View Full Version : Stranded - In Memory of Ray

MJ Preston
July 23rd, 2014, 02:51 PM
The Northwest Territories
Highway 3, approximately 2 kilometers from the Edzo Settlement

We are into our second day now. The smoke has cut us off, our supplies are dwindling and no one trusts anyone anymore. Last night as the final bit of light faded from the evening sky I felt a certain unease in the air. There has been talk, whispers about thinning the herd.

I speak of course of Ray. One driver, presumably from another company, remarked that Ray is easy pickings. Sitting back there, beefing up on popcorn twists and smoking. “He’s going to drop dead sooner or later anyway,” the driver remarked.

At first I thought this was just the comedic ranting of trapped travelers. Dark humor, nothing more. But as the last light leaked from the sky I saw the inky shadows begin to exit their vehicles and congregate along the roadside.

“Holy sh!t,” I said and locked my doors. “They’re really going to do it!”

The mob huddled 300 meters ahead, stealing glances back at Ray’s truck. Did he know? Maybe I should have warned him? But that would have brought their hungry faces to my rig and I have a dark secret that I can’t tell anyone. Hidden in my bunk are three scoops of Folgers coffee, four bottles of water and a box of Kraft Dinner. If they knew, well… That goes without saying.

They began moving only moments after their palaver and I climbed back into my bunk curling into the fetal position in an attempt to make myself look small and insignificant. They passed the truck only seconds later and I heard their hungry calls.

What I heard last night… The repulsive blood lust. The begging, the snapping of popcorn twists under foot as they dragged him from his rig and then… The sounds of blubbery chewing. Ray was a big guy. I covered my ears, turning up the CBC to drown out the sickening cannibalistic cull. If there is a god I hope he will forgive my cowardice.

When I awoke this morning all seemed normal. They had returned to their vehicles, but 200 meters out in the wood line the ravens circle, undoubtedly picking over what’s left. Poor Ray, he was a nice guy, a people person some might say, but he shouldn’t have been so public with those damned popcorn twists.

I can only hope they open the road soon. Last night there were 12, tonight there might 20, and maybe tonight they’ll come for two instead of one. I’ll try and make another entry later, but for now I am going to steal away to the wood line and get a stick. I have a knife and I can use it to sharpen the stick, just in case I need to defend myself…

MJ Preston Author, Artist, stranded trucker…

MJ Preston
July 23rd, 2014, 03:00 PM
Some more pics from my adventure...



Kidding aside, the fires are wreaking havoc on the habitat.


MJ Preston
July 23rd, 2014, 03:03 PM
A lone bison. Outcast or survivor of the fire.



July 23rd, 2014, 05:01 PM
Beautiful pictures. I especially like the first one, with the trucks disappearing into the fog.

July 23rd, 2014, 05:12 PM
I LOVED the little story you brought with the picture. The imagery was good and the emotions were stirring. I was really getting into it!

Few comments though in regards to the little entry:

But that might would have brought their hungry faces to my rig and I have a dark secret that I can’t tell anyone
...that might would have...
it either might have, or would have <3

Last night there were 12, tonight there might 20, and maybe tonight they’ll come for two instead of one.
tonight there might be 20,


Seriously enjoyed this. I could easily become addicted to daily entries like this. ^_^


P.S. All the pictures are awesome but I think my favourite is the Bison. :P

MJ Preston
July 24th, 2014, 07:01 AM
Beautiful pictures. I especially like the first one, with the trucks disappearing into the fog.

Actually that is smoke from the Forest Fire.

My apology for the lack of edit. I wrote it on the fly. The road opened not long after allowing me to escape uneaten.

July 24th, 2014, 03:17 PM
Lol! What a great story, Mark! It's amazing how such situations can bring out a story, make our imaginations run wild and a little to the left of sane. :) Seriously, you could make a wonderful journal type of story with these kinds of writings. Great work and of course, great pics as always!

July 24th, 2014, 03:22 PM
MJ, I like how your mind works, great story. Love the pictures, stark what fire does, like Greimour my favorite is the Bison, tugs at the heart, thanks for this.

July 29th, 2014, 10:01 AM
Cool photos, especially the first one :)

July 29th, 2014, 12:16 PM
Love the story. Should I be laughing? I don't know, but I thought it was funny. I mean... it was really good, you know, well written, but they ate him, and he was a big dude...

I found the last two photos disturbing. I live in the desert but I've been to the Midwest. The trees (photographed here) all looked spindly. The one photo they're all dead. The landscape looks... depleted. I'm not a photographer so I can't really comment on technique or anything. I love landscapes. Yours looks cold and wet. Probably a lot of game out there; bears, too. Way different than here.