It”s so cold

“Stella, I’ll tell you it’s a snow blizzard. No, I’m not kidding, it’s the truth. No, the blizzard came from nowhere. Hello Stella, are you there?”
Jonathan looks at the cell phone and sees it has lost the signal. He sweeps the phone around in the car trying to regain the signal but without luck. Damn, he says out loud and throws it on the passenger seat and then increases the heating a notch. He tries to look through the front window but it’s just a white gray mass, where did the blizzard come from? he asks himself. A chill goes through his spine and he looks at the temperature outside. -4, what the fuck. It’s late May and he has heard of sudden events of snow in the middle of summer but this is ridiculous. It’s not just light snow, it’s the storm of storms. He can feel the car struggling against the wind and he is afraid that it will lift and follow the storm like a feather. Again he tries to look through the front window but the storm is too massive and he bearly makes out the other cars around him. If it weren’t for the lights on the other cars he would thought he was alone. He starts to change the channels on the radio in an attempt to get some information but all he gets is static. He wonders if he should go out and check with someone in one of the other cars but decides against it. He picks up his phone again and tries once more to regain the signal, but the display shows no activity. A thought occurs to him, does the phone coverage disappear in a snowstorm? Suddenly the passenger door opens and in jumps a woman.
“Ohh my god, you almost scared me to death” he exclaims when he has regained his breath. He looks at her and sees that it’s a rather young woman and she is dressed in a sleek business suit.
“I’m so sorry, I just got tired of waiting on my own. Is it ok if I wait here with you? it’s a bit scary waiting on your own.”
“No, I have,” he starts to answer but she interrupts him before he gets any further.
“I don’t understand why no rescue has come. I got nothing on the radio and my phone doesn’t work. It’s nuts out there, you see nothing. I wonder where the storm came from?”
“I don’t,” he starts but once again gets interrupted.
“They didn’t mention any storm on the news. I don’t get it. Ohh I’m sorry where is my manners, I’m just talking away. My name is Linda,” she says and extends her hand.
Jonathan shakes it and says “My name is Jonathan.”
“I hope it’s ok that I just hijacked your passenger seat and you have to excuse me talking. I get a bit talkative when I’m nervous and I got rather spooked sitting in the car by myself.”
“It’s ok, I just wondered if I should make my way to another car.”
“Lucky me catching you before you went missing. It’s so cold, could we turn up the heat?”
“I don’t know if I can get it up much higher,” answers Jonathan and tries to turn the knob for the heat.
“Have you experienced anything like this before?” Linda asks him.
“No, I have never heard of anything like it.”
“I don’t like it at all. I almost had to feel my way here,” then she stops talking and looks out through the window and then looks at him with a worried look. “Did you hear that?”
“Hear what?” he asks her confused.
“It sounded like a scream.”
“A scream? I hear nothing more than the storm. You must be imagining. It’s the storm making sounds.”
“Perhaps, but it sounded just like a scream.”
“Now you are just spooking yourself, why would anybody scream?”
“Look there,” and she points her finger out to the gray mass outside the window.”
“Look at what?”
“There, a great shadow moving, it looks like it picks up one of the cars.”
He leans closer to the front window and looks towards the way she is pointing.
“I see nothing. Why would,” and then one of the back doors is opened. Jonathan jumps and hits his head in the rearview mirror. From the back, he hears a man saying
“Ohh sorry man, my car died and it got really cold.”
Linda has taken his head in her hands and turns and twists it.
“Nothing, just a little bump, you will be ok,” she says and he looks into the back seat, where a young man dressed in casual clothing is looking back at him.
“Hi, my name is Mark. I hope it’s ok if I wait here?”
“Of course, my name is Jonathan and this is Linda another lonely car owner. Perhaps we can keep the heat up with more people. What happened to your car?”
“I think it went out of gas, it suddenly stopped and I couldn’t get it to start again, yours ok?”
Jonathan hasn’t thought about the gas and turns around and checks the gauge and is confounded.
“Hmm, it shows half a tank, but I filled it up before I left town.”
“It’s the cold man. It’s not good for the engine, makes it drink more,” Mark says.
“Ohh I hope the storm will pass soon, I don’t like this at all,” Linda says.
“Ahh, it’s a bit strange because this kind of storm usually passes rather quickly. How long have we been here anyway?” Mark asks.
Jonathan checks his watch, “Almost an hour.”
“An hour! I wonder why no rescue vehicles have come?” says Mark in response and looks out through the side window.

Jonathan doesn’t know what to say and turns around and looks out his window. It’s then he realizes how blurred the window is, it’s like the surface is floating. When he touches the surface he feels that it’s not the glass that changed it’s that the windows are covered with ice, on the inside.
“It’s the condensation of our breath that freezes on the windows. It must be really cold outside.” He can hear Mark saying from the back. “How cold is it?”
“It’s…” he can’t believe it when he sees the panel “It’s minus 35 degrees.”
Linda who sits and looks out the window says something with a low voice.
“What did you say?” Jonathan asks her.
“The light from the cars is going out. Lots of people are going to freeze. Why aren’t help coming?”
“I don’t know,” Jonathan answers her and he can feel a cold lump starting to form in his stomach.
Linda turns around and looks at him with scared eyes. “That one you must have heard.”
“Heard what?” Mark asks from the back.
“She thinks she hears screams,” Jonathan answers him.
“Nah, it’s the wind girl.”
“No, I heard it I’m sure. You have to have heard it. I’m not imagining.”
“You are just spooking yourself, the storm will soon be over and then you will see that it’s just your imagination,” says Jonathan trying to ensure her as well as himself.
“I want to go home,” Linda says and then she starts to sob. Jonathan doesn’t know what to do but hands her a tissue and tries to turn the knob for the temperature control some more but it’s maxed out.
“Don’t worry we just wait in here until the storm is over,” he says to her.
“I’m sorry, perhaps I’m imagining it’s just that I have this bad feeling in my stomach.”
“Hey, guys look over there, someone is flashing their headlights,” says Mark and points backward along the road. “Perhaps they need help?”
Jonathan tries to look through the back window and even though it’s dark and blurry he can see a light coming on and off. Mark turns around and looks at them, “Should we help them?”
“Noo” Linda says with an unsure tone.
“We must, perhaps they are in great need,” Jonathan says and looks at Linda “Wouldn’t you want someone to come to you if it were you in the car?”
She looks at him “Of course, I’m just scared.”
“Ok, then you stay here and lock the doors. Me and,” He looks at Mark in the back who nods. “Me and Mark will go and check, ok?”
“Ok, just be careful,” Linda says when Jonathan reaches for the door handle.
“We will,” and then he opens the door and steps out.

The snow and storm hits him in the face like a sledgehammer and he puts his hand up to protect it. He walks behind the car and there he finds Mark who points toward the car with flashing lights. Jonathan takes the lead and starts to walk against the lights. It’s tough as the storm is raging and it feels like walking against a wall. The cold starts to dig into his bones and he increases his pace. Then suddenly the lights disappear and he loses direction. He turns around and looks at Mark who raises his shoulders. He tries to find the car but he feels lost and disoriented as everything is just a grey and white mass. Once more he turns to Mark who shakes his head and waves his hand back towards the lights on Jonathan’s car. Jonathan nods and waves his hand in the same direction as a response. Which makes Jonathan almost feel glad as it’s so cold. He has never experienced anything like it before and the wind feels like thousands of small needles are colliding into him. He tries to focus on his car in front of him but the noise from the storm is insane, like having a big fan in your head. It’s when he listens to the strong wind he hears it. Somewhere in the roaring storm, he can hear something like a whisper. He listens carefully and it’s not just one whisper it’s like a chorus of hundreds of whispers. No not whispers, screams, faint screams very far away. He tries to ignore the sounds but he can’t and when they reach the car he is anxious to get in. He lifts the door handle but the car is locked and he remembers that he told Linda to lock it. He starts to knock on the window but nothing happens. He looks at Mark who knocks the rear window but he gets no response there either. Mark shows Jonathan with his hands that he will walk around the car and try the other side. Jonathan nods and continues to knock on the window. He is freezing like he never has been before, his entire body is shaking and it feels like someone is injecting ice into his blood. When nothing happens he walks around the car and finds that Mark is not there. He knocks on the window but nothing happens and he doesn’t understand why they don’t open. His hands are starting to get stiff and he can’t stand the cold anymore. With his elbow, he smashes the small window in the back. After a while, he gets the door open and when he gets in he exclaims angrily.
“What the hell, why don’t you open the door I’m freezing my butt off?”
To his amazement the car is empty and in an instant, all the fear that he has suppressed makes the knot in his stomach explode. The snow is rushing in through the broken window and he takes off his jacket and stuffs it in the hole. Then he jumps up into the front seat and puts his hands over the vent and slowly he can feel his body gaining heat. He looks around in the car and thoughts start to fill his head. Where did they go? Mark was just here. Perhaps a rescue team had come? Why hadn’t they taken him then? His thought is interrupted by the engine of the car coughing and hacking. To his despair, the gasoline gauge shines red. No, not now, and then the car dies. He tries to turn the key and the car tries to ignite but that’s it. It’s dead and with it, the heat. He tries to swallow the lump in his throat and suppress the thoughts creeping up in the back of his mind. It doesn’t take long until he starts to shake and he starts to rub his arms with his hands. He looks around the car trying to find something to keep his warmth up. The only thing he finds is the coat, which is stuck in the window. He starts to shake and can hear his teeth clack uncontrollably. He is afraid that he will freeze to death. Then suddenly the constant roaring sound disappears, the car steadies and the gloom lifts from the car. He looks out through the front window and can’t believe what he is seeing. No the ice on the window must be playing tricks on him. He opens the door and steps out and if he was scared before it’s nothing to what he is feeling now. In both the front and back of his car there is nothing on the road except for piles of snow, him and his car.