Friday, 8 January 2010

Far Flung Adventures 5

Larsson had eaten the last of the huskies’ feet, so Svenson had boiled up poor dead Davidsen’s mittens and furs and they eaked this bouillon out over two weeks, one mugful a day each. And they waited for the supply ship to cut its way through.

They’d given up trying to mend the radio after a week, having started out with resource and ingenuity, descended into violent recriminations and ended up with forlorn prayer, before pushing the mangled set through a hole in the ice they’d made in a pointless quest for fish.

After that they’d played I-spy but gave that up on the third day, when Svenson had broken down, yelling at Larsson to spy something different from “bloody snow”. Svenson had then led them in calisthenics but had turned his ankle on the ice, and Larsson said he felt stupid doing them on his own. And anyway the fitter he was, the hungrier he felt.

They’d read to each other from their obsolete and tragically inaccurate weather printouts, adopting colleagues voices until Svenson did poor dead Davidsen by mistake and they’d both had a tearful moment. They’d reminisced about life in the meteorological institute. Larsson recalled the big breasted analyst from that exchange scheme in Riga, and said he’d managed to sleep with her. He apologised for such unprofessional behaviour. Svenson said he was gay and didn’t care. Larsson looked a little hunted and Svenson told him not to kid himself. If Larsson were the last man on earth, he - Svenson – would still find him mildly repellent.

Larsson reflected that if the supply ship didn’t cut its way through, he probably would be the last man on earth as far as Svenson was concerned. He didn’t know whether to feel relieved about this.

4 comments:

No One In Particular said...

Chips, all your stories evoke enormous, twisted, powerful emotional responses from me. You're very gifted - and Oscar, as always, illustrates the thing with crystal clarity without boxing anything in too much. Bravo!

Chips (Of the Frozen North) said...

Thanks, No One.

My Granddad was set to go on Scott's last expedition but failed the final medical because of a perforated eardrum. Lucky for me, though.

I'd also like to point out that no Huskies were hurt during the making of this story.

And a Happy New Year To All Our Readers!

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