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Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Blizzard.

It was a chilly November evening in 1802.Andrew and Jack were walking across the frozen, still forest. Their was no other sound except that of there footsteps muffled by the soft snow. It was a cold winter evening in the Alps. The skies were turning ominously grey. They have been walking for hours after losing their way in the snow blizzard. They were childhood friends who grew up together in the Alpine countryside. Like their fathers they graduated into their ancestral profession as lumbar jacks.
Today during a heavy blizzard they took shelter in a gathering of tall snow covered pines. Every now and then a heavy layer of snow would slip off from the weary branches and plop down soundlessly.

They could not navigate their way back into the village instead wandered deep into the forest trying to find their way out. They were cold, bruised, tired and hungry and heavy with sleep. They both were trying to keep the other one awake, as sleeping out in that blizzard would mean a certain death. Suddenly Jack let out a shriek of disbelieve. Andrew looked at him half scared that Jack has spotted some hungry wild animal.
It was the light of a lamp coming from an isolated cottage in the forest. They found a new surge of energy as a they ran across the frozen terrain towards their beacon of hope.They knocked on the cottage till it was answered by a kind looking old woman. She looked at them and asked them to come in, she said she has been waiting for them. She went towards the kitchen to fix them some hot stew and asked them to sit close to the fireplace. 

Slightly confused and yet in disbelieve, they followed her instructions without hesitation. Later over supper she talked about their day and about the blizzard and how the blizzard worried her about their safety. They thought may be the old woman is confused or suffering from memory loss. What they found most amusing was her calling them Henry and Thomas with such conviction that they almost believed it.

Morning they thanked her for her hospitality and took off. The sky was still grey,they hardly walked for a hundred yards before the blizzard hit them again with renewed fury.They scurried back to the cottage and knocked but their was no response. The fire place was cold and the old woman Eliza could not be found anywhere.Worried for the frail old woman's safety they went looking around the house and came back disappointed. They finally decided to find some wood to rekindle the fire. They went in the backyard and found a stack of dried wood.

Fire brought back some life into their numb fingers. Later they stepped into a small locked room in the corner to find the whereabouts or a photo of the missing woman. What they saw shook them to their spine. The cobweb covered skeleton of old woman Eliza was resting on a rocking chair wearing the same outfit as last nights. That corner of the room had a window with a view of the forest. It appeared as if she was sitting on the rocking chair looking out into the forest for someone to return home, perhaps Henry and Thomas they reflected sadly.
Spooked out of their wits they stepped out of the room and waited for the blizzard to subside. Next morning nature took mercy on the two young men and allowed them to find their way back to the village.
When they shared their unbelievable story the grand old man of the village chided them not to make joke of such serious things. He later explained that about 50 years ago in a similar notorious blizzard the two, father-son lumberjacks Henry and Thomas were buried deep into the snow, they gave them a quite burial and prayed that no one is waiting for them to return home, because nobody in the village knew of their whereabouts.They knew their names because they would many a times end up working in close proximity with the other lumberjacks of that village.

That night Andrew and Jack had a tough time finding sleep. Their restless minds jostled to comprehend their experience and they both felt sad for the kind old woman Elisa.

What they did not know was that in the year 1749 father-son Henry and Thomas were no other but the two friends Jack and Andrew who came back in this life to complete an unfinished business. The divine coincidences pushed them back to their previous home where a wife and mother waited in agony for years with hot food in the kitchen and fire burning in the cottage to usher them home to safety and comfort. They never returned and Eliza left the world looking out of that window waiting for them sitting on that rocking chair. The soul left with nothing but just one desire to see her two beloved men to come back home to safety. Her longing created the events that brought the two men home to safety from a ruthless blizzard and saved their lives.

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