It had begun innocently enough, two days earlier in the aftermath of a huge snowstorm. That same storm, that had become known as the Blizzard of '05, had created an aura of lazy serenity, in turn encompassed by a shroud of desolation. They had told me that I shouldn't go out there alone. Through the earphones of my walkman, I was at that moment listing to CCR's Bad Moon Rising, and the coincidence had not been lost to me. Indeed, there had been nothing moving, not another soul, nary a vehicle, nothing!
I had assured everyone that this would be my last trip out there. Fifteen minutes, was all I had needed to finish the task. That final, narrow row of frozen snow was all that had remained of the barrier that had left us housebound, unable to drive from our driveway onto the street for the last 48 hours.
There I was, two, maybe three shovelfuls to go. Escape, yes freedom, was imminent. That's when I heard it! Curiously, CCR's Up Around the Bend, seemed surrealistic at that moment. It was a very low drone, similar to a bow being drawn across the bass string of a of a distant cello. The drone was slow at first, but its tempo picked up the closer it came.
Then it came into view, at first only as what appeared to be a massive fin, partially visible above the 10 foot walls of snow lining the street. The glowing eyes, like halogen lights, nearly blinded me. By now the tempo of the drone had reached a crescendo, rapid, slightly higher in pitch, as the beast began bearing down on me.
Before me was a massive open cavern, the aperture lined with numerous dagger-like teeth! Mesmerized by the bright eye lights, transfixed on the gaping jaws of death, I was momentarily frozen, immoblie, unable to save myself. Although only a split second had elapsed, my desperate dive away from certain death, seemed to take an eternity.
Like a slow motion replay of a wide receiver diving for a score into the end zone, my body felt as if it were almost floating frame by frame out of the field of play. From the corner of my eye I saw the beast pass by, mere inches from my feet. The cello was playing feverishly, thundering in my ears so loudly that Proud Mary was barely perceptible.
In its wake, the beast had left a massive new wall of frozen snow and ice across the driveway I had nearly cleared only moments before.
Somewhere down the street, the terror had disappeared behind the towering waves of the snow banks in the distance, its drone reduced to a soothing hum. I was safe!
Pulling myself to my feet, I stared in dismay at the barrier, now larger than it had been before. Not certain when the creature might return, I gave up, succumbing to failure, resolved to wait until day break before trying again to destroy the barrier. The mechanized behemoth would return, of that I was certain. It was the classic man versus nature scenario that I was bound and determined to win.
If only the eventual sunrise would herald Richard Dreyfus, Roy Chester, and Robert Shaw greeting me there. They would be charged with the perilous mission to hunt it down and kill it before it could do any more harm. Maybe, just maybe, some one could manage to smash that damned cello!
Just when I thought it safe to shovel again...........