Space Traveler Fargone • Episode 30
New to Space Traveler Fargone? Start at the beginning
The snow was blinding. A total whiteout. Fortunately, Becky’s horse knew the way. It ran through the snow and then suddenly stopped. Becky jumped off the wagon and opened a barn door. Then the horse pulled us into the barn.
“That was crazy. Does it always snow like that?” I asked.
“Yup. The storms hit without warning. Heaven help you if you are far from shelter. When Carl and I were first married, we were headed to town, and a storm hit. We had to flip the wagon and hide underneath. Fortunately, Carl was able to pull some boards off the wagon and start a fire, or we would have froze to death. We always kept heavy coats in the wagon after that.”
“How long does it last?”
“The snow is usually over in a couple of hours, but the cold hangs on for about a day. Then it warms back up, and the creek is full again.”
“So we are stuck here for a day?”
“Yup. It won’t be that bad. I got plenty of food in the house. But it will be a little cozy sleeping.”
Becky started brushing the snow off of Mushy. Em started helping, which I found a little surprising. I took a broom and swept the snow out of the back of the wagon. Once those tasks were complete, Becky led us to the house. The snow was still falling fast and heavy and was up to my knees as we walked.
“Is the snow going to affect you?” I asked Flow.
“I don’t think so. I have never experienced snow, but it doesn’t seem to be causing any problems, other than difficulty walking.”
“Well, you should dry off as soon as possible. We don’t want you to rust.”
“Metallum is not usually susceptible to corrosion. But it would be wise to dry off as a precaution.”
An hour later, the snow stopped falling. We stepped out onto the covered porch, and the snow was chest-high by then.
“What about the chickens?” Em asked.
“They are pretty smart. When the snow starts falling, they run into their coops.”
“But what about the cold?”
“They have thick feathers that trap their body heat. And they huddle together. They will be fine.”
“I’m going back in. I’m freezing,” Em said.
We all joined her.
Becky told us more about the ranch and the walkers as we ate dinner. Fried lizard and potatoes. Then we sat by the fireplace, and Becky asked us about ourselves.
“This may be hard to believe, but we are travelers from space. We visit planets and report what we find back to our home planet, Earth,” I said.
Becky stared at me for a moment.
“Well, that explains why you are so ignorant of everything.”
“She meant all of us,” I said.
“I know, but it was fitting she said it to you,” Em replied.
“I am from a different planet than Fargone and Emma. I am made of what you would think of as metal,” Flow added.
“Truly?” Becky asked.
“Yes. Come feel my arm.”
Becky touched Flow’s arm.
“Well, I never imagined such a thing.”
“We would appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone,” I said.
“Your secret’s safe with me. I appreciate the company.”
“Well, I reckon it’s time to get some sleep. I’ll get some blankets, but you will have to sleep on the floor.”
“We appreciate the hospitality,” I said.
The following morning, the snow was still piled high. It lingered until afternoon when the temperature rose just as quickly as it dropped and the snow started melting. An hour later, it was all gone, and the ground was dry. We went out to get the supplies we threw off the wagon the previous day. With those gathered and taken to the house, we helped feed the chickens.
Becky stopped and looked at the horizon.
“I need to get my gun. We got walkers coming.”
We followed Becky’s gaze and saw about a dozen walkers heading our way. They looked like humans, but they staggered like they were drunk.
Becky headed to the house to get her rifle. Then to all our surprise, Em started singing Habanera in a flawless opera style.
The walkers heard her, then turned and scurried away.
We all just stared at Em.
“What? My mother made me take voice lessons,” Em said.
“Well, you saved me a box of ammo. Thank you,” Becky said. “Come on, it’s dinner time.”
We followed Becky back to the house. I couldn’t think of anything clever to say, so I just stared at Em. She punched in the arm and said, “Get over it, weirdo.”