Spencer Shivers

Spencer dug out clean dry clothes and took a quick shower, letting the hot water warm him up before it ran out. He stepped out and dried off in the semi-darkness, towel drying his hair. Good thing it didn’t take long to dry. He put on a t-shirt under his sweatshirt and sweatpants and dry socks. He found an extra blanket in the closet and wrapped himself in that.

“You can come in now,” he tapped on her door.

“Are you okay?” Kate was alarmed. His voice sounded weak and he still looked cold.

“Just trying to get warm.” He went to the bed and stretched out, pulling the covers over him. Kate sat down at the small table watching him, not very happy with his condition. “Should I go down to the lobby and see if they have any coffee or hot water?”

He nodded without saying a word. He was still shivering. Kate got up and left, getting worried. Surely he wasn’t getting sick on her. She had to lean on him, to get through this latest trauma in her life. He had to remain strong for her. Did she just think that? Maybe she was falling harder than she realized, and John barely cold. But she didn’t have time to analyze these thoughts right now, she needed action. She couldn’t have Spencer getting sick on her.

Kate propped the door open on the metal latch, hurried to the stairs and ran down to the lobby. In the dim light from the sky lights in the ceiling, she stumbled her way to the café area and found a large coffee pot and cups. She poured what little was left and hoped it did the trick. Conversation behind the check-in desk was tense and loud. Apparently one of the generators wasn’t working, but the staff was working on it in another area of the hotel from what Kate could understand. She knew it was probably an uncommon thing to work in a hotel during a blizzard, but you would think hotels would be better prepared than this. Kate made her way back upstairs, armed with additional blankets from a flustered desk clerk and the coffee. She pushed her back against their room door and slid in, trying not to spill the coffee.

Spencer was still propped on pillows and wrapped in the blanket. “You don’t look so good,” she said, entering the room. She dumped the blankets on the bed and watched Spencer shudder. “Don’t feel so good.” He crawled into the bed, covered himself up and reached for the coffee. “Maybe this will help,” he took a sip, trying not to spill the hot drink while still shaking.

“From what I heard downstairs, the employees are working on the generators—,” just then the lights and the television came on. “The generators are working, yay!” Kate jumped up and clicked the channel to a weather report. She sat in the chair next to Spencer’s bed after turning the heat up.

“Please, do not go out anywhere so the road crews can clear and salt the roads. Only those who are still getting home from their work day and emergency personnel should be out right now. I’m told by Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) that they’ll be up all night working. We’re also getting numerous reports of schools closed for tomorrow. Back to you, Steve, for the latest forecast.”

“Thanks, Ron. We’re still in a severe winter storm watch, with as much as two feet of snow expected in most of our viewing area. We know that KCI is shut down and many flights have been grounded, causing major headaches at local hotels and the airport. Tonight and tomorrow expect blowing snow with temperatures in the low twenties. Accumulations from the western portion of the city to the east of us will range from twenty inches to twenty-four or more…” Kate clicked the machine off and leaned back in the chair. At least they could see and stay warm.

“I’ll be better tomorrow,” Spencer said, finishing his coffee.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Kate replied. “You look like death and anyhow, we aren’t going anywhere tomorrow. Did you see that mess we’re in?” She gestured toward the silent black box.

“Nothing we can do about it, but I’ll be fine after a good night’s sleep.” He coughed, rolled over and fell asleep.


Until next time,


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