New England is no stranger to the cold, nor am I, for that matter.
I have lived through winters where we had to shovel out just to leave the house, winters were people died for want of warmth.
Those occurred centuries ago, and they are times I was happy to see the last of. For many years I believed they would not return. How often in recent memory has a storm buried a town in New England? Buried it so that only the second-floor windows allowed egress? Even then, when the snow is falling, most know enough to seek refuge with a neighbor or to risk the effort to get closer to town.
Earlier this week, we had what I shall nominally describe as a ‘hard frost.’
In normal circumstances, a hard frost will kill your vegetables and your young trees if you’ve not the foresight to protect them. Three days ago, we had something entirely different.
I don’t know where the cold came from, or why, but it struck the town at a little past seven in the evening, and laid a great many people low. Those close to their homes, or to any structure, managed – for the most part – to gain safety, although they suffered terribly from frostbite.
The day had been pleasant, though, and as such, more than a few people were out and about later than usual. These folk were caught in the frost.
So far, we have recovered seven bodies. Three of them townspeople and the other four strangers merely passing through.
And this is only on the outskirts of town. We have not taken the sledges to the outlying farms, nor have we inspected all the roads into and out of Cross. Rumor has it that a train stalled just over the border, and I wonder how many, if any, are still alive upon it.
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