman had a little buildup on his head.
While eating, Dad got a few updates from Hank and found out he’d be on his way shortly, but it would take him some time to get home, attach the snow plow, and return to the cabins. We also set a timer for the fireworks show, which was set to go off around 7 pm. It would be dark enough to enjoy, but still early enough that people who didn’t care about the New Year holiday wouldn’t have their sleep disturbed. That meant we had about an hour to get everything set up. We worked with Dad to unwrap all the different fireworks and get them set up outside, keeping the extras stacked under their overheard porch to prevent them from getting wet from the snow. He had enough fireworks to supply a small army, but I had a sneaking suspicion Luke would make a pretty big dent in the pile by the end of the night.
Luke was the first to try out one of the roman candles. Dad showed him how to safely use a lighter without burning himself, and once the fuse was lit, Luke aimed it high into the air, laughing as the shells flew out in fiery reds and burst in the air. He started shouting out a bunch of different Harry Potter spells, half of which sounded made up. When we moved on to the tube launchers, I couldn’t believe how big the explosions were. It was like a bomb detonated over our heads rather than a traditional firework. Dad tried to offer me the lighter so I could light a few rounds, but I shook my head and said Luke could keep setting them off. He gave Luke the lighter to hold for the time being as we launched a few more shells from the tube launcher.
One of the fireworks came in a fat, wide tube that was so big you could shove your arm inside. On its front was a warning that indicated the firework was not a toy. No kidding. A thick, smoking trail snaked out from the pipe as the shell skyrocketed into the air and exploded. The concussion wave slammed against our chests as pale yellow sparks showered down overhead. If not for the snow all around, there might have been danger of a fire. My ears rang, and I was pretty sure we were all half-deaf now.
“That was awesome!” Luke shouted.
“Huh,” Dad said. “That one might be a bit dangerous.”
“Wow, Brian,” Mom said. “What gave you that impression?”
Dad tucked the rest of the mini rocket launchers away on the cabin porch, and pretty soon it was time for the real show. Even though it was far from midnight, we counted down the seconds until 7 o’clock, cheering as the first of the fireworks from the local town began to go off. From our vantage point, we could appreciate the fireworks at eye-level, admiring them as they exploded in brilliant patterns across the night sky. We set off a few more of our own in tandem to celebrate.
“Happy New Year’s, everyone!” I shouted. “Well, sort of, anyway.”
Mom gave Dad one of those mushy kisses, which honestly didn’t seem so mushy anymore now that I had a little kissing experience of my own. Luke and I only laughed with each other, a shared secret between us. We were ready to turn and watch the rest of the show when a horn began blaring behind us.
It looked as if Hank had finally shown up with his snowplow, which hopefully meant the end of Snowmageddon. His headlights swept over the lot, blinding us as his truck scooped great heaving piles of snow off to the side. Dad said we would shovel away the snow around the car tomorrow. When Hank had a small path cleared, he put the truck in park and left it running while he stepped out to greet us.
“Hope I didn’t keep you waiting,” he said. Hank was bundled in thick clothing to keep himself warm. Mom went inside to pour herself some coffee while Dad greeted Hank. They began chatting about the weather and the fireworks display that Hank helped to organize. As they talked, Luke and I appreciated the fireworks blasting into the sky, the booming echo reaching us only a few seconds after the dazzling lights. I was just turning to say something about the show when my blood ran cold.
He raised an eyebrow in confusion until he saw my finger pointing at the glowing totem around his neck. A warning. Luke and I spun around, searching for signs of danger. Between the blinding lights of Hank’s truck, and the light cast from the streetlamp, it was difficult to make out any threats in the forest beyond. Or maybe the danger was even closer than we realized. I didn’t even know what we were supposed to be worried about. The only thing I could picture was the fear on the Algonquin woman’s face from the diner.
“Where did you get that?” Hank said suddenly, cutting off his conversation with Dad. “That necklace. How long’s it been like that?”
As the rolling thunder of fireworks in town ceased, and all that remained in the night was the quiet rumble of Hank’s truck, a terrifying screech pierced the night. I jumped as Hank reached into his waistband and withdrew a handgun before turning to face the dark forest.
“Kids, go inside the cabin,” Dad said, his voice shaking as he stared at the gun.
“Nobody move,” Hank warned. He wasn’t threatening us with the gun, but his eyes were wide as he frantically swept them across the forest. I was certain Dad must have heard the noise, but all he seemed interested in was the weapon in Hank’s hands.
“Hank, give me the gun. You don’t have to do this.”
“Shut. Up,” Hank whispered hoarsely. “This gun ain’t for you.”
Dad looked like he might say something else, but the screech came again, this time closer, and we jerked our heads toward the snapping of a thick branch in the woods. There was too much overhead light for our eyes to adjust to the darkness beyond, but surely we had to move. Had to do something.
Mom and Dad’s cabin door opened, and Mom called out to us.
“Brian? What was that noise just now?”
That’s when all hell broke loose. Another branch snapped, and the blood-curling wail came again, only this time, something came bounding out of the forest, hunched on all fours as it lumbered towards us in a vicious sprint.
“Wendigo, fuck! Run!” Hank shouted, leveling the gun forward.
I flinched as he fired the first round, instinctively ducking as I stumbled backwards. Dad tried pulling at my sleeve to bring me in, but I tugged away from him. Luke was already running a different direction, away from Mom and Dad’s cabin.
“Hannah!” he shouted.
“I have to get Luke! Protect Mom!”
A few more rounds of gunfire echoed out as I chased after Luke, my foot slipping once on the snow. I found Luke crouched behind our cabin, his hands clamped over his ears as he squeezed his eyes shut. The necklace glowed a haunting blue. Behind us came the sound of tearing metal, and I peeked my head around the side of the cabin to see a shadowy creature dive forward onto Hank, pinning him to the ground. There were no more gunshots.
Hearing Hank shout the word Wendigo solidified in my mind what that Algonquin woman from the diner had said. It sounded foreign like it might have been a word from her language, but now it seemed like it was the creature’s name. I watched it dig into Hank’s side before rearing its head, snapping something stretchy away with it. As it stumbled forward, the creature moved into the path of Hank’s headlights. It had humanoid features with gray, dehydrated skin and clumpy patches of fur scattered across its body. Its proportions were all wrong with a wide, hunched back and overly stretched arms that dragged through the snow. It lashed out blindly then, tearing through the snowman we built earlier.
As the body of the snowman broke open against the ground, the Wendigo cocked its head and became frighteningly still. I held my breath, wondering if it had seen us, but a moment later, it lurched toward Mom and Dad’s cabin. Clawing its way up the steps as it charged, the creature busted through the stack of fireworks before ramming its head into the cabin door. There was a thundering sound as its head struck against it again, its limbs flailing about wildly, and I thought the door might splinter apart. Finally it scrambled upright before smashing its way inside the glass window and into the living room. For a brief moment, we heard their screams, but then they were buried under the shriek of the Wendigo.
“Come on, we can’t stay here,” I shouted to Luke.
“What about Mom and Dad?”
My heart froze up on me. I saw how quickly that thing had attacked Hank. Now it was after Mom and Dad, and I felt powerless to do anything.
“We have to go,” I told him, tugging on his jacket sleeve.
I grabbed him by the sides of his face, terrified for my life as something primal within me screamed to run. Run far, far away. But I also had to protect Luke.
“Do you want to die!?”
Tears sprang to his eyes, but he took my hand, and I took us to the only place that made sense. It seemed crazy, but we had no other choice. The only options behind us were a pitch-black forest where we wouldn’t be able to see anything or the cabins that couldn’t stop this thing from reaching us. We stood at the sloped edge where Luke nearly fell over earlier in the day. He squeezed my hand in his, and as the Wendigo screeched behind us, we jumped.
End of Part 4
Copyright 2023 – Levi Holland
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