Whiteout, the tragic tale of four intrepid students

Reuben Ng

Funnies editor

ryng@goshen.edu

 

A story of adventure and intrigue on the high prairies. Setting: Goshen, IN. Time Period: Winter. Note: best if employed in a dramatic reading late at night and/or during a blizzard.

 

There were four of them. The blinding snow blinded them as they trudged through the freezing landscape, frozen. The second year wondered where they were.

“Where are we?!” she shouted over the howling sound of the noisy wind.

“I can’t feel my feet!” exclaimed the first year who had lost feeling in his feet.

“We have to keep moving!” the fourth year said as they kept moving.

Through the impenetrable sheets of swirling snow and above the keening of the icy blast, a new noise was heard, high-pitched and distant.

“Was that some manner of wild animal…a wolf perhaps?” The second year was now clearly worried they would not survive.

“You’re clearly worried we won’t survive,” said the first year, necessarily.

“I think we’re passing by Phys Plant now!” said the third year, finally speaking up.

“Finally you speak up!” said the fourth year.

“I know that was a wolf! Didn’t anyone else hear that?” the second year insistently insisted.

“It was probably just a rogue squirrel,” the third year said pulling a scarf from her backpack and completely wrapping her head in it.

“How are you going to see through that thing?”

“How are you going to hear through that thing?”

“What am I how?” said the third year, stumbling over a patch of ice.

Through the gale, everyone except the third year heard the shrill sound again.

“We should never have tried to go to Hymn Club!” cried the fourth year over the deafening gale.

“If we die, I’m blaming this on Bobby,” the second year declared, shielding her eyes from the whirling snow.

“Bobby died?” The muffled voice of the third year was lost as the noise, now closer, sounded again. This time, no one said anything—perhaps there really were wolves out in the wilderness somewhere.

Perhaps there really are wolves out in the wilderness somewhere, thought the first year, but I won’t say anything.

On they trudged, making no noise but for the occasional groan as new furies of snow assailed them. Through gaps in the storm they thought they could see Phys Plant, the peculiarly painted, and only, landmark on the long and harrowing trek from the Music Center to campus proper.

“We must be getting close!” the first year shouted.

“There’s that noise agai—”

The second year, who was slightly in the lead, was cut off as the immense form of a locomotive barreled ahead of her across tracks concealed under the rapidly accumulating blanket of snow.

“Look out everyone,” she yelled, “it’s the immense form of a locomotive barreling across tracks concealed by the snowfall!”

“Ah!” went the first and fourth year together.

“Huh?” went the third year.

They huddled together as the train roared by, throwing plumes of snow and howling, freezing gusts of wind into their faces. When the train had gone, they slowly moved forward.

“Where are we going?!” asked the second year, wondering where they were going.

“We make for the Leaf Raker!” said the first year valiantly, but tripping over the train tracks nevertheless.

For nearly half an hour they stumbled around in the storm-enveloped world until they heard the sound of the bell-tower over the Union.

“This way!” the fourth year bellowed, running straight into the Broken Shield.

Soon they were at the doors of the Leaf Raker. But horror! The doors were locked, the lights off!

“Oh horror!” exclaimed the third year who had finally removed her scarf after having tripped into the painfully empty Shrock Plaza fountain. “The doors are locked, the lights off!”

“We now have but one choice,” said the fourth year heavily, “we must face the long cold and the West Lawn Dining Hall.”

With fumbling hands, the four garbed themselves once more in the winter garb which would ward off the cold of the freezing weather’s low temperatures. Then they set out once more. Now that they knew where they were and had their bearings and were headed in the right direction and were no longer lost, they made quick time past Kulp (where the third year toppled head-first into the Adelphian fountain) and to the doors of the Dining Hall.

“The doors of the Dining Hall,” the first year said dramatically, disentangling a foot from the bike rack he had just stepped into.

“The way is shut!” bemoaned the fourth year, reading the sign taped to the inside of the glass. “It was made by those who make food, and it is they who keep it. The way is shut.”

“Where is everyone?!” wailed the second year, losing the rest of it. “We’ve walked all the way from the Music Center and we haven’t seen a single living thing!”

Slowly, in the mind of the third year, the pieces were finally coming together.

“Wait!” the third year said, “slowly in my mind the pieces are finally coming together!”

“Yes, I see it now,” said the fourth year.  “The snow…the ice…the cold…”

“Everyone missing…”

“The Leaf Raker and the Dining Hall…both closed…”

“There’s only one explanation for this,” the third year said slowly.

“I agree,” the fourth year agreed. “All the signs point to it; it’s freezing and there’s nobody around…it can only mean one thing.”

“Here at Goshen College it must be…it must be Spring Break.”

Record
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