Blissfully Undone(2)

By: Red Phoenix

While Dan took care of the wood, Jenny ripped off the covers from the furniture and loaded the dishwasher. Experience from past trips had taught her that the dishes needed a quick wash to get rid of the taste of disuse. Then she went about making the beds.

Dan came in with a huge armful of wood. “I’ll get more in the morning, but this should be plenty for the night. Thank goodness we have power! I can’t imagine how cold this place would get without it, especially with the wind starting to pick up. Kelly and Ryan better get here soon.”

Jenny glanced nervously at the clock. “Do you think they’re all right?”

Dan’s smile was reassuring. “Don’t worry. Both Kelly and Ryan are capable drivers. They’ll be here within the hour, I’m sure of it.”

The two snacked on Doritos and Vienna sausages while they waited. Dan had a pleasant fire going and Jenny put rocking tunes on. Both of them were Blue October fans, so she decided to indulge in the emotionally potent lyrics as they munched.

Dan sighed when Congratulations came on. “This song always makes me sad.”

“It is a sad song, isn’t it? Justin must have really loved the girl.”


“I enjoy the angst in his songs, don’t you?” Jenny said, thrilled to share her enthusiasm for the music. Ryan never listened to lyrics—they weren’t his thing. “Justin’s work is so real and raw.”

He agreed. “The man definitely puts his soul out for public consumption.”

“I wish more singers were open and real like that.”

Dan cleared his throat and said, “It takes guts to put your feelings on the table.”

Jenny jumped on his comment with an attempt at a witty retort. “I suppose guts on the table are bound to get eaten.” When he didn’t laugh she suddenly felt uncomfortable and moved over to the fireplace, deciding to change the subject. “I’ve always liked fires.”

Dan lost his pensive look and stood next to her. “Warm fire, good music, bad-for-you food, what could be better?”

“Only thing that would make this perfect is Ryan and Kelly showing up. Of course, I’d have to turn off the music and apologize for the raunchy food,” she said, smiling at him.

Dan winked and took out his cell to call Kelly. Although his phone showed one bar, he couldn’t get any reception. Jenny’s phone had been rendered useless the moment they drove into the mountains. He opened the door to hold his phone outside. Wind and snow whipped through the little cabin, nearly blowing out the fire. He quickly slammed the door shut. “Damn, it’s turning into a full-blown blizzard. I’m afraid if they don’t arrive soon, it’ll be too late.”

After another hour passed, Jenny began pacing. “I’m really worried about them.”

“Jenny, neither Ryan nor Kelly would risk their lives if the roads are bad. They must be waiting out the storm. We’ll see them tomorrow.”

“Yeah, okay. You’re right. Both are extremely practical.” She took a deep breath to calm herself and then started checking through the closet for her favorite game to keep her mind occupied. “Hey, do you know what happened to Settlers of Catan? It was here the last time we came up.”

He opened his mouth to reply when the lights suddenly went out. “Oh shit.”

The lights sputtered on for a couple of seconds and then went dead again. The glow from the fire cast eerie shadows on Dan’s face. “Did we just lose power?” she whimpered.

“Yep, we’re screwed.” He threw the last few logs on the fireplace. “I’ll get more wood in the morning, but I think we’d better head to bed before all the heat is gone.”

Jenny opened her bedroom door to allow the heat to enter. It was already freezing cold in the tiny room. The wind outside howled angrily and Jenny could feel a breeze coming from the window. She quickly donned her flannels in the dark and jumped into the bed. Jenny yelped when she slipped under the cold sheets.

“You okay in there?” Dan called out.

“Yeah, just a freezing bed. I’m fine.” Jenny shivered until her body heat started to warm the covers. It seemed like hours before she fell asleep.

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