Part Seventeen, Act Two – The Elf and the Wrong Turn
At about the same time I was yelling at Bill to get out of my room, Bryan was forcing Amber down the back stairs to their Mercedes. He had his large suitcase in one hand and was holding on to Amber’s wrist with his other hand. Amber was struggling, but was not crying out. She didn’t know why, but she felt like she could handle the situation on her own.
Bryan set down the suitcase and opened the trunk. As he tossed the suitcase in the trunk he said, “You should not have taken my money. That was not a smart thing to do.”
“I swear.” Amber responded, “I was going to bring you half of the money in the next few days. Bryan, please let me go.”
“I’ve got news for you Amber, every cent of that money is coming back to Texas with me.” Bryan said as he tossed Amber into the driver’s seat. “Move over.” he said and pressed the electric lock button on the door handle.
“I don’t know what you plan to accomplish with this stunt.” Amber said as she moved over the emergency brake to the passenger’s side seat. “You’ll never get me back to Texas.”
Bryan sat down, closed the door, and started the Mercedes. “Who say’s your coming back with me?” He said as he sped out of the parking lot.
He drove as fast as he could toward the main street of Estes Park. When he got to thirty-six he turned right, instead of left and headed out of town towards Trail Ridge Road. Amber did not tell him about the wrong turn. She was busy thinking about what he meant and started to fear for her life.
“What do you mean, Bryan, do you plan to kill me?” She asked.
“I haven’t figured out what to do with you Amber.” Bryan answered, “Maybe I’ll just drop you off in the west Texas desert.”
She did not respond, but was thinking about how she was going to get out of this ordeal. Bryan drove five miles before he realized he was going in the wrong direction. “Shouldn’t we be going downhill?” He asked. Amber did not answer. “You bitch!” he yelled, “You knew we were going the wrong way.” The he mumbled to quietly, “You’re chances just got smaller.”
Bryan started to look for a place to turn around and could not find one, because the snow drifts were blocking his way. He was so pissed off that he didn’t realize he could have turned the small car around in the middle of the road with ease.
“That group of freaks back there at the hotel, which one did you fuck to get back at me?” Bryan asked, “And please tell me it was that bitch with the baton.”
“Fuck you Bryan.” Amber replied, “Why don’t you tell me about nurse good body.”
“Her name is Jill.” He said, “She’s much better at it than you, I’ll tell you that much.”
Before Amber could answer a white shape appeared in the middle of the road. Bryan instinctively cranked the wheel hard to the left and sent the Mercedes tumbling into a snow bank.
As the car came to rest upside down, Amber looked over at the driver’s seat. Bryan was nowhere to be found. He had been thrown clear of the car as it rolled. “Should have been wearing his seatbelt, asshole.” Amber thought, as she started fumbling to unbuckle her seat belt.
Bryan had landed face down in the snow and as he rolled to his back, he saw a white dog standing a few feet away. “A fucking poodle.” he said and started laughing.
The poodle bit down on Bryan’s left foot, to let him know he meant business, and suddenly Bryan was afraid. He was panicking and started throwing handfuls of snow at the dog. One of these snowballs hit the white dog in the face and it had to back off to shake the snow out of his eyes. It gave Bryan the chance to get to his feet. He started backing away from the poodle through the drift. The poodle growled at him and was about to pounce when Bryan hit the dog in the eyes with another snowball. “Get away from me bitch!” He yelled at the dog.
Bryan could see the lights of the overturned Mercedes in the distance and realized he was already fifty yards from the car. From off in the distance he heard another dog howl. “Great.” He thought, “More dogs.”
The poodle also heard the howl, backed away from Bryan, turned, and ran towards the Mercedes. “Good.” Bryan thought, “Kill her for me.”
Bryan started his slow crawl through the snow back toward the Mercedes when he suddenly he felt pressure on the back of his left thigh.
The last known wolf in Colorado was thought to have been killed in the 1930’s. In 2004, a car hit a female wolf not far from Estes Park. The female wolf wore a radio collar that indicated she came from Yellowstone. Lately there have been rumors of a large black timber wolf in the Rocky Mountain National Forest, but those rumors had not been proven.
Bryan ripped his thigh free and turned to see what had bitten him. He wondered for a second why he did not feel any pain, and then realized it was because his feet and legs were nearly frozen. Bryan feebly kicked out at the black timber wolf. “Get off me, fucker.” He yelled. “A wolf!” was his final thought as the timber wolf jumped and grabbed his throat. Bryan’s frozen body would be found the next day.
Amber had managed to unbuckle her seatbelt and crawl from the Mercedes to the snow bank on the side of the road. Luckily, she was wearing the green foul weather jacket that Ken had loaned her a few days ago. “A few days ago.” She thought, “Is that all?”
She pulled herself into a sitting position with her back leaning against the snow bank. She could feel the creeping cold from the neck and sleeves of the jacket. “I am going to need help.” She thought when the white poodle jumped down from over her head. He had jumped from the top of the snow bank and landed in the road next to the overturned Mercedes. She could hear a low growl coming from deep inside the poodle’s chest.
The poodle turned to face her and suddenly looked up. The black timber wolf jumped from the top of the snow bank and landed just three feet in front of Amber. The white poodle started snapping and snarling at the wolf, as it circled toward Amber. Soon the poodle was between Amber and the black wolf. With a new-found fear, the wolf whined, tucked its tail between its legs, and backed away. The poodle took a step forward and the wolf turned and ran away into the dark night.
Amber was nearly unconscious as the poodle turned toward her again. She could see the white ball of fur at the end of the dog’s tail wagging back and forth. Amber was trembling from cold and fear, and could not move. The poodle walked toward her with his head low. Eventually the poodle curled up next to Amber and laid his head in her lap. She was frozen in fear, but somehow allowed her hand to rest on top the poodle’s head. As she fell asleep she felt herself reach out to Bill.