The fifty mile drive from civilization to the cabin from my childhood always stirred up a mix of emotions within me. It was thirty years ago when my life changed forever and returning back to the place where it all began.
When I arrived, the cabin door was ajar and lights were on throughout the house. My heart and mind began to race, with thoughts of a wild animal, thief or some rapscallions up to no good. I stealthily, but quickly went to my back door and timidly looked through the windows. Seeing nothing, I burst through the door, hoping to frighten the intruder. Instead, the intruder must have seen me and fled out the front door. The only thing I could make out was the shadow of an adult man running through the woods and the howling of an animal. The sound brought me back to the howls of my own huskie, the day my parents died.
That day was a cold but thrilling spring day with my family skiing on our favorite slope in Mount High, Alaska. I could see my breath as I was going down my last ski run for the day. It was totally skiing on 20 inches of fresh powder, I didn’t want the day to end but the sun was going down and my mom wanted us back to our cabin by dinner. My mom was making her famous chilli. My brother, Jake and I had been hunting the day before and mom was using our game to make the chilli. The smell of mom’s chilli hit me as I was walking up the front step. I could smell pepper, chillis, cumin and roasted meat.
I was bummed thinking my dad and brother probably ate half of the chilli already. I was ready to yell at them for starting without me when I heard my husky howling and then I saw my brother sobbing on the floor.
“Whats wrong?” I demanded.
In between sobs, he moaned “They’re dead, Mom and Dad are dead.” My brother’s tears were a river flowing down his cheeks. I felt my stomach drop and my knees became weak. I started to sob uncontrollably.
As I caught my breath, I asked him, “How did it happen?”
He only said one word, “Avalanche.” My brother’s tears were a river flowing down his cheeks.
My head was spinning and the next thing I knew I was at an orphanage waiting to be adopted. Since my orphanage was filled to capacity my brother, Jake, got sent somewhere else, I didn’t know where. A week at the orphanage felt like prison, I didn’t think things could get worse until the headmaster or should I say the warden approached with a smile on his face and gave me the news of Jake’s death in a car accident. My heart felt as heavy as the snow that blanketed my parents.
Thinking back to that dark time thirty years ago, after losing my last living family member, I spent the night restless, not able to sleep. I woke before the sun to prepare for my hunting trip.
I set off to get my dinner for the night and put traps around my property, hoping to catch some game. As I was hunting that day, I felt like I was being watched and followed.
When I came back to the clearing by my cabin, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Until, I heard noise coming from inside my cabin. This time I burst through the front door and stopped dead in my tracks. The hooded intruder raced out the back door towards the woods, with me on his heels.
The chase seemed to go on forever until the intruder was imprisoned in one of my pit traps. As I pulled off his hood, I started to get nervous my hand were shaking and all kinds of thought's were going through my head then thought I saw a ghost. I was looking at Jake...