The wind shrieks they are not coming back. Please, God. I pray I’m just freaking out here. But this storm. No one could stay out in this storm overnight. Maybe they met someone who helped them. Maybe a miracle. But who are they going to meet up here? There isn’t anything around for over two hundred kilometers. I have to think positive. It’s only been one day. Is this a day? It’s ten thirty in the morning and there hasn’t been a trace of the sun since yesterday. God, I hate winter. Please, God. Find them and let them be safe. I wish I could think of something creative to write, like a short story to take my mind off this. I’m out of ideas. It’s time to pray.
The clock says it’s twenty-six hours later, but I think the clock is lying. There hasn’t been a scrap of light in the sky. The storm stole the sun and strangled her to death. I just ate ketchup as a starter, not as a condiment. I’m so hungry, I’m trying ketchup. But, between relish, mustard and ketchup, I chose ketchup. I could only get two mouthfuls down before I had to put it away. I feel like I’m going to vomit all the time, though, besides the ketchup, I haven’t eaten anything in over two days. I look at the door and consider walking into the eye of the storm. Writing’s a nice distraction. Thank God I’m a writer. I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t write right now. What would I do? Just sit here on the couch and look through dark windows listening to the carnivorous wind? At least this laptop’s screen is bright. I need some light right now. They’re not coming back. Where did they stay these last nights? They went out with just their hats, boots and jackets, not enough for this storm. I don’t know how cold it is because I think the mercury is frozen. I haven’t been outside. They’re not coming back. Mr. Cook, Mrs. Cook, poor little Christopher! I can’t think of it. Lucky I got my own problems to freak out about, first and foremost, how do I get out of here? Even if I could drive, Mr. Cook took the keys to the SUV with him. There’s no second pair, I’ve checked everywhere in this cabin. I have to have faith that someone will notice us missing and decide to come up here and check to see we are alright. We need to worry some people. Or my cell’s reception comes back. I need to stop crying.
They’re not coming back. I have to accept that. Less panic, more prayer. My cell’s reception will come back. And by now someone has noticed that we aren’t back home. Right? It’s been three days. Three days is a lot, isn’t it? You know how hungry you can get in three days? I finished the ketchup. I ate, or really, drank the entire bottle. I’d throw it out, but I’ve cut a hole in it and I’m still licking off the ketchup that’s stuck to the sides. God, someone has to come before I start eating the relish. Why does such a rich family have so little food in their cabin? Mr. Cook is so cheap. He measured out exactly how much food we needed for the weekend here and brought no more. And then he walks through that door and gets his family killed. He probably went over the lake. I heard him talking to Mrs. Cook about how it had been unseasonably warm and the lake might not be solid for snowmobiles. But Mr. Cook always knows better. “No!” he said, raising his arm, “the lake is always frozen by December!” Like he knows better than nature. Idiot doesn’t believe in global warming. Of course not. How can you be an executive of a huge oil company and believe in global warming? I guess millions of dollars is the price of a conscience. I wonder how much I would sell my conscience for? A million dollars sounds about right. A million dollars would mean I wouldn’t have to work as a housekeeper for a family that leaves me starving just because the father is too cheap to pay for an extra day’s worth of food. This is a man who I had to argue for fifty cents on my paycheck. Sure, it’s just fifty cents, but I worked for it. You shouldn’t make me have to beg for the money I worked for. Make me feel cheap about it, you cheap bastard. Pay me to miss you. I wish I knew more words for ‘cheap’. I really could use an English thesaurus. ‘Pennypitcher’? Is that a word? I need to read more English. I think I’ll read right now.
I had to stop reading because I got to a part where the characters are having a huge Christmas feast and it was too much. Reading should be done for enjoyment not for torture. Writing is for torture. And pleasure. But, mostly torture. It would be easier to watch TV or Netflix, but the dictator, Mr. Cook says the cabin is for reconnecting with nature. How can I walk through that door into that nature? That depraved nature would murder me. Inside there’s a fridge and a stove, but there’s nothing to take from the fridge to put in the stove. I wonder how baked mustard tastes. I pray I never find out. Please, God, send someone. Who am I writing to? My rescuer. Whoever reads this will save my life one way or another. Even if I’m dead, simply by reading my words you make me live again. Read me forever and make me immortal. God, I’m starving. Who wrote it’s the stomach that reminds us that we are not a god? God doesn’t get hungry? What inspired him to create the universe?
Don’t ask me what time it is or how many days or nights it’s been since I finished the mustard. All is night. The sun didn’t even send a Christmas card. Tonight could be Christmas Eve. I stopped marking the calendar. Still, I can count my ribs. I thought I wanted to lose weight but I can’t look at myself in the mirror. I’m eating snow. Before I finished the mustard I stepped outside to taste the nature and put some mustard on a snowball, said grace, and ate it. Tasted pretty much how you’d think. We’re above the tree line, so there’s no point going outside and looking for something to eat off a tree. Outside is just one long flat stretch of darkness. In that darkness there is only snow and ice and somewhere under that snow and ice, the bodies of the family.
I’d eat the plastic fruit on the counter but that’s when I’ll know I’m insane.
Goddamn Mr. Cook. This is all his fault. Goddamn him. Who brings their family up to this hellhole in winter? Hell isn’t hot, it’s this. And he didn’t bring me up here because he considered me part of his family, but because he wanted me to clean up his shit. Asshole. And why I am calling him, ‘Mr. Cook’? Never Bob, or Mrs. Cook, Andrea. Always Mr and Mrs. Cook. The only one I could call by their first name was Christopher. I bet if they had a dog, I would have called him, ‘Mr. Dog’. Assholes. I worked for them for four years and never once did they ask me about my family back in Venezuela. They never cared about me. Why did I work for them? I could have worked for that other family- Diaz. I didn’t choose them because they were Venezuelan. How stupid was that? Because I was so focused on learning English. I should have chosen the Diaz’s. They seemed nice. I would be eating arepas, empanadas and pabellón criollo right now if I was living with the Diaz’s. Goddamn the Cooks. They’re dead and they’re killing me. I was so good to them. I worked 24-7 for them and they abandoned me in this fucking cabin. I wish I could meet Mr. Cook just one more time so I could tell him what I think of him. Then I’d quit. Yes, Mr. Cook, if miracle of miracles you should ever read this: I quit. To hell with you.
Before you condemn me- I ate the plastic fruit. The secret to eating plastic fruit is chewing. The more you chew the better it tastes. I started with a single grape. Then another and another then all the grapes are gone so you move on to the apple, then the banana. And guess what? I’m not hungry any more. I’m so full. So full I’m going to walk through that door and though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. I’m sure the lake has frozen by now.