2017 Erotica story: The Secrets of Liberty Mountain – Chapter 16
The dark wall of snow sealing the entrance of the tunnel sparkled and glistened in the moving beams of our flashlights.
Alice paused for a moment to wipe the sweat from her forehead. After digging into the embankment for almost an hour, we had almost nothing to show for our efforts.
Time for a break,” Alice leaned her back against the rock wall of the tunnel and rested her head against the rough surface as she pushed several stray strands of blond hair out of her eyes.
“It should be about sunrise,” I glanced at my wristwatch and back at the snow, searching for any sign of light from the outside. A faint glow would tell us where the snow cover might be thinner than the rest. No glimmer of light entered.
With a sigh, I leaned against the wall next to Alice and took a deep breath followed by another. My fingertips tingled with the same feeling I got when my arm falls asleep.
The blizzard and the drifting snow did an excellent job blocking the entrance. Digging in the drift would have been easier if it were not for the tangled branches of the young Aspens. The barren foliage and sticks acted like rebar in a reinforced concrete retaining wall. Running the Boston Marathon would have been easier compared to digging an air passage between all the woodwork.
“Dennis, it’s getting hard to catch my breath,” Alice’s chest heaved as she inhaled a long breath. The annoying headache dancing in the shadows stopped hiding and announced its presence in a wave of pulsating pain keeping time with my beating heart.
We were on the leading edge of CO2 poisoning and like the canaries in a coal mine; we didn’t have any place to go.
I kept pawing at the snow as I removed one handful of white stuff after another. I would dig a little and stop for a minute or two to catch my breath and dig some more.
Somewhere within the recess of my mind alarm bells sounded. A tiny part of my brain jumped up and down trying to get my attention. All rather annoying and I told myself to settle down and take a nap. A nap would be so fantastic right about now.
I rested my head on the arm I used for digging and took another breath. I will just rest here for a moment. Warm and cozy, a snow cocoon surrounded me in my new tunnel. Do butterflies dream when they sleep?
“Dennis! Dennis! Move. I got it,” Alice’s hands shook my body as she pulled me back toward her.
“Whatcha doing? This is no time to cut firewood,” I rested against the warm snow as Alice crawled past me with a saw in her hands and took my her place where I had been digging.
“Son of a bitch! Grunt. God damn it! Ugg!” Clumps of snow mixed with twigs, branches and sticks flew out from behind her.
“Whatcha doing?” I asked again. My voice called from a million miles away.
“I’m cutting my way through the fuckin’ snow. I’m not, ah fuck it, I’m not, God damn it! Digging,” she kicked a huge snow block bristling with sticks and branches out of the hole followed by more cursing and more snow and wood.
My field of vision kept getting smaller and narrower. How strange? I found myself in a tunnel looking at myself in a tunnel. I wanted to tell Alice to stop making so much noise and let me sleep, but my voice was lost in the fog filling my head.
So warm, so restful. I closed my eyes in a cozy blanket of sleep when a blast of freezing air hit me in the face. What the hell? I inhaled a satisfying breath of fresh freezing air and another. I could feel the fog in my head clearing each time I inhaled.
Son of a bitch, she had done it. She had fucking done it! She opened a passageway to the outside.
Driven by the blizzard’s gale force winds, a tsunami of sub-zero temperatures cascaded through the opening carved by Alice. Whatever body heat and warmth we retained under our clothing were swept away like sandcastles in the rising tide of Arctic air.
“We’ve got to warm, up” I put my arm around Alice’s shoulders and pulled her close to me. Her body was shivering and trembling as much as mine.
Prolonged exposure to elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide wrecked havoc with our bodies and our minds. Trying to complete a thought was like wading through an ocean of molasses. I felt like I had been driven over by a Greyhound Bus.
From what I understood about CO2 toxicity, which was almost nothing, it would take Alice and me at least 24 hours for our systems to restore a healthy oxygen balance as we purged the excess carbon dioxide from our bodies.
With each breath we took, our breathing became a little bit easier. Trying to stand up was a different story. I made it to my knees twice before wobbling and falling over. Alice didn’t fare much better, she swayed sideways and toppled over like a tree in a hurricane when she tried to rise to her feet. We were a mess.
Finally, we got ourselves into sync and helped each other climb to our feet. Like, two drunken sailors, we staggered off toward our tent with the beams of our flashlights leading the way.
A fuzzy part of my brain was engaged in trying to do a basic risk assessment. The math was so simple my foggy brain could do the calculations:
Hypothermia + CO2 poisoning = Death
“My God, I’m’ freezing,” Alice’s teeth chattered in time with her shivering body. The sweat, which had drenched us while we were frantically digging ourselves out of the cavern, became a swarm of leeches sucking the heat out of our bodies.
“We gotta lose these wet clothes before we freeze to death,” my teeth clattered like an old-fashioned typewriter. I stuttered and stammered so much I had to repeat every word two or three times.
Inside our tent, I ignored the chill as I raced to disrobe. My tee-shirt was drenched. I stripped it off and used it as a towel to dry myself off. I knelt naked next to Alice, removed her clothing, and toweled her shivering body off the best I could. I glanced at my watch; it was a few minutes after nine o’clock in the morning.
Without another word between us we slipped into the frigid sleeping bag and held each other as tightly as we could. For all the warmth we were generating, we might as well have been two ice cubes at the bottom of a martini glass.
Our hands caressed each other’s bodies and bare bottoms as we used friction to warm the surface of our skin. After several minutes our shivering abated as we exchanged body heat.
Alice’s body relaxed as her tension evaporated. We held each other in our arms as a deep, restful calm surrounded us in the warm and comforting cocoon of slumber. I smiled. Butterflies do dream when they sleep.
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 2
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 3
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 4
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 5
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 6
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 7
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 8
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 9
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 10
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 11
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 12
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 13
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 14
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 15
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 16 T
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 17
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 18
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 19
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 20
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 21
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 22
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 23
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 24
- The Secrets of Liberty Mountain - Chapter 25