Title: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
Disclaimer: Illyria and Spike created by Joss Whedon, 30 Days of Night,
luckless inhabitants of Barrow created by Steve Niles. I do not own, please do not sue. Barrow is the fictional Barrow of the movie not the real life one. Thus thirty days of night not sixty etc.
Challenge: No 3104 Holiday Ficathon Entry for Leoruby
Timeline: Set Post Not Fade Away.
Summary: Illyria and Spike travel to Barrow, Alaska, to spend the holiday season with an old friend of Fred’s from Dallas. Spike hopes the quiet and peace in the small town will let him finish his poetry book.
A band of blood thirsty nosferatu arrive in Barrow at the same time to take advantage of the perpetual night of the artic circle to torture and slaughter everyone.
Warning: Occasional Coarse Language, but seeing how mostly the films characters only swear when being in danger of ripped painfully apart by hideous monsters, hopefully you the gentle reader will excuse them just this once, it being Christmas and everything
Girl, I can’t tell you how excited I was to get your e-mail out of the blue like I did last week.
You are not staying in a motel, god-dammit! Leroy and I aren’t going to hear of it for a second. (He says hi and bear hugs and are we two gonna act all crazy again like we did in high school and college?) And anyway, Barrow doesn’t have an operating motel during winter, it only has one boarding house and you and your new boyfriend are not bunking down with a bunch of smelly oil pipeline workers and fur trappers. And hey my hubby’s one of them so I should know how stinky they can get (lol).
I’m sure this William guy will be as handsome as all your other honeys. Are you ever going to settle down? That guy Charles you took to our wedding in Dallas was great and so was Wesley you ended up dating that I met - when I came to see you in L.A. two years ago.
I reckon you must have a thing for English guys.
Having you here for the silly season is the fricking best thing ever! I can hardly wait until you arrive.
I’m making the kids and wooden furniture all shiny just for you.
Lots of love
P.S. I know you never said what happened to you during those five years your parents and all the rest of us in Dallas thought you were missing, but if finally you want to talk about it, Fred, I’d never judge you.
P.P.S. Remember how we thought Texas seemed so big when we took our last spring break together exploring the lone star state? Well you know you’re in the biggest state in the Union when you’re burrowed down in Barrow.
The black snaggle toothed stranger rowed away in a small boat from a big ship anchored in the freezing water outlying a tiny harbor. He reached shore and clambered out of the boat. He trudged slowly through the thick snow covering the frozen ground until he stood on a slope overlooking the small North Alaskan township of Barrow.
He would play his part, perform his duties and he would be gifted with eternal life by them
. Nothing and no one could stop the last ones left of their kind. It was hard to understand why none of them
ever came up with this brainwave earlier.
In an aeroplane cabin en-route from Fairbanks to Barrow, a flight attendant was experiencing problems with one of her passengers.
“Sir, you are disturbing the other passengers. Sit down!” The Inupiat flight attendant ordered the British guy who dressed and acted like some seventies punk rock star.
“Whee, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” The man with bleached blond hair shredded his beverage sugar packets and flung the white crystals in the air. “What’s wrong, love, don’t fancy a white Christmas?”
“Is there a problem here?” An attractive blonde woman in her mid-twenties stood up and moved over to the flight attendant, “I’m a fire marshal.”
“And what’s your plan of attack, Blondie? Tell me to put my light out?” The man fished in his pocket for his lighter. He frowned as he remembered he hadn’t been able to take it on board and had had it thrown into a trash can beside the boarding gate by a security guard.
“Behave, former half breed.” The dark haired woman sitting beside him sneered with haughty imperiousness to her companion.
The flight attendant set her mouth in an offended line.
“Golly, I didn’t mean 'half breed' how it sounded.” The sweet faced, dark haired woman appeased. “It was the name of a punk music band my boyfriend belonged to in New York, 'The Half Breeds', a really dumb name wasn’t it? But my boyfriend doesn’t mean to be acting all loco like this.” The woman quickly tried to clean up the spilled sugar. “He’s having a bad reaction to some diet pills he’s been taking.”
“Speed?” The fire marshal and the flight attendant said simultaneously.
“No, no, organic tablets he got from a Chinese herbalist.” The dark haired woman rummaged in her boyfriend’s pocket and produced them. “I’m real sorry, I’ll keep him under control.” The woman smacked a stinging open palmed blow to her boyfriend’s ear.
“Bloody hell, Blue, that hurt.” The man rubbed his reddened ear.
“Make sure you do, Mam, because if the pilot has to turn this plane 'round you’re looking at a bankrupting fine.” The flight attendant snapped.
The flight attendant hovered over the couple for a few minutes, but apart from stoned chuckles from the man nothing happened. She moved off.
“Diet pills, if you had not gorged like a swine in a trough since you shanshued you would not be needing this faux medication.” The dark haired woman sniffed quietly once the traveling fire marshal and everyone else stopped staring at them.
“Lay off.” The man’s hand twitched with jitters. “Don’t knock them - I’ve lost half a stone this past month.”
“You lacked discipline, glutton.”
“I lacked having the experience of growing up in a world with bloody Krispy Kreme doughnuts, do you suppose they’ll have any in this one husky town?” The man licked his lips. He caught himself. “Because I’m avoiding them like the sodding plague if they do.”
A family group waited eagerly at the tiny air terminus of Barrow. They chatted to the other folks in the waiting room off the airstrip. Barrow was that kind of place. Everyone in the town knew each other and the remaining town folks that stuck out the thirty days of night in the small town above the Artic circle were a hardy breed.
Melanie hadn’t been able to handle the month without direct sunlight the year before and went back to Texas with the kids to spend the Christmas season with her family.
She knew Leroy missed her like crazy during that time so she decided to stick it out this year, but now with Fred coming… Melanie’s ex-stoner-geek pal from Dallas, who indulged Mel’s conspiracy theories and loved Mexican food as much as Melanie did. Yee ha!
“Hey Mel, check it out.” The bearded Leroy nudged his parka clad wife.
Melanie looked over to see the wife of the town sheriff disembarking from the landed plane. So Stella Oleson was back in Barrow, huh? Melanie wondered if Eben Oleson knew the wife who had left him had returned. God alone knew why the Olesons separated; every one knew the young couple was crazy about each other.
And here walking down the airplane’s stairs looking all excited was…
“Fred!” Melanie sprinted over the tarmac cleared of snow for the plane’s landing.
The two women rushed towards each other to begin hugging, squealing and jumping up and down like a pair of Mexican jumping beans.
“Oh my god, you look just the same, gal!” Melanie squeezed the fur clad Fred as tightly as she could.
“So do you, so do you.” Fred laughed back, brushing away the gentle falling snowflakes from her face. “Oh stars, look how big Sarah and Kevin have grown!”
Fred hugged Leroy in turn. She smiled down at the two small children clutching at his coat. “Do you remember me?”
“No,” four year old shy Sarah shook her head and burrowed her face in her father’s waterproof snowpants. She sneaked a peak at her behaving strangely mother. “Mommy, why are you crying?”
“Because I’m just so happy to see Fred, just so happy,” Melanie wiped the tears of joy from her eyes. “Lord, Mommy can be plain silly sometimes. And you do remember Fred, the lady who went with Disneyland with us?”
“I do, she rode on the tea cups with me.” Seven year old Kevin wasn’t forgetting the highlight of his young life to date in a hurry. “Sarah thought the singing birds in the Tiki Room were scary. Mom had to take her outside.” LJ addressed the last remark to the black leather coated man standing beside Fred. “Girls are dumb.”
“You might change your mind about that one day, mate.” The blond man held out his hand to Kevin’s dad. “William Spike.”
“Leroy Hernandez.” Leroy shook the shorter man’s hand. What was with the bleached hair? Well poets were like that he guessed – fricking strange. Fred dating an English poet – freaky. He would have thought an egg-head scientist would be more her type. Although what was Fred’s type? The boyfriend she brought along to his and Melanie’s wedding, that LA private investigator - awesome guy, but Leroy wouldn’t have thought Gunn Fred’s type either.
Imagining Fred’s laid back old man finally reacting to something, i.e. Spike being brought around for dinner made Leroy grin.
The Hernandez family took Fred and Spike for a mini tour around Barrow before going to their home.
Traffic in the snow covered one main street was pretty much a one way outward flow to the airport.
“Last flights out are today and tomorrow before the airport shuts down from Christmas to New Year.” Leroy explained to his passengers in the back seat gazing at the snow covered sights. “People tend to fly south for the winter. No daylight brings people down; you bring booze along like we told you to?”
“Leroy, for heck’s sake,” Melanie slapped her husband’s arm playfully.
“Yeah, you said no one’s allowed to sell liquor here during the dark season to prevent suicides and gory such.” Spike smiled, “So Fred’s packed a ‘ell of a lot of tequila to see us through, haven’t you, pet?”
“And lime, gotta have lime.” Fred picked up Sarah’s doll. “That’s a real purty dolly, Sarah. What’s she called?”
“Scully.” Sarah kicked her mother’s car seat, “Mommy, can I show Fred that photo of me in my fairy costume on Halloween?”
“Oh you were so cute.” Melanie picked up her purse off the floor of the car and looked through it. “I’ve got the photo as my cell screensaver, Fred. Hey, where is my cell?”
“Don’t look at me, baby.” Leroy shrugged. “It must be at home.”
After having seen the man made wonders of the gray power plant on the edge of town Fred and Spike were driven to the Hernandez homestead.
Melanie showed them through the two-storied wooden frame house on stilts and led them to their bedroom to unpack.
Fred waited until the bedroom door was shut. She shimmered and turned into a blue god-king.
Illyria looked out the window at two malamutes tied up by their kennels in the back yard across the street.
“Quinn and Nanook,” Illyria let the names of the dogs roll off her tongue. “I shall have to describe them as the fluffiest balls of cuteness there ever were and gush over them in a nauseating manner.”
“This was all your Lone Ranger idea, Blue, coming here in the first place. Into every life a little rain must fall or have a snowstorm bloody descend upon it in this dump.” Spike unpacked his flannel pajamas and put them under the pillow of the spare room’s double bed, he couldn’t nip to the bathroom starkers in a house with kiddies in it after all.
After a taco lunch, Leroy took Spike off to examine the tourist excitement of the oil pipeline that ran through Barrow.
Be still his recently beating heart. “Great, Leroy mate.” Spike pulled on a lambskin hat with flaps that made him look like a tosser. “Lead the way.”
The two men drove for ten minutes out to the pipeline.
“Basically a trained monkey could do my job. But if something goes wrong out here, it all turns to shit. Environmental disaster time - polar bears keeling over left right and centre. Hence the big bucks that made me move Melanie and the kids up to Barrow in the first place.” Leroy explained as he and Spike parked near the oil pipeline that ran through Barrow.
Spike lit a cigarette with Leroy’s car lighter before he left the warmth of the car.
“I almost threw that car lighter away, I only use the power source for recharging my cell and it’s fricking odd but I can’t find it, my cell I mean.” Leroy mentioned. “Hope Sarah hasn’t dropped Mel and my cells down the can in some weird little pretend game of hers. Wanna shoot some pool at Barrow's one and only diner? The diner here is like a bar with no booze. I’ve got the day off work and the gals will be gas bagging their hearts out back at the house.”
“So this is the photo that I took of the albino moose that got in the National Geographic
.” Melanie displayed the framed print in her living room with pride. The moose print hung beside the wedding photo that showed the Hernandez children present at their parents big day. Melanie and Leroy took a long time before they decided to tie the knot.
“You were always so talented, Melly.” Fred hugged Melanie around the waist.
“Aw shucks, ya making me blush.” Melanie smiled pleased.
A knock at the door caused Kevin to run towards it.
“What does the law want?” Melanie looked out the window “Let Mom answer the door, Kevin.”
“Hi, Mel, look, I know this sounds nuts, but Mrs. Fung next door thinks someone broke into her house and stole her cell phone only. You see anything?” Deputy Sheriff Billy Kitka cut straight to the chase as he stood in the front doorway.
“No, I was at the airport picking up my friend Fred and her beau.” Melanie folded her arms against the chill air. “And hey, I know this sounds weird, Billy, but I can’t find my cell either.”
“That is odd,” Billy scratched his chin perplexed, “frigging odd, because my wife couldn’t find her cell phone this morning, too. Females in this town going all more absent minded than usual today I guess.”
“Screw you, lawman.” Melanie retorted to the guy whose kids attended the same elementary school as Kevin. “Hey, you know Stella Oleson’s back in Barrow?”
“Yeah, she’s staying with us tonight. Don’t, whatever you do, let Eben know if you run into him today.” Billy turned to go.
“What happened with those two?” Melanie sighed over Barrow's biggest domestic mystery.
“Beats me, take care, Mel, and nice meeting you, Fred,” Kitka touched his forehead politely and departed.
“He didn’t turn his sirens on.” Kevin sighed in disappointment as his mother closed the front door.
“Well why would he?” Melanie bit her lip and looked at Fred who wore a thoughtful expression on her face. “Guess I sound like I’ve become a gossiping house wife, huh?”
“No-siree, you were always mighty nosey.” Fred ducked Melanie’s incoming play blow.
“The Hernandezs are a decent enough pair, the whole burg’s filled with nice people, Lucy the lady who runs the diner is a menopausal poppet and I ran into a fur trapper named Brower while there who came across a right gentleman under all his beard, gruffness, misanthropy and seal grease. Little white lambs to the slaughter the lot of them.” Spike buttoned up his pajamas and crawled into bed beside Illyria that evening. “Stay on your side of the bed, love, I have my reputation to think of.”
Illyria arched one nostril of incredulity. “Do not jest for a minute that I would debase myself to copulate with a lower life form.”
“Stop, you’re making me randy with your pillow talk, you indigo strumpet.” Spike pulled the bed covers snugly around him. “Don’t rightly know how I can hold myself back.”
The morning brought waffles for brunch and horror.
“Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!” Kevin came racing in through the back door. He was gulping and crying and snot and tears were running over his face.
“Sugar, what’s the matter?” Melanie put down the bottle of maple syrup on the breakfast table in alarm. It was ten-thirty in the morning and the sun had only just started to illuminate the town.
“I went over to help Mr. Hamm feed his dogs like he said I could yesterday and they were all dead and bloody, Mommy. They were all bloody, their throats were cut.” Kevin buried his face in his mother’s pants, convulsing with sobs. “Mr. Hamm shouted at me and told me to go home, he said he was gonna call the sheriff. Why would someone do that, Mom?”
“I don’t know.” Melanie was appalled. Who on Earth had Malekai Hamm pissed off so much they’d do a sick thing like that to his last remaining geriatric sled dogs?
Spike glanced at Fred. They nodded at each other. Even in the midst of trying to calm down a hysterical Kevin, Melanie wondered what the hell that nod was all about.
Melanie carried on with her normal daily routines enjoying Fred’s company as she did so.
Spike remained in the guest bedroom composing poetry.
“How artistic,” Melanie smirked as she folded washing, “his stuff any good?”
“Yeah, he’ll read you some of his work if you want. He’s gonna get published next month.” Fred turned on the iron. “The kids’ outfits are so gosh-darn cute. Can’t wait to make them all smooth and perfect.”
“Don’t you dare do my ironing,” Melanie protested in a non-convincing manner.
“Shucks, it’s my pleasure.” Fred turned the dial on the iron onto cotton setting. She froze and stared out the living room window. “Hey Mel, there’s an elderly man wandering around your front yard and he’s in his bathrobe and pajamas, isn’t that kinda chilly what with the snow falling and all?”
“Oh god, it’s Mr. Bulosan, poor old man is senile, he used to live here and he comes back sometimes.” Melanie left her dry washing to move to the telephone. “I’ll call his son to come collect him. Get him inside, honey?”
“Yeah sure,” Fred walked outside and gently bought the old man into the warmth of the house.
“You’re company?” Mr. Bulosan peered at Fred confused. “My wife didn’t tell me we were expecting company.” He peered suspiciously around the living room. “Who are you people and why is the wallpaper green?”
Fred and Melanie managed to calm the distressed old man down and give him some hot tea and cookies.
His tall lean bearded son arrived ten minutes later.
“Crap, Mel, I’m sorry huh? I slept in this morning and … God, I’m really sorry.” Wilson Bulosan had bags under his eyes from the strain of caring solo for his father while his wife was away.
“Hey, no problem, Wilson,” Melanie soothed her fellow townsman. “Say... you want to see something cool before you and your dad go?”
“Yeah, why not?” Wilson shrugged interested.
“Fred, show Wilson your swords.” Melanie directed her college pal.
“Golly, I don’t know.” Fred hesitated; she glanced worriedly at the senior Mr. Bulosan.
Caving in to the eager encouragement from Melanie and her kids, Fred came into the living room with two broadswords.
“Wow,” Wilson admired the shining splendor of the lethal looking swords. “They’re cool alright, planning on going seal hunting while you’re here?”
“They’re a hobby of my boyfriend and mine, we’re involved in a medieval recreation society, and we picked them up in Fairbanks. You should see my banquet gown - it has a steeple hat.” Fred explained. “I have a whole fake persona going on, Lady Isabella di Castile, that’s me every second Tuesday.”
“Isn’t she just the most adorable nerd you’ve ever met?” Melanie gushed proudly about her friend. It was plain wonderful having Fred to stay for Christmas.
In the late afternoon across the other side of town on its outskirts, Sheriff Eben Oleson and Deputy Sheriff Billy Kitka stood ankle deep in snow and stared down perplexed and pissed off at a hole filled with the Barrow folks missing cell phones burnt to a melted mess.
What the hell?
“Maybe it was teenagers pulling a prank?” Billy volunteered the most likely hypothesis.
“Yeah, well why didn’t they leave a note or something?” Eben frowned, the incident was unnerving as well as dangerous and he intended to get to the bottom of it.
The sun began to set over the ice cold sea and the two men watched it sink over the horizon together in quiet companionship. It was the last day of direct sunlight the town would experience for thirty days.
The two law enforcement men made their way to the town’s crossroad to enable Billy to perform his yearly ritual.
Eben’s phone rang, his jaw dropped open in disgust as he answered the distraught caller on the line. “You’re kidding? Don’t worry; I’ll be there right away. We’ll catch the creep.” He pulled his asthma inhaler out of his pocket and took a deep puff.
“Trouble?” Billy finished nailing up the sign on Barrow’s sign post to read the town’s population now stood at one-hundred and fifty-four residents.
“Understatement, some sick weirdo has knifed John and Ally’s sled dogs all ten of them.” Eben started to feel more and more uneasy. Something wrong
was happening in Barrow. It looked like a fricking animal sadist was running around loose for starters.
Okay, Eben’s life was officially hell right now.
It was six pm and the young sheriff had discovered a) his estranged wife was stuck in town having missed the last flight back to Anchorage due to her car being totaled by a tractor, b) his dear sweet grandmother- the sheriff’s office manager, (who had cancer) was growing pot for medicinal purposes in her attic using ultraviolet light and his kid brother was helping her do so, and c) he was now looking at Wilson Bulosan’s dismembered helicopter for god's sake, ground up in a local factory’s machinery.
Carter Davies, the factory manager was panicking at the worry of Barrow now being without the means to transport anyone out in a medical emergency in the next week.
Wilson was verbally spewing with rage at the ruin of his livelihood and Eben couldn’t blame him. What the hell, no, what the fuck was going on?
A male and a female standing on a snow dune overlooking Barrow knew what was going on. The couple was dressed inappropriately for the cold, their shabby street clothes, in particular the female’s knee length skirt, made them stand out to a casual observer had there been enough light to see them. Their clothes and the fact the couple had shark-like teeth distorting their mouths, a deathly pallor and cruel black talons instead of fingernails were an attention grabber as well. They were both fugly in the most terrifying way a human soul could imagine.
Nosferatu mates -Iris and Mallow, found each other very attractive, they’d been mates for centuries. They were not the evening dressed seducers of legend, romantic goth lovers, they were feral killers.
Did they possess the capacity for love, compassion or pity? Maybe for each other, but not for their prey, never for their prey.
Iris and Mallow and their fellow twenty-five Nosferatu kept a low profile, no one anymore knew they existed and they intended to keep it that way.
Now they had the opportunity to rip, maim, torture and slaughter a whole helpless village for an uninterrupted week. This was going to be the best Christmas ever!
“The power plant,” Mallow directed his followers in the ancient language that would sound to the same casual observer as if he was speaking in Hottentot or if the observer was a Trekie, Klingon.
The nosferatu slid down the snow dune
Gus Lambert, a loner with a slight drinking problem, heard god awful cries outside the door of his power plant.
Bizarre. Lambert who had never done anything mean to anybody in his entire life went outside to investigate.
The nosferatu circled round him like ravenous piranhas, barking their horrific ugly language to each other.
They fell on Lambert and tore into him without refinement or mercy.
Lambert screamed in agony as his flesh was ripped apart and his blood sucked out of him.
“Tear off the head.” Mallow ordered the other nosferatu, “We don’t want any of them turning.”
This was a private Christmas party.
The lights went off in Barrow.