One and Two Days After

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas. It was pretty good here, though it seemed like an incredibly long day because the kids got up so early. Presents were unwrapped, then it was outside to dig out the van we couldn’t get into the driveway the night before.

We went up to Enid on Christmas Eve to visit my parents. Going up there wasn’t too bad, but coming back was a real nightmare. It turns out it was the biggest snowfall on record in central Oklahoma. The wind was blowing at 60 mph, too. There were white-out conditions on the highway, but we kept on going. Somewhere south of Stillwater we ended up off the road. Of course, there was no seeing the actual hightway, and I came to a place where there was a car obviously off the road, some space, then another vehicle with its hazard lights on. Well, lots of people were driving with their hazard lights blinking, so at first I wasn’t sure if the truck was moving or pulled off on the other side of the highway. I assumed the two vehicles were on opposite sides of the highway. They were not. And both were stopped. By the time I realized this, there was no stopping. I barrelled between them, saw I couldn’t squeeze between the truck and the guardrail, so left to the left, then thought “Holy crap! I hope we’re not at the Cimarron River yet!” So I turned harder left and we slide sidewars to a stop. it seemed preferable to possible jumping off the bank and into the river. (As it turned out, we were not to the river yet.) Needless to say, we were stuck.

When I got out I learned that the first car had gone off the road and the driver of the truck had stopped to help. The driver, named Amos, is originally from near Chandler but has been living in Wyoming. His truck was massive, he had chains for his tired and a tow cable and was able to pull the other car (with a very grateful Asian man and his wife in it) and our van back onto the road. He passed us later, then we passed him pulled over and helping more people.

Overhead signs in OKC told us all interstates were closed. What does that mean? We were driving on them. It looked post-apocalyptic. The overhead lights gleamed. Snow blew across everything. Empty cars littered the road here and there and the wind was a constant, pushing howl on the van. There’s a place where the wonderful ODOT engineers have made it where to stay on I-35 you have to exit I-35 and take a one-lane sharp exit. Well, that was blocked with three cars, so we had to exit in downtown OKC and come into Moore via Shields Blvd. Every intersection was a new opportunity to dodge stuck vehicles and idle former drivers. Northbound Shields just north of Moore was a massive tangle of wrecked and stuck vehicles. Just in the Moore city limits we came to a snarl of vehicles that included firefighters. We weaved our way through them, made it all the way to the street we live on, then got stuck turned the corner. Fortunately, some guys helped push us out, but we couldn’t make it into the driveway.

All in all, it was a miracle we made it home without some major catastrophe. This was the second time in 10 years we were driving in those kinds of conditions on Christmas Eve. Last time it was going from Claremore to Enid, then back home to Ponca City.

So, nobody entered my Give the Gift of Lycanthropy contest this year. That’s disappointing, as the Mission: Wolf folks need the help. The contest closed yesterday.

In writing news, I’ve had a short story accepted for a zombie anthology. I’ll tell you more about that later. I also had a surprising e-mail from somebody you’d recognize asking to see a piece for an anthology he’s putting together. This one may be a bit complicated, so I won’t say much about it, other than the fact I was stunned to see an e-mail from him asking for something I’d written. The same day I also got an e-mail from my boss at Horror World asking if I want to interview somebody named Peter Straub. Yeah, I had to think about that one. Uh-huh. Didn’t he write that book If You Could See Me Now?

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