It was the flights that finally did it for my head. You can expect the turbulence, but you never get used to it. S’all part of the job description. The worst parts come when you’re being tossed back and forth between two wrestling sides of a storm: zooming through a nightmare blizzard until your poor wee vessel becomes engulfed in cloud or snow and everything fades into a long, pale blur. All too often I black out—or white out, I guess—during these episodes: eventually shaken to my senses to find myself gripping the steering with whitened knuckles, reciting the Lord’s Prayer under my breath… as if it were some dark incantation and not the salvation I so desperately wanted it to be. And I’m considered one of the most stable! It reminds me of war in some ways: the horrific uncertainty, the subsequent hysteria. Despite my repeated warnings, the new employees invariably soil themselves in fright.

There’s something eerie about the solitude of this place, huge areas of nothingness all smothered in a thick blanket of silence. Paradoxical, too: the freedom of the place is exhilarating, and yet it slays you with its utter, debilitating loneliness. Personally I reckon that whole Arctic isolation thing is what made The Thing such a terrifying movie; that, and that horrible human-head-growing-legs monstrosity. I imagine lesser men would have no trouble going all Shining-era Jack Nicholson in this place too. It’s just got that atmosphere.

You can find the complete version of Snow in issue 69 of TBD.

Sarah Bissell