Page 3 of 6
"Yeah. The service is fine out here. I've never had a problem."
"I'm thinking that the wind probably took out the cell tower," the older man suggested. "There's probably trees down all over the place. Power's out for sure..."
"Hey, did you guys see a flash?" the young skier asked after a pause.
"What, just now?" asked the snowboarder.
"No, like when the wind hit us. I could have sworn there was a bright flash just before it happened, like somebody took our picture."
"Oh yeah... I think I saw that," said the snowboarder. "After the wind hit I kind of forgot about it."
"Me too. I saw it too," said Tanya.
"Was it lightning?"
"Probably," the older skier sighed. "That's never good. They shut down the whole mountain whenever they get a lightning warning. Guess this one must have snuck through the radar or whatever. Pretty scary."
"It wasn't just lightning though," said the young skier thoughtfully. "Did you hear a scream, too?"
The snowboarder laughed. "I thought that was me screaming. But yeah, I heard something."
"Hold on," said the young skier, "I think we're moving."
Everyone on the chair cheered, and looked ahead into the gloom. It was impossible to tell if they actually were moving, but the cloud seemed to be at least. Suddenly a lift tower loomed out to the left of them, and just as quickly it vanished into the mist.
"Next one comes by, read it," said the older man. "There's 24 towers on this lift. I'm thinking we're at around 17."
The next tower came and they all peered into the white gloom trying to make out the number. But on the little metal plate there was no number, just a symbol.
"What the hell was that?" asked the young skier.
"It looked like a sideways eight," said Tanya.
"That was a math symbol," said the older man, puzzled. "It stands for infinity."
"What, is it April Fool's Day in December?" said the snowboarder. "What's going on here?"
"Next tower," said the older man. "We'll wait for the next tower."
The next tower after that was a sign of the Zodiac. The one after that had a cross, and the next a crescent. Tower after tower, symbol after symbol. And then nothing.
The four sat in silence, terrified. Tanya was crying a little and the snowboarder was cursing under his breath, but nobody dared to speak.
As they sat they strained their eyes as they peered into the whiteness, hoping to catch of glimpse of something, anything that would help them figure out where they were and what was going on. They took turns shouting and then Derek, the young skier, remembered his emergency whistle and blew for all he was worth. Like before, there was no reply.