By Tank Wilson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: January 2005
Summary: A touch of black humor brings a twist to the infamous legend of the Donner Party.
Author's note: This little piece of nonsense is an example of what I call 'punchline stories'. It moves along as if it were just another vignette, then bam, you are hit with the punchline. Whether or said punchline works? I leave that to the gentle readers.
As always, all trademarks and copyrights are assigned to their respective owners. Any and all comments are welcome at TankW1@aol.com
Clark flew in ever widening circles around the mountainside as he continued his search pattern. He was frantic. Lois and Jimmy had taken the plane for Denver on a story nearly a month ago. He'd been in Japan covering the latest earthquake, while also helping out as Superman, so he hadn't been there when they left. The plane never made it to its destination.
A freakish winter storm had sprung up suddenly and had downed the plane somewhere in the Rockies, north of Denver. Upon hearing the news, Superman had flown out there to lend his assistance in the search, but the fierce blizzard continued to rage and the conditions proved even too much for Superman to contend with. The constant blowing and drifting of the snow made it impossible for him to tell where he was and where he'd just been. Tense, and frightened, he had to force himself to wait. It took three days for the weather to finally calm down enough that search parties could go out again.
The problem was, the possible area where the plane had gone down was over three hundred square miles. All of it, rugged, snow- covered mountain forest. Even with his super abilities, Superman was tested to his utmost in his search. He didn't find the plane itself for three weeks. If not for a very small portion of the tail sticking up through the snow that now covered the craft, reflecting a bit of the weak winter sunlight, he might have missed it completely.
It had been a small twin engine job. A typical charter aircraft. Clark found the pilot, frozen, still in his seat. It looked like he'd been trying to raise someone on the radio right up to his death. A quick scan with his enhanced vision showed Clark that the radio had been destroyed on impact. The pilot had been clinging to a false hope. The fact that neither Lois nor Jimmy were aboard, gave Clark some faint hope. He could only trust that his faith wouldn't also be so cruelly rewarded.
There had been several avalanches in the region over the past few days, so any chance he might have had of following any footprints were long wiped out. He was at a loss. They could have gone in any direction. Resigning himself to a long, arduous quest, he began to fly his search.
He quickly constructed a marker out of several large trees and placed it where the plane rested. This would give him his starting point. Not knowing which direction Lois and Jimmy might have set out, he opted for a ever-widening circular pattern. He had to take it slow, using his x-ray vision to check every cave, downed tree, and to penetrate many layers of snow as he proceeded. He didn't want to risk missing two small frozen bodies buried under a snowfall, but he prayed that he wouldn't find them. He hoped against hope that they had managed to find some sort of shelter.
After nearly a week of the exhaustive search, he was rewarded by the sight of a small, ramshackle cabin almost totally buried in snow. It must have been caught in one of the many landslides that had plagued the area since the storm. His vision and his super acute hearing zeroed in on the same thing, at the same time. Lois!
A sonic boom reverberated through the crisp morning air as the Metropolis Wonder sped to his beloved's side. Not bothering with the niceties of entry through the door, he burst through the log roof and gathered the astounded woman in his arms.
Before either of them could speak, their lips sought, and found each other's. It was a kiss of deep passion and longing. It also communicated the fear that each had held that they might never see each other again.
When the need for oxygen forced the two them to finally separate, they just spent several moments staring into each other's eyes. It was Lois who broke the silence first.
"Nice of you to finally drop by, Clark. I was beginning to wonder if you were ever going to come."
Clark just shook his head in wonder and awe. "Lois, you have no idea how scared I was. I thought that I might never see you a…" Suddenly a strange look came over Clark's face. "Lois — where's Jimmy?"
Lois looked uncomfortable, and blushed. "Jimmy? Um… Jimmy's, um… BURP!"