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Title: Christmas in the Mountains 1/1

Christmas in the Mountains
by A. Nannie Mouse

Rating: PG
Summary: An answer to Black Fires Christmas challenge.
Warnings: One slightly rude word and my questionable writing skill. I li
Disclaimer: This was written for educational purposes only. Most of
the characters belong to Steven J. Cannel Productions and Universal.
No copyright infringement intended. The plot is mine, all mine.
Notes: Any suggestions or corrections are welcome. I am trying to
learn here. Feel free to correct me where I mess up. I have a
definite weakness where grammar is concerned.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [

It was Christmas Eve. They had just finished a difficult mission and
were on their way back home. They were flying over the Rockies and
everything was normal. B.A. was sleeping off the sedative. Hannibal
was smoking a cigar. Face was in the front with Murdock, who was
singing merrily.

"On the first day of Christmas, My true love gave to me: Ammo-o for
an M-16. On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me: two
smoke grana-ades, and ammo-o for an M-16, . . .."

"Murdock? Not that I'm complaining or anything, but couldn't you sing
something a little more traditional?"

Murdock grinned maniacally and launched into another song.

"You better watch out! You better not cry! You better not pout, I'm
telling you why!!! Santa Claus is coming to town! He sees you when
you're sneezing, . . .."


"He knows when you're a snake . . .."

"Murdock! What's that noise?" The plane shuddered. There was a loud
explosion. An engine was gone.

"Uh, Colonel, you better strap in! We going in!" Murdock called back
to the passenger compartment. "Get your head down, Face!"

The crash seemed to take forever. They ground into the snow, losing
large pieces of airplane as they went. After a few dazed minutes,
Murdock un-wound himself from what was left of the controls and looked
around. He was alive and judging from the moans coming from the seat
beside him, so was Face. He looked behind to see if the others were
okay. He couldn't tell. The passenger compartment was spread over
the last hundred yards. He checked Face. The lieutenant was
semi-conscious. Snow was winding in through the gaping hole.

"Hannibal!! B.A.!!!"

"Here, fool!! You crashed us again!! This time the Colonel's hurt!!
You And Face get back here! Now!! I'm going to kill you!!"

"I'll be there in a minute! Face is hurt too." He touched his
friends shoulder. "Face, can you hear me?"

"Yeah, close the window. It's cold."

"Would if I could, Facey- man. There's just a little too much gap to
fill. Are you hurt?"

"My ribs, my head. Where's the rest of the airplane?"

"Oh, it's around." He waved vaguely behind them.

"Hannibal? B.A.?"

"B.A. is alive enough to be yelling at me. The Colonel is hurt. We'll
get over to them right now, if you can walk." Murdock was sure that
Face had broken ribs and a concussion.


They managed to limp back to the pile of wreckage that sheltered B.A.
and Hannibal. The colonel was still unconscious. B.A. was favoring
his left arm.

"One minute, I'm telling you guys I'm ain't getting on no airplane and
the next I'm waking up with snow in my face! You dead this time, Sucka'!"

"Enough, B.A. We have got to build a shelter before nightfall." Face

They took what wreckage they could handle and built a lean-to. Then
they covered it with snow for insulation. It was rough going with two
injured men. They managed to pull Hannibal in and close the opening
with what remained of two of the seats. They huddled together for warmth.

"If we're lucky, the emergency transmitter is working and we'll be
picked up by morning." Face said cheerfully.

"Yeah, man. We'll be arrested as soon as they figure out who we are.
I'd rather try an' walk outta' here."

"We'll have to see about that tomorrow. It's too cold for Hannibal
out there."

"We'll all freeze if we stay here too long. Crazy fool's done it this
time!" B.A. glared at the Captain.

Murdock didn't even try to defend himself. He just curled up and said
nothing. He knew this was serious. He knew that both Face and B.A.
were hurt worse than they were letting on. And Hannibal was hurt bad.
With both Face and B.A. injured, it would be difficult to walk out of
there. But how could they carry an unconscious man? And he was sure
that the transmitter hadn't survived the crash. It wasn't going to
get any warmer; there was a storm-warning out. It was his fault. He'd
have to come up with something.

"'Scuse me! Gotta go!!!" Murdock announced as he clambered over his
companions. He pushed his way out before anyone could stop him.

"Murdock! It's too cold! Get back in here!"

"Gotta leak!!"

Face sat by the makeshift door to let his crazy friend back in. This
was ridiculous. Murdock knew enough about survival to know better.
Face was beginning to get impatient. Murdock couldn't take this long!

"Murdock, are you alright?" Silence was his only answer. "Murdock!!"

The Captain heard his friends calling him. He knew they couldn't
follow. Their injuries and their concern for Hannibal would hold them
back. He, at least, had a jacket. They'd know he was okay. He
hoped. He trudged on into the snow. He'd head down hill. It was as
good a direction as any.

"What does the crazy fool think he's doing? He'll freeze out there!"
B.A. asked, as Face crawled back into the shelter.

"He's going for help. He should have waited for morning. But he knew
we would insist on sharing the risk. Damn! If he survives I'm going
to kill him!"

The wind kicked up. The storm was coming in. He pushed his hands
into his pockets and went on. His clothes were more appropriate to a
windy L.A. evening than to a blizzard, but he knew he had to keep
going. If the storm were half as bad as it looked, the little lean-to
would be under ten feet of snow before morning. There had to be
someone or something that could help. Maybe they should have tried it
together. But Hannibal wouldn't have made it.

"Maybe Santa will be by on his rounds tonight, eh Billy?" he said to
the dog, who was playing heedlessly in the snow.

The dog yipped and started down a small ravine.

"Sure, why not?" Murdock said, as he followed the animal.

The terrain was too steep. After about 20 feet, Murdock tumbled down
the hillside. He lay at the bottom for a moment to get his bearings.
All he could see was snow. It was coming down hard. He could barely
see ten feet.

"Lord, I know that you have your plans and all, but could we please
survive this one? I don't wan' a spend eternity with B.A. mad at me.
This was my fault. Could you show me a way, please? Amen."

He pulled himself up and looked around. Billy started barking and
jumping around.

"What, boy? You see something?"

The dog sped into the snow. Murdock went after him. He moved slowly.
His feet and hands were numb. His lungs hurt and he knew his nose
was frozen. He could here Billy barking excitedly. As he approached
the sound he saw a figure in the snow.

"Hello! Help! I need help!"

An old man came towards him. He was a big man with a beard. He was
dressed in snow gear and was pulling a sled filled with wood.

"Oh my! Let's get you into the cabin!"

In the cabin the man gave him some hot tea and blankets. He pulled a
large black coat with a fur lining out of a chest and wrapped it
around the Captain.

"We've got to get your feet warm. Why would you wear tennis shoes in
the snow?" He said, untying Murdock's high tops.

"My friends and I were in a plane crash. They're still up there.
They're hurt! Can we call search and rescue?"

"Sorry my friend, I have no radio. We will have to go get them
ourselves. And soon. But first, get out of those wet shoes."

The old man gave Murdock some boots, socks and an extra pair of pants
to pull on over his own. He pulled out a thick wool sweater and hat
as well. Murdock put the black coat on over his flight jacket. When
they were done, they were both ready to face the storm. The old man
piled extra clothes and blankets on the sled and filled two thermoses
with tea.

"Oh, I don't know where my dog got off to!"

"Don't worry son, he'll be there when you need him."

They traveled in silence for nearly an hour. They stopped by a large
boulder that peeped out of the snow. It gave them a little shelter
from the snow.

"Man, I hope they're alright. It's all my fault."

"Did you sabotage the engine?"

"Of course not, but . . . "

"Did you make it snow?"

"No . . . "

"Did you break their bones or clout them on the head?"

Murdock looked at the old man in frustration.

"You are a good man, H.M. I can always tell. Your friends know that
too. Now, let's go find them."

The old man seemed to know his way around the mountain. It didn't
take long to find the lean-to. When they found it, it was buried under
two feet of snow. The two men dug it out as quickly as they could.
The three men inside were unconscious.

They wrapped them in blankets and shook Face and B.A. to
consciousness. They helped them into the spare clothes and poured
some of the warm tea into them. Soon they were ready to move.
Hannibal was still out. He was so cold that Murdock was afraid that
they had lost him. The old man put a hand to his neck and smiled.

"He will be fine!" he proclaimed. They loaded the Colonel onto the
sled and headed back to the cabin. It was slow going and the others
needed help, but they finally made it.

When they had settled Hannibal onto the bed and lit the fire, the old
man made sandwiches and more tea. The men were to tired to say much.
They wrapped themselves in blankets and settled on the floor to sleep.

"The storm should play out in a day or so. There are enough
provisions for a week, so make yourselves at home. There is a map
over there and plenty of wood. I will have to leave you now. I have
work to do."

The next day, everyone was conscious. Hannibal was dizzy, but
otherwise fine. Face was complaining about his injuries and B.A. was
describing exactly what he would do to them if they ever tried to get
him onto a plane again. Murdock was sitting quietly in a corner,
wrapped in the big black coat.

"Where do you think the old dude went, Hannibal?"

"I don't know, B.A. Did you see any sign of him this morning, Face?"

"No. It's like he just disappeared. Who was he, anyway?"

Murdock didn't answer. He just sat there and looked at the coat.
Funny, he had always thought it was red.



Christmas In The Mountains by A. Nannie Mouse
A Night Before Christmas by A. Nannie Mouse



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