***** December 23rd *****
The snow crunched under our tires, on the long, windy road. Big, heavy snowflakes had beaten down on the windshield for the last six hours. The windshield wipers ached under the heavy load, bending like twigs in the wind. A blizzard, according to the radio. If I hadn't known we were in Colorado, my best guess would have been the north pole.
We were the first ones to arrive at the cabin. It didn't really do it justice to call it a cabin, it was more of a small two bedroom house, only a stone's throw away from Lake Haviere. My dad won it in a sweepstakes in the 70's. We rent it out during the busy summer and spring months, but it's been our tradition to gather there every Christmas, and celebrate as a family.
Mom pulled into the parking lot, or at least she tried to. A thick blanket of snow covered everything, making it nearly impossible to see where the road ended.
"Damn. Looks like we got a lot of work ahead of us," she pointed out, to nobody's benefit.
And so we got started. Opening the door to the car was like stepping into a different world. Gone was the toasty warm interior, replaced by a frozen wasteland. It took the two of us thirty minutes just to clear a path to the front steps. That was just the beginning.
Both of us were covered head to foot in snow, it felt like. Mom's shoulder length hair was normally pitch black, but now it was almost white. I inherited her hair, and so did my sister. The only one in the family who didn't have black hair was Dad, who had blonde curls.
Mom went inside to start a fire in the fireplace, and I was delegated to carrying in the supplies. We had enough for four people for a week. We'd only been staying until the 27th, so there wasn't any danger of running out of anything. Dad was still busy at the office, and would join us tomorrow, and he'd pick up my big sister, Lydia, at the airport.
It felt like we had packed for an entire village. Most of it was big jugs of water, just in case we'd have another outage like last year. It hadn't been a lot of fun having to melt down buckets of snow, so we decided that this year we wouldn't leave anything up to chance.
That of course did not stop mother nature from throwing a wrench into our gears in the form of the biggest snowstorm in the history of Ashbrooke.
By the time I hauled in the last package of groceries, containing a bunch of instant noodles, chips, and other snacks, my bones were just frozen sticks of ice. Mom managed to get a nice fire going in the fireplace, and it was crackling merrily. It was not enough to actually heat the entire place in such a short amount of time, but it would soon. The fireplace was built right in the center of the house, and there were pipes inside the walls leading to every room. A very rustic, primitive form of central heating.
"What's the status?" I asked, depositing the box in the kitchen.
"Not as bad at it looks. We have power, water, and even the wifi works."
"Well I'm gonna go take a shower then."
"I wouldn't do that just yet. I just turned on the heater. Anyway, it seems our last renters seem to have forgotten to replace the firewood they used. One of us is going to have to go down into the town, and buy some more."
I let out a long sigh, but both of us knew who was going to end up doing it. The person still dressed. Me.
"Just give me the keys."
"Thanks, sweetie. I love you."
It seemed like all the hard work we did to shovel the pathway was already undone. Fortunately it was only two miles to the store, but it took me nearly twenty minutes of careful maneuvering. The tires kept slipping on the fresh snow, and it probably would have been faster to just walk. Faster, but not better.
At least there seemed to be a lull in the snowfall, and the headlights actually managed to pierce the early evening darkness.
Fortunately, Jack's Shack was still open. It was mostly a hunting store, selling all kinds of bait, shotguns, and things like that. Jack, the owner, was a middle aged, jovial man, who's been living in Ashbrooke all his life.
"Ah, if it isn't Thom Weaver. That must mean Christmas truly is right around the corner."
"Evening, Jack. Business is booming, I see."
"Can't complain," he chuckled.
I headed straight for the big stack of firewood, and picked up two bunches.
"What do you make of this storm?"
"It's gonna be real bad, according to the weather report. Worst storm in years."
"Shit. Our last tenants used up all the firewood."
"Want some help?"
Together, we loaded up the car with firewood. More than enough to last for the rest of winter. We'd have to resupply the cabin at some point anyway, to prepare it for the next renters in spring, so it might as well have been now.
"You guys all set up there?"
"Yeah. We got food for about a week. Water and power are working."
"The sheriff asked me to find out which of the cabins are occupied, just in case we need to send rescue teams. I'll let her know you guys are fine for now."
"Would you mind checking in every day? Just give the sheriff a call, or come down here to let me know in person if the phone's out."
"You think it's gonna be that bad?"
"Won't know 'till it happens. Better to be safe than sorry."
I thanked him, and paid for the firewood. On the ride back, the snow had started again, even heavier than before. The world was pitch black, save for a mass of swirling, white flakes illuminated by the headlights. Maybe ten feet of visibility at best.
After arriving back at the cabin half an hour later, we might as well not even have shovelled in the first place. Another foot of snow covered the pathway.
By the time I hauled in the last of the bundles, I was once again little more than a walking piece of ice. My clothes were soaked, and I wasn't sure if I could still feel my feet.
"Please, please tell me there's nothing wrong with the shower!"
Mom had cozied up on the couch in front of the fire with a book, and a warm blanket.
"No, go ahead. I'll go make something to eat."
"Oh thank god! You are the absolute best."
When the hot water hit my skin, it felt better than anything in the world. Like I imagined winning the lottery, or having sex felt like. Not that I knew how either of those felt like. With the warm tendrils of water snaking all over my body, I could just about imagine they were the hands of a hot chick, running her tongue over my skin.
That, of course, pretty much instantly gave me a boner. I felt that I had deserved a good wanking after my day. Quick, and easy. The nice, gentle rush of an orgasm really helped warm up my insides.
After drying off, and changing into sweatpants and sweatshirt, I felt like a human being again. In the kitchen, Mom made sandwiches, and a soup. My mouth watered the moment I smelled it. I wolfed down the sandwiches so fast I barely even tasted any of them. The soup was an instant soup, but at that moment, it was the best thing in the world.
"What time are they arriving tomorrow?" I inquired between bites.
"Around noon, if nothing goes wrong. With this weather, they'll probably be a few hours late, though."
"You want to set up the tree?"
"We might as well."
Together, we dragged the big plastic tree from the storage closet into the living room, along with a box of ornaments. It was kind of ironic that we ended up going with a fake tree, when the cabin was surrounded by an entire forest of evergreens, but it was convenience that won out in the end. We used to have a real tree when I was younger, but it was always Dad who got permission from the forestry service, and then went out to cut it down himself. After he got tired of it, we got a fake tree. Seven foot tall, and it looked pretty real. So long as you didn't touch it.
It took us two hours to hang all the ornaments. Two light garlands, twelve red baubles, twelve white baubles, and all kinds of other stuff. Arts and crafts that my sister and I did in school. Random gifts people had given us.
After all these years, the tree was almost like family. It certainly had enough memories hanging off its branches. I couldn't picture a Christmas without it.
"There," announced Mom, hanging the last bauble.
I plugged in the lights.
We stood there for a while, admiring the glow. It made all the sweat and coldness of the day totally worth it.
"I'm incredibly tired, and just want to sleep."
"Alright. I'm gonna stay up for a while longer, and read."
We said goodnight, and I dragged my suitcase into the spare room. Mom had already put on clean sheets.
I fell asleep before my head even hit the pillow.
***** December 24th - Christmas Eve *****
I woke up to complete silence. No hum of engines, or honking horns. No trucks rumbling past. No footsteps on the ceiling, or my roommate playing video games. Not even the sounds of nature. Everything seemed to have been muffled by the snow.
After throwing back the curtains, I was greeted by a solid sheet of white. It was bright, but I should have been able to see at least something. Still wearing boxers, and a shirt, I went into the living room.
The windows were solid white, too. I got a sinking feeling in my stomach, and opened the front door. Snow, with the imprint of the door still in it. Cold air rushed in, but I had more important things on my mind. Like the solid mass of snow reaching up to my shoulders. If we hadn't cleared the path yesterday, it would have reached well over my head. We were snowed in. Completely.
Mom came out of the kitchen, in loose sweatpants, and shirt.
"Noticed, huh? Close the door, it won't do any good to have it open."
I closed it again.
"What the hell happened?"
"The storm got real bad after you went to sleep. I watched the local news channel, and they said some areas got as much as ten feet."
"I'm NOT shovelling all that."
Mom laughed softly.
"I don't think you could, even if you wanted to. It's still snowing."
"What do we do?"
"There's not much we can do, except sit here, and wait."
"What about Lydia and Dad?"
"Bad news, I'm afraid. I called them, and they can't get through. Roads are closed off. They're cooped up in a hotel in Westford."
"But it's Christmas Eve!"
"Honey, you're old enough to understand sometimes things just go wrong."
I let out an exasperated sigh, more as a joke than not. I couldn't remember a time when we spent Christmas apart. There was one year when Lydia went to Australia because she really, really wanted to spend the holidays with her boyfriend at the time. And one year the four of us spent the hospital after Dad broke his leg, but we were still together.
Now, it might look like the first time in twenty years where we didn't have at least three of us. Just me, and Mom. I looked at her. What would we even do? None of the board games really worked with two people, and it wouldn't feel the same without Dad. He was the one that was really competitive, like Lydia and myself. Mom usually just let us win.
"This is gonna suck."
"Oh come on, honey. I'm not that bad, am I?"
"No, of course not, it's just—"
"Yeah. I get it. It won't be the same."
Mom went back to reading. For lack of something better to do, I went into my room, and got out my laptop. I had a research paper due in the middle of January, and so far I hadn't gotten any work done on it at all. The impact of broadband availability on internet congestion. Really boring stuff.
An hour later, I wondered why I even picked the topic. It sounded interesting at the time, but now it just dragged on. Watching YouTube didn't help my motivation either.
At exactly 1:32 PM, the power went out. The lights turned off. Even the faint hum coming from the kitchen went out, so quiet that I only noticed it through its absence. My laptop kept merrily chugging along, but unfortunately the wifi didn't. No wifi meant no YouTube, and that was just unacceptable. Also the fact that the battery wouldn't last too long, and it would be better to save it for something important, in case it was necessary. My cellphone couldn't seem to get a signal either.
Mom was in the kitchen, stuffing snow into the fridge.
"Power just went out," I remarked.
"Guess you noticed."
"Come help me."
We filled the freezer compartment with snow. Most likely, the power would be out for several hours. At worst, several days. The fridge had a built in compartment for just such occasions, with a water trap on the bottom. It wasn't the first time we lost power for a while, and it wouldn't be a big deal. Other than the mind numbing boredom.
Outside, it was still snowing in full force.
After eating a bit, I was left with the realization that someone had to eventually do it. Dig a path out. It wasn't like it was going to magically disappear by itself. Mom called down to the Joe's Shack, to let Joe know that we were alright. We didn't have any power, but we had plenty of supplies, and didn't need a rescue.
I opened the front door, and the snow had almost reached the top of the doorframe. It took me half an hour just to be able to set a foot outside. A plastic sheet set down in front of the door helped catch all the excess snow. Pretty much the only good thing about the whole thing was that the snow also blocked all the wind, and it was a really soft powder snow. I could take a big scoop, and just toss it up. If it had been heavy, wet snow, I wouldn't have managed it.
An hour later, and my bones were aching. It was a slow process. Stick the shovel in at the top, and scoop it to the side. Rinse, and repeat. Snow got into my clothes everywhere, no matter how close I drew my jacket.
The walls on each side of the small corridor only got higher, and higher. I made it about ten feet, before I took a break. My arms were burning, and Mom fed me an incredible tasting soup.
After that, it was back to work outside. At least it stopped snowing.
The sky gradually went dark. By the time I made it to the car, it was pitch black. I decided that was enough for a day, and doubted I could have gone on much further.
Mom was busy in the kitchen, preparing a Christmas eve dinner. It smelled wonderful. Roasted duck. I went to take another shower, eager to get rid of my completely soaked clothes.
Cleaned up, I changed into the most comfortable sweatpants I owned. Not the sort of clothes you'd typically wear to a Christmas dinner, but it wasn't a typical day.
"I'm almost done, why don't you set the table?" Mom called out from the kitchen.
"Actually, is it ok if we eat on the couch this year? I'm exhausted."
And so, we settled in on the couch. I laid down on the big piece, stretching myself out. Mom sat down at the end. My feet touched the sides of her thigh, and I relished the warmth. Mom always seemed to have excess warmth. Like a human furnace.
"Damn, this is good."
There was also way too much for just two people. Guess you couldn't really cook half a duck, and it wouldn't really do any good to let it spoil in the fridge. Besides, who doesn't love leftovers?
Mom also put down a bottle of wine, and offered me some.
"Really? You're ok with breaking the law, just like that?" I laughed.
"It's not illegal. Anyway, don't tell me that this is the first time you've drank alcohol."
I just rolled my eyes. I wasn't going to answer that question, even though we both knew the answer.
The food tasted incredible. Absolutely mouthwatering. The wine was slightly bitter, but it wasn't bad. I don't drink a lot normally, just a beer or two at parties, so the alcohol seemed to rush to my head. In any case, Mom seemed to do enough drinking for both of us. For every glass that I drank, she drank two. In return, I made sure to eat as much as I could. Well, that was mostly for my own benefit. After a long day of shovelling snow, I was starving.
We talked about the usual thing. Mom wanted to know everything about my experiences at college, ever since I moved into the dorm. I didn't mind telling her about my professors, and classes, but I leave out the parties.
Mom told me about all the things that happened back at home. Gossip from the neighborhood, mostly. Which of my friends still living back home got married, or were pregnant. Twenty seemed to be that age when all your friends suddenly started being adults. Everyone except me, anyway.
The bottle of wine was empty by now, and Mom started to slightly slur her words.
"So, when do we get to meet one of your girlfriends? Or boyfriends?"
"Ha ha, very funny Mom. I don't have one. And it would be girlfriend, thank you very much."
Mom giggled, and patted my shin.
"You know, I'm kinda glad that we don't have the same problems we do with your sister."
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, you know, we caught her having a 'sleepover' with one of her 'friends' when she was fifteen, you know, and ever since then we've been wondering when she'll turn up, telling us she accidentally got pregnant. Not you, though, Thom. You've always been the good one, the one we don't have to worry about. Or maybe you just hide it better than your sister."
I got a sinking feeling in my stomach.
"Can we talk about something else?"
"Oh come on. It's Christmas, and it's just us here. I can keep a secret. You can tell me the name of your girlfriend."
"I don't have a girlfriend, Mom. I've never had a girl—" I blurted out, before realizing what I was saying.
Blood rushed to my head, and it was really warm all of a sudden.
"What? But... oh! I didn't know. Oh, honey, no, no, no, that's totally ok! I didn't meet Dad until I was a little bit older than you right now."
God, it was so embarrassing. My own mother finding out that I'm still a virgin. On Christmas, no less. If the blizzard hadn't ruined the festivities, this surely did.
"Was he your first though?"
Her gaze didn't meet my eyes.
Mom raised her glass, and emptied it in one gulp. I just sat there, not saying anything, hoping that if I just pretended hard enough, I'd disappear. Sink into the folds of the couch, and never come out again.
Neither of us said anything for several minutes. Her hand was still my leg, heavy as lead.
"So you've never had anyone touch you?" Mom broke the awkward silence.
Mom didn't comment, but her head moved further up my leg. She sat up, and scooted closer to me. My breath got caught in the back of my throat. She seemed to have changed, somehow. The way she acted. Not like my Mom, but someone else.
"What are you—"
"Shhh, honey. You're my sweet baby, you shouldn't have to be embarrassed any more."
Her fingers hooked into my sweatpants. My head was spinning, but my body responded on its own. The hem slid down over my rapidly hardening erection. It felt like my heart was beating a million times a second.
It happened almost in slow motion. Inch by inch, my cock came into view, pressed down between my legs. All six inches of it, hard as diamonds. It was almost fully in view, when it popped out of its confines, and shot up.
Mom grabbed it, and slid her fingers along the shaft. A ripple of pleasure raced up my spine. Her hands were much softer than mine, and they were so warm. And so small.
My cock throbbed, and it was hard to focus on anything else.
Her grip tightened, and she gave it a few tentative pumps. Half of me was freaking out that my mother was touching my penis, the other half was sending out bursts of fireworks at how great it felt.
Mom's other hand joined in, gripping near the base. Copious amounts of precum leaked out the tip. Mom spread it with her thumb, until my entire head was coated.
With one hand, she squeezed the bottom of my shaft, while her other hand performed little wavy circles on my glans. Faster, and faster, and faster.