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“Come on, girls! Up! Up! Up!”
It was early in the morning, hours before dawn. In the pitch-black bedroom, the sound of snowflakes hitting the window sounded like radio static. The girls all grumbled in annoyance, even the usual, perky Sonja. It didn’t help that the bedroom was chilly. I turned on the lights but Momo and Sonja just pulled the blankets over their heads, trying to escape back into the warm darkness.
“Hmmmm, Masterrrrrr, just five more minutes…” Momo whined.
“On your feet, I need your help. Come on, I told you three to expect this.”
As I got dressed, Chloe crawled out from under the bed, leaving the comfort of her sleeping bag. She gave a wide yawn and rubbed her eyes with her ears drooping adorably.
“Master, I’m sleepy.”
“I’m sorry, sweetie. Once I head out, you can go back to sleep.”
Sonja managed to get up of her own volition, which left the three of us with the job of dragging out Momo by the ankles. They all got dressed and we headed downstairs. The reason we were up so early was because of the snowstorm outside. Hopefully, our rural road had already been plowed, but it would be a long time until my driveway actually got serviced. We needed to clear out just enough snow for my car to make it out. In Maine, there could be a hundred feet of snow in your driveway, but as long as the road is clear, you’re expected to come into work. As the office manager, I had to set an example on days like these and come in regardless of the challenge. I did have the authority to close the office temporarily due to weather, but considering how busy my company was, I had to ask for permission from my superiors if I didn’t want to get chewed out.
We didn’t bother eating, as hopefully the job would be quick and we could have breakfast at our usual time. We put on our winter gear and I turned on the outside lights. We all took a deep breath and stepped out into the blustery cold. There were only two colors outside, the white of the snow and the black of the darkness, and if not for the howling wind, I could have sworn we were walking on the moon. Not only had a lot of snow been dumped, but the wind had dropped it in varying depths. The backyard had been swept clean, the snow only a foot or so high, but with my car and the driveway acting as nets to catch the wind, the snow at its highest was up to my chest. Branches and trees were also drooping under the weight of the snow, hanging down over the driveway.
I grabbed one of the four snow shovels set on the porch and turned to the girls. “Sonja, you’re going to help me dig out the car. Momo, Chloe, I want you two to wade through the snow and make two paths in the driveway for my tires. When you reach the end of the driveway, look to see if the road has been cleared. Use your shovels to whack the low-hanging branches and knock off the snow. Then we’ll all start shoveling. Got it?”
“Yes!” said the girls, each with a different level of enthusiasm.
Sonja and I went to my car and started digging all around it. It was below zero outside, so I also checked to make sure that the car would start. The battery seemed just fine and it kicked to life. I was lucky to have a Subaru out here.
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Momo and Chloe were doing this kind of rhythmic chant as they waded through the snow. They were each jumping forward, using their legs to clear parallel tire paths. They held their arms out to their sides for balance and gave a loud grunt every time they jumped, taking turns one at a time. Poor Chloe, the snow was all the way up to her waist. It took her a lot of effort to make her way through it all. She needed to take repeated breathers and the lazy Momo was not one to complain. When they came across low-hanging branches, they knocked off the snow with their shovels until they swung up like the arms of catapults.
Towards the end of the driveway, where the illumination from the porch lights faded, Chloe had to rely on Momo’s feline eyes for help navigating in the dark. They reached the road but found no end to the deep snow.
“Master! The road isn’t clear!” Momo hollered.
Hearing her, I groaned. “Out here, it doesn’t surprise me. Come on, Sonja, let’s start shoveling.”
Since we had cleaned off the car, we started hauling away the snow between the two paths that Momo and Chloe had made. Luckily the snow was light and fluffy, so it didn’t take much effort to toss it, but it would definitely be a good idea to start saving my money for a snow blower. Momo and Chloe were doing the same thing but from the end of the driveway and we met up in the middle. The driveway still needed a real plowing, but my car would probably make it through.
By the time we were done, we were all hungry and exhausted, but too wired to simply go back to sleep. “Thanks for all the help, girls. How about Escort Bayan I make you all a special breakfast?”
“Yay!” they cheered.
We headed inside and stripped down to our normal clothes. First, I built up a fire in the stove to warm the house and then I started cooking. Bacon, eggs, and sausages; it was difficult to cook up three servings at once, but it was a labor of love. Even though they were tired, the girls crowded around me, impatient and hungry. I poured the feast into their bowls one at a time and they all assumed the position.
“Thanks, Master!” they cheered before burying their faces in their meals.
They were done before I had even gotten a pot of coffee started. I set myself up with a steaming mug and a bowl of cereal and we all settled on the couch to watch the morning news. The whiteout had claimed the state but people were dealing with it. Most of the roads had already been plowed once and emergency services were all running as they should.
“Master, when is winter going to end?” asked Chloe, keeping her hands warm with a cup of tea.
“Not for a while, I’m afraid. We’re in January, next will come February, and things will start warming up in March and we’ll get into spring.”
“How many days is that?” asked Sonja.
“Maybe sixty, seventy days.”
“Momo is sick of winter.”
“Well it’s about to get a lot worse before it gets better.”
On the news, the anchorwoman had confirmed my warning. Supposedly, New England was about to be hit with a frigid clusterfuck not seen since the North American Ice Storm of 1998. I had been just a little kid when it happened, but once you get hooked on TV, you don’t forget two weeks without power. There had been rumors on the news for the past few days, but it seemed like now the meteorologists had confirmed it. The storm we had now was the very start. Luckily, I had been stocking up on food and supplies. This afternoon, I would get the last of the stuff I needed.
I’m certain that Momo and Chloe heard the rumbling first, as they suddenly moved away from Sonja. Without warning, her ears perked up and she flew from the couch to the window overlooking the driveway. It was still dark out but the lights of a plow truck could be seen as it passed by our house. Her tail was wagging and I knew that she wanted to bark, but a hundred whaps to the head with a rolled-up newspaper had taught her to be quiet when people were outside.
The roads were clear, meaning that I had to go to work. It was a damn shame, because after all that shoveling, I really needed a nice nap. But I had to suck it up, so I got myself ready and headed out to work. The girls bid me farewell from the bed, with Chloe forsaking her sleeping bag for my spot in the middle. Seeing the three of them, all curled up under those warm sheets, I would have sold my soul to be able to strip back down and join them. There was always next time.
As usual, I was the first one at the office. On one hand, it made me almost feel proud that I had such a good work ethic, but on the other hand, why the fuck did I have to be here first when everyone was dragging their asses?! Damn it, I could have snuggled with the girls some more! Oh well, as much as I hated getting up early, I did enjoy that brief span of time when the office was empty. I’d turn up the thermostat, start a pot of coffee in the break room, and settle behind my desk. Then I’d count the minutes until the next person arrived, thinking that I could have spent that many more minutes in bed.
The first phone call of the day broke the silence, and what a surprise, it was my boss.
“We’re closing down all of the offices in the area until the weather clears.”
“Do you have any idea how long that will be?” I asked.
“I heard it will a week at least, and that’s not counting the time it will take for the power to come on. Try and get everything in order by the end of the day, because after things calm down and people start picking up the pieces, we’re all going to be busy.”
My coworkers streamed in one by one, no one late enough for me to bother mentioning. Every time the door opened, a frigid air would flush through the office and the rug would get peppered with snow. Once everyone had gathered, I told them all of the incoming hiatus and to get as much done as possible. Everyone was feverish for the rest of the day, half of the employees anxious about lost work hours and the possible damage to their homes from the storm, while the rest were just eager to have some time off, even if it was unpaid. I was certainly among the second half, overjoyed to spend a week or more curled up with my girls.
After leaving the office, I stopped off at the grocery store. I had almost everything I needed to wait out the storm, but there were just a few more things to pick up. The store was more crowded than I had ever seen, with every parking spot taken and people walking over after leaving their cars up to a quarter mile away. Bayan Escort I ended up slowly rolling through the parking lot three times, looking for a spot while pedestrians waddled in front of my car like penguins. Countless other drivers were doing the same but I finally caught a break when someone left and I snatched their spot before some dick in a Humvee could take it.
Inside was even worse, with thick-coated Mainers pushing their way through the crowds, using their shopping carts like battering rams like it was Black Friday. The noise in the store was almost deafening, just the squeaking of the wheels on the carts making my ears sting. Many shelves had already been picked clean, every section taking a heavy hit. Well, every section except for the vegan section, because fuck you, vegans. We’d rather go hungry than eat your shitty food.
I was lucky to get the last pack of toilet paper and some rolls of paper towels. Few people were grabbing toothbrushes and toothpaste so I didn’t have to fight anyone for them. All the cereal was almost gone, but I grabbed a couple more boxes in case we ran out. Lastly, I got a cake in case the girls got stir crazy and needed some cheering up. But getting my stuff was the easy part. Paying for them and getting out was the hard part. Every aisle was open but so too was every line blended together, many of them stretching down aisles. Between when I got in line and when I was able to actually put my stuff on the conveyer belt, I beat three levels of Candy Crush and was waiting for another life.
When I got back to my car and started unloading my stuff, everything behind me stopped. Two cars passing behind me had halted with their headlights on my back. I could feel the angry glares of the drivers as they waited for me to leave. When I got into my car and turned it on, I suddenly felt like I was in prison and had just dropped the soap.
I made it home safe and sound, though the roads were still very sloshy. I was glad to see my driveway had been plowed. There is nothing better than coming home, opening the door, and smelling dinner being made, except, of course, that same scenario but with three beautiful animal-eared girls coming to greet you at the door.
“Yes, yes, I missed you girls too,” I said as they rubbed up against me like they were trying to scratch an itch. “Did you three do what I asked today?”
“Of course!” Sonja cheered.
I looked through the house, seeing piles of firewood stacked around the house, but set away from the wood stove and on top of sheets of newspaper to protect the floor. The girls had brought in as much firewood as possible in preparation. I would much rather we have too much ready than not enough and have to go out to the woodshed to get more. With one side of the house full of firewood and the kitchen stocked with food and supplies, we were running short on open space, but of course, that would change in the coming days.
We had dinner and settled on the couch, watching the evening news as we did every night. Every channel was talking about the huge chain of storms coming our way. Sonja was eager, almost masochistically so, Momo seemed uncomfortable whenever a meteorologist or news anchor said “cold”, and Chloe was downright terrified.
Outside, the wind was kicking up and it was starting to snow again. We weren’t supposed to have until tomorrow, but it seemed that Mother Nature was feeling a bit impatient.
The mouse climbed into my lap and hugged me. “Master, are we going to be ok? We aren’t going to die, are we?”
“No, we’ll be fine. We aren’t going to die. In fact, I’m looking forward to this. Think of this as the chance be cozier than ever in your life.”
Hearing me, Momo’s face melted into a hedonistic grin.
At some point in the night, the smoke detectors beeped, telling me we had lost power. That wasn’t enough to keep me from falling back to sleep. But I did wake up later, stunned by the feeling of something cold touching me. I realized that Chloe had crawled into bed with us, the sweet smell of her hair and ears filling my nose with her own nose pressed to my chest.
“Chloe?” I grumbled.
“Sorry, Master! I wanted to be with you!”
“No, no, it’s fine. You’re always welcome.”
The tip of my own nose was cold as well, along with my exposed toes. Sonja and Chloe had their heads under their pillows rather than on top. The room wasn’t just chilly, it was frigid. Was there a window open somewhere? No wonder Chloe wanted to come under the covers. That sleeping bag was made for camping, but it could never match up to the warmth of joined bodies. Much to my displeasure, I was forced to climb out of bed to check the temperature. I couldn’t get a reading outside, but according to my phone, the temperature in the room was… 35º. Jesus! I had climbed out of bed just seconds ago and my nipples could already cut glass! I wasn’t wearing underwear, simply because I didn’t need to with the girls around, so I was already experiencing Escort epic shrinkage. I did a quick check of the house by the light of my phone, making sure there weren’t any drafts where cold air was coming in. I couldn’t find any leaks.
Working up all of my courage, I put on my boots and stepped outside to check the thermometer I had out on the porch. The blizzard was going full force with no signs of stopping, and the moment I stepped outside, I was certain I had lost a year of my life! Wearing nothing but boots, I could actually feel my skin freezing. With frostbite forming and Old Man Winter dry-humping me, I held up my cell phone to the thermometer. Outside it was -20º. Sweet Black-fucking-Sabbath! No wonder it was so cold in the house!
I went back inside and brushed the snow off my skin, alarmed that it hadn’t automatically melted. I then threw some fuel into the woodstove to warm up the house. Our home had been made with Maine winters in mind. The pipes were well insulated and kept away from the sides of the house as much as possible, but if the inside temperature dropped below freezing, they could ice up. With steady heat radiating from the stove I returned to the bedroom. My eyes had adjusted to the dark, enough for me to discern the shapes of my three girls. Oh, getting back in there would be orgasmic. I grabbed Chloe’s blankets under the bed and then threw them on top for a little extra warmth. Upon lifting the sheets, I saw three pairs of slender white feet and the tips of three tails. Momo and Sonja remained still, telling me they were asleep, but Chloe stirred, clearly still awake. I couldn’t resist, I leaned down and left a small kiss on each little toe. I could faintly hear her giggle.
After leaving some extra covering at the end of the bed for our feet, I slithered back inside, rubbing my nose on her chest in reversal of our earlier roles.
“Master,” she whispered.
I wrapped my arms around her small body and held her close, the two of us relishing each other’s warmth. The four of us were completely hidden under blankets, save for some small gaps to let in fresh air. The air that came in was cold, almost making it a game to protect ourselves from the chill while letting us breathe. The warmth and softness were beyond description, every part of me touching either fabric or smooth skin.
Half-asleep, Momo rolled over and spooned Chloe, sandwiching her in between us. With Chloe’s face buried in my chest, Momo had her forehead pressed to mine with a purr in her throat. Sonja did the same, wrapping her arms around me with her breasts smooshed against my back while she and I played footsie under the covers. The only sound was of our breathing and the howling wind outside. Both sounds made me happy beyond words, wrapped up in blankets with my girls, snuggled in a bastion of warmth. I didn’t fall back to sleep, but that was out of pure will. This moment right now was so blissful, so comfortable and relaxing, I didn’t want to miss out on it by being asleep.
“I love you girls,” I said before fatigue finally took me.
Minus each of us going to the bathroom at least once, we stayed in bed as long as we could, not wanting to abandon the warmth and comfort of the bed and each other. It was probably sometime in the early afternoon that our stomachs all reached synchronicity in their growling. Eventually we would have to face the cold and go eat. It took us all encouraging each other to finally make that jump. We got out of bed and hurriedly got dressed.
“Girls, before we go eat, I think we need to move the bed. Let’s bring the mattress downstairs and lay it out next to the wood stove. That way we won’t get as cold as we were last night.”
With Sonja and I taking the ends, and Momo and Chloe offering help from the sides, we dragged the mattress out of the bedroom and down the stairs. The narrow, bent staircase made it a major pain to worm it around corners, but we finally got it down into the living room and laid it out in front of the stove. I built up the fire and the room began to fill with warmth.
The world outside was pure white, the storm so thick that not even the trees could be seen. From the looks of it, my car appeared completely buried, but until the driveway got plowed, there was no reason to dig it out. It was time to make breakfast, but first I had to get us some power. I got all wrapped up in my winter gear and stepped out onto wild white yonder. I kept the generator at the back of the house, out of the wind. It was kept safe in a plywood box with my electric meter, basically an outhouse but without the john. It started with relative ease, but in these temperatures, relative ease is still a pain in the ass.
I had about twenty-five gallons of gas saved and the generator could run for ten hours on a full four-gallon tank, but there was no telling how long we would be without power. Therefore, I would only keep the generator on for a few hours a day, one for making breakfast and one for making dinner, and some extra time for things like laundry and bathing. During those times, I would also charge my laptop and phone. I had filled up the tub with water for flushing the toilet, but still, I told the girls to save their
s for when the generator was on.
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