Now, on with the story:
I woke up hungry. I pulled my bedroom curtain to the side and looked out on a hazy morning. I dragged myself into the kitchen, in search of something to eat. I reached for a jar of applesauce sitting next to the sink, and found it very cold to the touch. I opened the jar and realized it was frozen. (Splotchy)
I was used to the house being quite cold in the mornings, as the night log usually burns out around one AM when I am dreaming cozily under my covers, not normally waking to put a new one on until morning. I was surprised because on the rare occasions that it actually had reached sub-freezing temperatures in the house, I had awakened in the night to restart the fire. I would have been worried about the pipes before P-Day, but there hadn’t been running water in two years and that was one of the few advantages to being dependent on rainwater, no pipes. (Freida Bee)
The nightmares began during the following spring. The apple trees came to life in my dreams. At first the trees spoke and I thought they were amusing. That changed when the messages arrived. Lately, their anger was directed at me. (mathman6293)
I turned and stared out the kitchen window, past the frosty-lidded cistern to the orchard beyond. My trees, my beautiful fruit trees, stood leafless and dark. I wished with all my heart that this was just a normal winter thing, but it wasn’t.
"Why are you blaming me, guys? You know I love you. You watched me go out and vote that last time, in the ice-storm. It’s not like I didn’t try!”
I turned with a sigh and went to the phone to give Zaius a call. Perhaps The Good Doctor had made some incremental progress on his Long-Shot-Theory. (TCR)
Unfortunately, the phone was dead. Not from the inclement frigid weather, but because I didn't pay the phone bill and my service was shut off. "Oh well, I'll use the cell phone," I said aloud to no one but myself. As fate would have it, the cell phone battery was completely drained. I never even heard the thing chirping during the night to remind me to charge it. Being somewhat annoyed by all this, I went back to the kitchen, grabbed an ice pick and began chipping away at the rock-solid apple sauce when suddenly there was a very loud knock on my door which startled me. (kona)
In my surprise, I dropped the applesauce; no one but me had been on the property since Cordelia had died, not even Zaius. The frozen jar smashed into my big toe, which was inadequately protected by a worn green handknit slipper, one of Cordelia’s last gifts to me. Blood gushed from the crushed digit as the knocking escalated into insistent pounding. I moved from room to room in a frenzy, limping yet rushing, knocking over stacks of books and papers, blood documenting my every move. Where were my glasses? I had to have my glasses to see out the peephole. It hadn’t been prudent to fling open a door in welcome since the Winter Cleansings of 2018, just after the internet was shut down. Where did I put them? Just as I spotted the spectacles beside the fireplace, the pounding stopped, replaced by a most inhuman howl. (Bitty)
Quickly I put on my spectacles and looked out the peephole. Well, of course the howling had been inhuman -- the creature who had been pounding on the door was far from human. Yes, indeed, just about as far from human as you can get! Who would have thought that the spiders would have returned before the spring thaw? And, yet, there they were. Great big and hairy, like taranculas on steroids! The one at the door, the dozens lined up behind her. I wondered if the applesauce would hold them until we could round up some flies for them to eat? And, how nice that they had arrived in time to weave their lovely webs around the house and heat us up. And to think, that I had been frightened when I first heard the knocking and the howling. (Maya's Granny)
And I tag (Julie).