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Graham Dittmar


“Ahh, another one of these.” I tell my self in a relieved voice and slip my phone into my pocket of my snow pants, “The beauty of these trek always overwhelm me with just one glance of the scenery.”  I put on my snowshoes, zip up my coat, and lace up my boots, as I get ready for this long day on a relaxing snowshoeing trail.  I walk up to see the sign again, but it is too faded to even read the name. I start my long journey down this old, beaten down trail.

The air is nice and cool nipping on my nose like it does on those mid-winter mornings. I hear the howl of the wind going through the forest. The winding trail is covered in a foot of snow that goes up and up with a steep slope to the right of it. The trees branches are lined with a thin layer of snow making them almost look like they are frozen. The sky is clear. No more snow should come in today. Couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day than this.

The trail is becoming steeper now. I really was not expecting this to be requiring this much energy this quick, but it is fine. I can make it I just have to go one step at a time. I try to pick up the pace, but it is hard, this much snow is become a big problem, it does not make it that easy to keep going. I push on. “Come on,” I tell myself, “You have faced much harder obstacles than this before.” I start to slow, it was dumb to do that. This is a practically non stop hike, and I used a big part of my energy there. Gosh I am an idiot sometimes. I always do this. I never take the hard parts slow and always have to stop.

I stop to rest for a second, then I start up again. I try to take a step, but I trip on a rock and fall to the right, going straight down the steep slope. Tumbling and spinning on my back. I try to grab the ground at a desperate attempt to stop myself, but its pointless. I scream. Then I slide into some underbrush. My body is snapping twigs everywhere. My face is get cut up, some of the cuts start to bleed. The last thing I see is a big rock before my head hits it and I black out.


When I come to, I realize that I am much too close to the ground than normal.  I look down and find myself waist high in solid ice. I started to freak out, pushing and pushing, but it is no use, I am stuck.  I calm myself down and concentrate. The next thing I notice is that my jacket is no where to be found and my pants are caught on the edge of the under brush that is right next to my bag that, of course, has food, a spare jacket, and hand warmers, all things that I would love to have right now.

I check the general area, then I see it, my phone. I grab it, then I notice that it is half of my, now broken phone.  The trail unfortunately is very untraveled, and even if someone was there, it’s too far to yell for help and it was too covered for them to see me. I think back to my research, how long do I have. About one hour of consensus and 30 minutes till I have no dexterity left, maybe less because of that attempt to get out of the ice.

My mind starts to race again. “Oh god, oh god, what am I going to do.” I say, “ Why me? Why did this happen to me.” Then I see something, it is my watch, I grab it, switch its mode to stop watch and start it. “One hour, ok, What can I do for this hour … Oh yeah, nothing because of this ice, i'm stuck here till I die. Why me, why did it have to be me who has to suffer like this!”  I slam my hands down on the ice out of rage, my hand starts to hurt and theres a small wound, but it hurts so much it makes me cry just a little bit.

“This stupid ice, why did this happen? Why not head first? It would have been a much swifter death than this. This is no way for a man to have to die.”  I say in my anguish, “ This shouldn’t have happened, I was so careful in all my other hikes, how come this happen this time? A freaking rock that was just tall enough to break through the snow, why was that even on the trail? It just makes no sense.”

I start to push against the ice , banging my hands on it trying to move my legs which I have almost lost all feeling in. There’s no hope. No matter how hard I try, all I’m doing is killing myself faster. I might as well just lay back and wait for my death.  “It is no fair,” I say as I sniffle, “I never got to say goodbye, I did not get my last sight to be my friends and family. All I get is a terrible forest. My freezing cold body and my final kiss to be with my prison of cold hard ice.  I won't get married, I won’t have kids, nothing.  Why me? Why me?”

I start to cry, “This all is sick and twisted. They said that if you try, you can live up to your potential. Well I tried that, and look where it got me, at the bottom of a hill waist high in ice. I guess this world is truly cruel. One second you feel like you're at the top of the world and the next you're scraping the bottom of it.”

All I can do is sob, I have no strength to do anything more than to talk and cry.  My mind has slipped from that state of rage into depression. I have wronged so many and lived so little. It is sad. I have had so many dreams of near death experiences, but never as one resulted in this being the way I go.  I just don’t understand how this could have happened, this is just such an unlucky turn of events , one second I am resting and the next at the bottom of that hill.

My vision starts to fade slowly. “Well this the end,” I say softly, “the last 1 hour of my life was a living hell and now it is finally going to be over. I could say I had a pretty good ride, but, I am talking to myself right now, so it is pretty clear that would be a lie. God, how come this is the way I have to go. I would have prefered practically anything to this.”

And just before my vision goes complete black, I wake up, in my bed. It is the morning, my sheets are all over the ground, my pillows on the other side of the room. I get up and go to the bathroom, wash my face with some warm water. I leave the restroom and go down stairs and see on the countertop, my phone. I pick it up and feel it in my hand then put it down.

I walk over to the table to find my coat, snowpants, a packed bag, snow boots, and a pair of snow shoes. I put my coat, snowpants, and boots in my closet.  I unpack my bag.  Then I walk up to the snowshoes, pick them up, feel them, flip them over, then one at a time, put my hands on the sides of them and I use my strength to snap them both in half and then throw I them away, take the bag out to the can, and toss it out, to never be seen again.      

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