Cautionary Tales of Vigilante Snow Plow Men

By Nate 

The digital clock sign at the Pulaski County Savings & Loan flashed between "1:47 AM", "24 F", and "Sign up today for FREE CHECKING!" Icicles had already formed on the sign as that day's light rain had turned to ice when the sun went down. Since twelve noon, the temperature had dropped fifteen degrees and was still falling. A massive cold front was moving in and bringing with it a predicted ten to fifteen inches of snow.

Don Robertson, AKA "Moses of the White Sea", sat in his Ford F-350 Truck with a snow plow attached to the front and sipped the coffee from his thermos while he watched a light snow accumulate on the parking lot of the bank. It wasn't the largest snow he had seen in his 30+ years of plowing, but he knew the combination of ice and snow would be dangerous or even deadly to anyone who wasn't experienced.

The snow was falling at a faster pace now as "Moses" fingered the channels of his CB radio listening for other members of the Pulaski County Vigilante Snow Plow Association (PCVSPA) to report accidents that came across the scanner. His AM radio hummed quietly in the background, but suddenly erupted with an update from the National Weather Service. Apparently the snow was going to be bigger than anticipated. The forecast called for fifteen to twenty inches of snow by noon of the next day.

"Woooeeee!!! Bring it on, Old Man Winter!" shouted Lance Clark, AKA "The Lancer", "I'm gonna plow the shit out of this one!"

This was Lance's first blizzard on the PCVSPA and only second winter in the county. Lance was new to the area. He was the young, new assistant coach for the Pulaski County High School football team and an automotive repairman on he side who had moved his wife and twin daughters from Texas two summers ago. When he first saw the PCVSPA in action last winter, he was enamored by the way in which the big trucks and plows glided through the snow drifts like butter. He knew at that moment he needed to buy a bigger truck and snow plow attachment and join the PCVSPA by next winter.

"Easy, kid," Moses said on his CB, "there's more ice in this storm than anything we saw last year."

Mark "The Sentinel" Abernathy came over the CB, "and watch that Texas language, too! You know our kids are listening to the action on the CBs at home." He was manning the scanner at the PCVSPA HQ in the warehouse on the north end of town.

"Alright, alright, I know I'm the low man on the totem poll here. You don't have to remind me," The Lancer replied.

But Lance needed reminding, and Don knew it. Don served on the PCVSPA executive council that had interviewed Lance for the job over the summer. He objected to letting Lance join the association because of his inexperience with winter weather, but the rest of the board was taken by his eagerness to volunteer and the Pulaski County Mountain Goats' winning record last season, so they voted him in the group. Lance may have also offered a few voting members of the board free snow plow and truck repair after the winter season had ended, but that was only what the coffee shop scuttlebutt had to say.

"OK, boys, we got our first assignment," reported The Sentinel, "a vacationing family of four who were headed back east to get out of the storm has got their silver Toyota Prius stuck somewhere in the Lonely Mountain pass on Route 106 near the western edge of the county. Pretty hairy stuff out there! Who's up for this one?"

"Them fuckin' lib'rals!" The Lancer shouted, "I'll go pull their ass out and show 'em they shoulda bought a real Amerrrican truck like ma Ford!"

"What did I just tell you about swearin' on the CB, Lancer?" The Sentinel radioed, "You better let Moses handle this one. That's too dangerous for your first assignment."

"I'm on it, boss," Moses said, but was quickly interrupted by Lance.

"Aw, I got this! Besides I'm closer, and I need the experience."

"You've got a point, Lancer. How about you shadow Moses on this one. Wait at the intersection of 106 and 33 for Moses and follow him up."

"I'm already at this intersection. I'll just head up the mountain and plow the way. Moses can pull 'em out when he gets there."

"You better cool your jets, Lance," Moses said, "Just wait there. I'll be there in thirty minutes."

"That family will freeze to death if we don't get to 'em quick! My truck's thermometer says it's already fifteen degrees and still falling! I'll have them warming up in my cab when you get there."

Don glanced up at the bank sign, and sure enough it was flashing fifteen. "Nine degrees in half an hour, oh boy," Don thought to himself.

"That's a good idea," The Sentinel said, "Go ahead and try to get up the mountain, Lancer. If it gets too bad, wait for Moses."

"Yipee kai yay, Mother Nature! Here I go! The Lancer is movin' out!"

"Good luck," The Sentinel said.

"He'll need more than luck to get all the way up that mountain," Don whispered to himself as he put the truck in drive and pulled out of the bank parking lot.

By the time Don got to 106 and 33, the weather was near white-out conditions. "If that boy makes it, it will be a miracle!" he said to nobody. He put his truck into four-high and started up the incline to Lonely Mountain Pass.

"This is The Lancer reporting in. Come on back, now Sentinel."

"This is The Seninel. Go ahead, Lancer."

"I've reached the Prius, but these goddamn city folk have gone and got themselves half-off the road on one of these switch backs."

"Better wait for Moses' wench to help you pull 'em out. We don't want them and you to go to slidin' and go over the switchback."

"Nah, I got 'em, boss."

"Better not try it, Lancer. I'll be there in about another thirty, Lancer. Just keep 'em company, and I'll be up in a jiffy," Moses cautioned.

Just then, Don saw a pine tree, heavy with ice and snow come crashing down just a few yards in front of him. Don hit the brakes and slid to a stop as his plow slammed into the branches.

"Holy timbers! I've just crashed into a fallen pine tree, boys!"

"What the hell," The Sentinel said, "Give me a report on your condition, Moses."

"Well, I'm gonna have to cut my way through this to get up there and so Lancer can get the Prius down the hill. You better watch out up there, Lancer. There might be more trees coming down at any time!"

"Tarnation!" The Sentinel exclaimed, "I'll radio for more assistance and get some chainsaws out to ya, Moses."

"Ten-four, good buddy. I'll get to choppin' 'er up. You hang tight up there, Lancer. This might take a while."

With that Don got out of his truck and got his chainsaw out of the tool box and started in on the tree. Unfortunately the roar of the chainsaw drowned out a new National Weather Service warning that was going to prove to be fatal.

The robot voice came over the airwaves and reported an avalanche had just occurred on the other side of Lonely Mountain along route 106 in Lincoln County.

"Oh shit!" The Lancer shouted, "I gotta get off this mountain!"

"Now hold on, Lancer," The Sentinel said, "don't go rushin' around up there and cause another one on this side! Half the PCVSPA is about to be at the bottom of the mountain working their way up to you, so just calm down."

"Naw, boss, these people want off this mountain! I'm gonna start pullin' 'em out before we all get stuck up here."

"Lancer, DO NOT pull them out!"

"Ta heck with that! I'm gettin' offa here right now! Lancer out."

"Lancer, come in... Holla back, now, Lancer... Lancer, come in! ...damn kid... Calling all snow plows: proceed with extreme caution on route 106. Conditions extremely dangerous. Sentinel out."

Lance got out of his truck and hooked up his wench to the Prius. He got back in, put the truck in four low, and shouted at the family in the back of the cab, "now watch what American engineering can do!"

He started to drive up the mountain and pulled the Prius a couple of feet, but not enough to get it over the edge. It was hung on the guardrail. Just then, Lance started to slide and the Prius lurched back down the edge, pulling the truck just right to give it enough momentum that the brakes were almost useless and against the slick surface of the ice.

The Prius continued over the edge, and Lance realized he had just hooked himself, his truck, and this family to an anchor of a car that would pull them down to certain doom.

"Aw shit," Lance said under his breath as his truck tipped up and slid backwards over the edge.

The Prius and truck started rolling down the mountain acting like Pulaski County High's star defensive lineman and literally "clothes-lining" every tree in their path. The crashing metal, wood, and ice became a larger destructive mass that gained momentum with every tree it swallowed.

Meanwhile, Don had stopped for a break and sat on the pine log he had just cut from the tree. "I'm too damn old for this work," he thought as he sat and watched the snow fall in the lights of his truck. It was a peaceful, silent scene that morning as the snow seemed to mute the world in its blanket of white.

Don held his arms over his head to stretch them and said, "yes, this is probably going to be the last year that ol' Moses of the White Sea will part the frozen waters to set his people free."

He put his arms down and took a deep breath. Then he heard a rumble that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. He knew what that sound was. It was the sound of an avalanche. He had heard it only once before when he was a younger man skiing on a restricted mountain. He shouldn't have been on that mountain, but skied it against the warnings of the park rangers. His most vivid memory was that white wall of roaring snow tumbling down the mountain at him.

He held his arms up in the air and swam out of the avalanche then, but he knew there was no way he could do that now in his old age. Plus he had just spent most of his energy cutting up the tree.

He jumped up to dive under his trunk, but at that moment he was engulfed in the snow which slammed him against the blade of the yellow snow plow cracking his head spilling red blood on the white snow.


  1. this is the longest thing i've ever read, longer than war and peace!

  2. I wrote a comment earlier, but it didn't show up. It said - did you write this Nate? Because I am not going to read it if you didn't or if this is another mad lib. If you ID write it I can;t WAIT to read it so respond promptly.

  3. If Iowa could use a PCVSPA. We'd get snow removal AND we don't have avalanches.

  4. Haha! This is definitely Nate. It reads as very Nate specific snuff-erotica. Thanks for sharing your fantasies Nate!!

  5. I liked this a lot. Good story, N8.

  6. Thanks, and yes, I am the writer.