Heck yeah we’re starting in Dan’s perspective, things are sure to be optimistic and great.
Beside him Kerry was still asleep. It had been hours since he’d woken her; the last time he’d looked at his watch it had been near mid-night. Sometime after that he must have fallen asleep. …
He shook her shoulders a little, but she didn’t so much as stir. “Kerry,” he said, “wake up, babe. It’s morning.”
“Hmmpf,” she murmured. So she could respond. She wasn’t in a coma at least.
See? Not a coma. We good.
His pregnant wife is getting her beauty sleep is all
Suddenly Chris I mean Dan hears a low droning sound, possibly a plane. He heads toward the wall of carry-on bags they’ve been using to block up the hole to check.
He pulled a couple of suitcases away from the opening in the fuselage, ready to see the rescue planes circling–and was met by a wall of snow instead.
Welcome to the Yukon, bitch
Dan starts to worry that the storm is covering the plane up. Denali could also be holding off a rescue mission on account of possibly losing more people to the storm. First things first, though, they gotta dig through the snow. They’re able to make a space large enough for a person to get in and out and naturally Bob charges headfirst into the wilderness.
Bob was the first out, claiming the right for himself before anyone could speak up…. … the snow was deep enough that Bob sank up to his knees, sputtering and cursing. Daniel clambered out after him, standing over Bob and resisting the urge to smile or laugh while the old man struggled to pull himself out of the hole he’d fallen into.
I suddenly have the image of Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in a plane crash. Oh bother.
[Bob] “I woke up to the sound of a plane’s engine. Must be one of the search-and-rscue teams looking for us.”
“I don’t know what I heard. I certainly didn’t see any plane.”
“You know we’re not going to be able to wait forever,” Bob said, stomping his cigarette out and lighting another.
[Bob] “This weather can’t last much longer. And if it does, then we go find help.”
“You’re out of your mind. The safest place is here, with the plane. Anyone walks out of here, they’ll never be seen again.”
“I didn’t say it had to be you, did I?”
“Who then? Surely you’re not thinking of yourself?”
“I don’t see why not.”
SHUT UP Dan. Yes, Bob, this is an excellent idea, you should go out by yourself into the vast wilderness from which you will most certainly return… Although, they’re probably going to run out of food at some point and Bob DOES have the most meat on his bones. This is a real moral dilemma, the people’s well-being or my tolerance for Bob.
Dan’s all like ‘whatever Bob’ and thinks about how crazy the idea of leaving the crash site is. He heads back inside the plane to check on Kerry. I mean, she was doing so well when we last saw her. She was all the way up at level not-coma-yet.
She was cold, cold on her face and hands, and he picked them up and started rubbing them to warm them.
“Kerry,” he said. “Open your eyes, babe. Please.”
Nothing. … “Hey,” he said. “Wake up. It’s morning.”
“Mmmm, no,” she murmured, but didn’t open her eyes.
How could he have been so stupid, so careless, as to fall asleep when he’d promised to take care of her? He’d sworn he would keep her safe, and the moment she’d needed him the most, he’d failed. …
She stirred a little and opened her eyes, briefly fixing on him. “Somethings wrong,” she muttered.
“What do you mean, ‘something’s wrong’?” he asked, but she was out cold again–no amount of calling her name and shaking her would wake her up again this time.
Alright, Phil’s off the hook for almost killing Kerry, since Dan is apparently trying to murder his future wife and Jackson (a noble goal, but still). Though I must admit, seems like the lady can’t go two chapters without trying to escape this book. If I can’t leave neither can you! Beverly quickly comes over to evaluate the damage Dan has done by himself.
Beverly opened each of Kerry’s eyelids and flashed the emergency flashlight in them. She lowered her voice and said, “That’s not good.”
“What do you mean, ‘not good’?”
“I’m not a doctor! Don’t bark at me!”
Beverly thinks Kerry might have memory loss but it’s difficult to tell. Dan panics because Kerry’s got a little Jackson in there already feeding off of her brain. Bev is stressed because they need a hospital bad and Kerry isn’t even the most damaged person there.
“Not to mention your friend Phil. He might have internal bleeding and possibly bladder damage. He’s very pale, and there’s a hard spot in his abdomen where the leg of the chair hit him. That’s usually a bad sign.”
“And you haven’t told him yet.” Daniel looked over at the place where Phil sat with his eyes closed, leaning against the wall of the fuselage.
If I had to take a shot every time someone withheld important information from somebody else I’d be dead right now. Someone must have told Bill that creates tension or something.
Dan is all ‘uh maybe you should tell him the truth’ and Bev is all ‘nah’ and ditches. Dan worries some more about how shitty everything is, but is resolved to stay with Kerry, if Bob wants to go and risk his life, he can do so himself, because Dan is a strong independent woman.
Next chapter we hop into Phil’s brain. Phil isn’t feeling too great. He’s not dead but he’s too sick to help out and feels useless. But Bev said he’s okay so it should be fiiiiiine.
He could see Kerry asleep on the floor near the front of the cabin, deep inside where it was warmest, Daniel sitting with her head in his lap and stroking her hair, his eyes dark and haunted. Phil knew that look only too well; he’d seen it in the mirror not so very long ago.
So when the inside of the cabin started to feel like a grave, Phil had done the only sensible thing and climbed outside. The cold air on his face should have felt good after a night inside the plane with the collective breath of fifty other people, but it was too cold to be pleasant, only bitter. Yet it was the only place he wouldn’t have to sit and watch Kerry and Daniel suffer, so it would have to do for the moment.
…Wh-What is this feeling inside my chest? Is…is it SYMPATHY? For a character?!
Bill you’re scaring me, stop it.
“We can’t wait until tomorrow,” the woman said, her voice rising to the edge of panic.
Her face began to crumple, and Daniel said, “I tell you what. I could use your help. I might try making some snowshoes. If we had some snowshoes, we could get around a little easier. Maybe find a cell-phone signal or something.”
Is this a thing? Can you just make snowshoes? They’ve been playing the “Dan is a crisis-management dude” card a lot for his expertise but I’m not sure-
“You really know how to make snowshoes?” Phil asked when they’d gone.
“No, but I’ve worn snowshoes before.”
Good god can you fucking people cool it on the lies of omission? Dante only has so much space in that circle of hell.
Dan reasons that it’ll keep their minds off the fact that help is not coming today which I guess is better than everyone going all Donner Party on their asses. Later that night, though, tensions are starting to get high.
The passengers who’d been sitting outside went back in, driven by hunger and cold, and Phil followed them. They’d eaten what little food they had the night before and early this morning, not bothering to ration, assuming they would be found by the end of the second day.
Wow that’s a real shame, it would have really helped if someone had information on the actual likelihood of their rescue and decided to share it with the class.
I hope starvation was worth the evasion
It’s at this point while I was reading this that I started to question the validity of the lack of rescue. I get that it’s a storm and they won’t want to send helicopters or anything, but again, snowmobiles exist. They mention that since the plane was trying to U-Turn when it crashed that they’re off-course, and that compounded with the ELT shenanigans this makes them impossible to find but I’m calling BS. The pilots radioed in before the crash, the Whiterun officials must have some idea of where they are. Or is this some half-assed attempt to draw a parallel to Dan’s decision earlier in the book to wait out the storm. Which, if Bob had listened to him, would have kept them in Alaska and prevented this whole freezing to death business.
Oh, no time for thinking, Dan has to yell at some fellow plane crash victims.
It was late, and Phil was resting against the bulkhead when the flight attendant he’d spoken to immediately after the crash–Amber, her name was–went outside with a pan to scoop up a few handfuls of snow and bring it inside for thirsty passengers. She’d already handed out several handfuls of the stuff when Daniel started shouting, “Don’t do that!” startling Amber into dropping the snow, and the entire plane full of passengers turned to look at him. “It will drop your body temperature! You’ll give everyone hypothermia.”
The flight attendant stopped and gave him an irritated look. “What do you suggest we drink? Urine? People are dehydrated.”
“Look, we can live a couple of days without water, but not if we freeze to death first.”
… Take it into the plane and let it melt. I just solved both your problems. But I mean, if you guys are really eager to start living out your Bear Grylls fantasy I’m not going to judge.
Phil watched this blowup in alarm. Just minutes ago Daniel had managed the situation outside with care, taking into consideration the fragile emotional state of survivors, but now he was causing just as many problems as he was solving, starting to crack under the strain of why me, why now? “Hey,” Phil said to Daniel in a hoarse voice. “Don’t scare them. They’re already scared enough.”
“Someone has to keep everyone alive,” Daniel said. “You going to do it?”
Oh good now Dan has officially lost it. Phil has taken his chill like a brain slug and become the most calm person here next to Kerry, and she’s dead . Phil tells Daniel it’s not his job to be in charge of everything and Dan folds like a house of cards, weeping into Phil’s bosom. Well, not exactly that, they just kind of have a conversation about their feelings. This really IS a slumber party.
He was in love with Daniel’s fiancée, and that fact had long kept him from making friends with the man, but the truth was that he admired Daniel, admired the way he didn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself, he did things, took charge. No wonder Kerry loved him, had chosen him.
Yeah as if it was ever a choice between the two of you.
Daniel was the kind of person other people looked up to, the kind of person other people followed. Just then Phil wanted, for once in his life, to be that kind of man himself.
Dan you better get to running or we’re gonna have a Buffalo Bill situation on our hands real soon if you catch my drift.
Phil comforts Dan a bit, making Dan reconsider his actions. He gets up and apologizes to the stewardess and suggests that they warm the snow under their armpits in plastic bottles. WHAT A NOVEL IDEA.
“Won’t it take a long time to make everyone enough to drink it this way?” Amber asked.
“It may interfere with our big plans to sit around freezing to death, sure, but I think we can manage,” Daniel said….
Hahahahahahhhhhh, we have fun here
die change Dan.
This is apparently a moment of character development or something, so Phil opens up to Dan and tells him about his wife’s death. Ovarian cancer, oh that’s sad, yadda yadda, the end, right?
“That wasn’t the worst of it though.”
The sound of Daniel’s voice startled him. He’d almost forgotten the other man was there. It was like being in a confessional, he thought, like telling all his sins to a priest. Daniel never interrupted, didn’t judge or cringe or turn away as Phil told all his darkest, most appalling secrets.
… go on.
“I ran away. Near the end. She’d been so vicious to me all day, telling me I was killing her, that I wanted her dead. She slapped me and kicked me. I mean, I knew it was the medicine making her act that way. The hospice nurses had warned me she’d have mood swings, that I wouldn’t even recognize her sometimes, but I never thought she would hate me so much.” … “One night I just had enough. I’d worked a ten-hour day and then went straight home to let the nurse go, but nothing I did was right. … I got up and walked out of the house and left my dying wife alone in our living room. I was gone for three hours.”
“Where did you go?”
“I hardly remember. I went to the lake for a little while. Parked my car and just sat there, watching the moon come up over the water” …
“Then what happened?”
“Then nothing. I came home.”
… That wasn’t juicy at all you slut.
You should be ashamed of yourself, put your tea and your dead wife back in the pot
Daniel said, “But there’s more to it than that, isn’t there? Something you’ve been blaming yourself for all this time.”
They were probably going to die out here anyway. What did it matter if he confessed his most grievous sins?
Dare I learn to trust again?
“I didn’t even know how long I was gone until I got back and found the home-health nurse there, and the fire department. Emily was passed out on the kitchen floor. She’d been trying to make herself soup and accidentally left a kitchen towel on the stove. It caught on fire.”
He screwed his eyes shut and rushed onward. “If a neighbor hadn’t seen the smoke coming out of the house and called the fire department, Emily would have burned the house down. She would have burned to death there in the house, because I left my dying, delirious, hallucinating wife alone for more than three hours.”
If it’s any consolation, Emily currently has a better track record than Kerry. At least she managed to make some soup before trying to die. These ladies are just as attracted to their own fatality as an NPC companion (See Bill? That’s how you make a nerd joke).
This tea is… acceptable.
You could say it’s… burning hot
Maybe it was the fact that they weren’t looking at each other that was making it possible, for the first time, for Phil to talk about Emily with someone. Or maybe it was because he knew Daniel couldn’t see his face. Or maybe it was simply that Daniel was the first person he’d known who didn’t pity him, who knew exactly what it was Phil had suffered all those days by Emily’s bedside. He’d seen it in the man’s face, hovering over Kerry: the look of utter and complete helplessness in the face of someone else’s suffering.
Phil stood and went to move back to his own piece of floor, but he couldn’t let the moment go: Daniel was still there, still listening. “If I could do it again, I’d never let go, not for a second. Those three hours were a gift, and I threw them away.”
There it is again! This stirring in my chest! I’m feeling…sympathy!?
I don’t like this. Hopefully when we meet next time Bill is back with his A-game…which probably means Kerry’s gonna wake up.