a short story
They told us not to go into the DYE site during our initial briefing because it was unsafe. There were other reasons given; although, I can’t recall them. Radiation? Monsters? But after we got stranded, we wandered. Thirty minutes of snowshoeing on the hard snow seemed little distance away from the camp, still on the flat horizon. I followed Neil in a sliding tumble, up and over the bank, down to the ladder. When we stood hunched at the bottom of a snow bowl, the sudden, dim light temporarily blinded me after coming out of the bright arctic landscape. Neil snickered at the metal ladder leading up to a steel hatch as every rung except the top four sunk into the miles of solid ice below. There was no telling how far it descended. Before climbing, I took one last look at a snowy circle surrounding the raised structure and steel support columns like an oil rig on a frozen ocean. My thick boots barely fit between the rust-layered, round, metal rungs, up through the opening at shoulder height into a black hallway full of musty chilled air and snowdrifts.