follow the adventures of Steve Wilson in WWD’s new series The Year That Everyone Died
“Hello” I say and the wind and snow streams between me and a cloaked figure. It’s so small and doesn't say anything to me. It wears a coat with a fur around the hood. Over the wind I can barely hear it say:
“Don’t worry, I’m a woman not a man.”
Which was weird because I wasn't worried about that.
“You should come with me. It isn't safe here. I heard over the radio it won’t stop snowing tonight.”
I don’t know her. Or anyone and it’s getting darker. So fuck it.
She leads me and carter through the blizzard to a shack settled in a cluster of trees and with some effort slides open a door. I shut the door and the world outside turns to nothing. It is silent and the figure pulls down her hood.
She had a small wrinkly head and tight curls of shock white hair. She looked at me for a moment before smiling and winking her one dead eye.
“What happened to your eye?” I asked “I’m sorry, that’s rude.”
“It is, a little” she said.
It was a small shack but cozy. I must say, I always wanted a shack. She’s got some canned goods a bed a radio. A tiny black and white television flutters near the center of the room behind that a wood stove and a little cupboard area with a sink.
The was a also a shit ton of water filled jugs lining the wall.
She turns the dial to an episode of the Lawrence Welk Show. She stares for a while at the screen before motioning to a chair to the left of the television. I sit.
“I saw Lawrence Welk once as a girl. He was doing a show in Milwaukee. Me and my sister ran up and kissed him on the cheek. He smiled and hugged us. That was some night.”
I nodded. it sounded fun.
“Would you like some of my sandwich, I bought it from the store, can you believe they only charge six dollars for this” She produced a mammoth sized sandwich.
“I know” I said. “Makes you feel stupid for getting anything else.”
We shared the sandwich and drank some Pabst she had dangling off the back door knob.
“What are you doing out here? didn't you know the snow was coming?” She asked.
“Paying attention to shit was never my strong suit.”
“Fair enough.” She said.
We were silent for a while.
“I’m stalling.” I said after a while.
“It’s dangerous stuff.” The one eyed woman said. “You’re life isn't individually precious. Individuality is the worst thing to ever happen to this world.”
I chuckled a little bit even though I knew she was serious.
“You excited for the super bowl?”
“Yeah! What day is today?” I ask.
“Friday.” She shook her head. “Kids these days.”
And we talked for a while about how I’m stupid and how her dad was an alcoholic and how booze couldn't kill north woods petrified wood - whatever that means
Then she cackled for a long while and screamed:
“WISCONSIN BORN, WISCONSIN BREAD, AND WHEN I DIE - I’ll BE WISCONSIN DEAD”
and we both laughed our asses off.
And I fell asleep.
And I dreamt there were more. Clamoring towards me - telling me the work is never over.
I woke and the one eyed woman was shaking me. It was roasting in her cabin. little fire has a lot of power contained like that.
“C’mon son. I had my cousin come down and plow the road. Storm is over. Time for you to go, stop stalling.”
And me and carter staggered out to the car and got in. The one eyed woman knocked on the window and I rolled it down.
“I’m Carolyn and you’re welcome here anytime you want.”
I nodded and looked down at my lap.
“Thank you. I’m Steve.”
“Son, I don’t think you have a clue what you are.”
And she walked away. And I drove toward Ashland.
Not sure what’s going on? Click here for the pilot episode of The Year That Everyone Died