Butter the Mountain Tops – A true story by L. J. Martin

I called my son on the radio and, as usual, he hadn’t turned it on. Normally, we only squeal the radios if we have something down and can use a little help, so we turn on and listen for a few minutes if we hear a distant shot—in this howl you wouldn’t hear a shot unless it was upwind. I knew he wouldn’t turn the radio on until he was convinced he was in trouble…and it wasn’t long before he realized he was.

After a few anxious minutes in camp, warming the coffee, the radio crackled.

“Where are you?” I snapped, a little anxiously.

“Good question,” he answered, still laughing, but there was an edge to his tone. “I may be as far as a mile from where we parted, but I can’t see five feet, much less a landmark.”

“Is it as bad there as it is back here at camp?” I wasn’t rubbing it in, even though it sounded that way.

“I don’t know how bad it is there, but it’s a white-out here, blowing horizontal, and I don’t have the slightest idea—“

“No compass?”


“Okay, you’re dressed for it and I know you’ve got matches. Don’t move far as all you’ll do is get more screwed up.” He was within radio range, but it might as well have been a hundred miles in this deluge of white and cold.

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Second is the First Loser – A short story by L. J. Martin

Guido is reaching for the drawer again, and has it open as I sprint by. I spin, and kick the drawer hard enough that I know his fingers or the bones in his hand are broken. I step on out and kick the gun the guy had dropped, which shoots across the deck like a hockey puck, then turn my attention back to the fat Mafioso don.

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