Christmas Scent: Pine

By Jake Landry
published December 26, 2018
Summary

Four guys get stuck in a cabin right before Christmas and the power goes out. Cody goes to chop some wood finding a brand new axe wrapped just for him.

“Dude… I can’t believe that snow storm. It came out of nowhere!” Jason said as he looked out the window. They were supposed to leave by 8 in the morning but overnight there seemed to have been a freak snow storm that covered the roads. Now Jason and his friends were stuck in an old cabin in the middle of nowhere for God knows how long.

“At least we’ve got food,” Cody offered. He was trying to stay positive even though no one there wanted to stay positive. “And power,” he added before the lights flashed and then went off. Cody buried himself deeper into his oversized hoodie, knowing they were going to accuse him of jinxing it.

The other three groaned. “Are you fucking kidding me!? God damn it!” Adam shouted. He beat his hand against the counter. “This is fucking stupid! I was supposed to see Ashley today!”

“I was supposed to see Ashley today,” Mike mocked. “Fuck you. We all got people we wanted to see. But what are we going to do about it?”

“Wait it out…?” Cody said. It was pretty low and the three looked over at him. Even though he was the smallest of the group he tried to make himself even smaller. Just seeing their angry stares always made him uncomfortable. But they knew he was right. There was nowhere else for them to go. Snow was covered the road and packed into the tires of the jeep they’d ridden up in. Not to mention how it looked like it was about to start snowing again.

“Damn it…” Jason groaned. “Better start getting ready then. It’s about to get a lot colder… First thing we got to get is some wood for the fireplace though. At least it’ll keep the main room of the house warm.”

“Nose goes!” Mike shouted. He quickly pushed his finger against his nose and Jason and Adam quickly followed suit.

Cody stared at them. His mouth hung open. “You’ve got to be kidding me. I can’t go chop firewood! Look at me!” he motioned to his thin body. Compared to the other three there, there was absolutely no reason he should have gone to chop wood. Those three were all clear jocks, built for hard manual labor, while he didn’t even know if he could lift the axe over his head, especially in such cold weather. He’d been friends with Adam growing up, and kind of just joined the group to help even it out. Even if he didn’t play sports like the rest of them he was good at finding new games or places for them to go.

“Too bad,” Mike laughed. “Dem’s da rules.”

Jason and Adam let out a bit of a laugh as Cody spread his thin arms out wide. “Come on man. We’ve all got stuff we’ve got to do. One of us will come help you in a minute alright?” Adam finally offered.

“Fine…” Cody grumbled as he grabbed his coat, gloves and shoved the sock cap onto his head. “Always give me the hardest jobs. All cause I don’t get these stupid games. Oh nose goes! How stupid! How juvenile!” he kept grumbling under his breath as he headed outside.

“Make sure you use the good axe!” Adam shouted as Cody slammed the door. “Whatever…” he laughed as he tried to think of jobs for the other two to do.

Cody headed out in the snow. Small flakes hit his soft cheeks whenever the wind picked up again. He couldn’t believe just how much snow he had to trudge through to get to the axe. In normal weather it would have felt like it was right up against the house. Now, with the cold wind whipping his face, all he wanted to do was turn around and go back inside. “Fucking assholes…” he cursed. “Give fucking me the fucking hardest fucking job… Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck,” he kept cursing, trying to ease his anger.

It didn’t help even as he finally reached the axe. “Is this the right one?” he questioned. For some reason there was a bright red ribbon wrapped tightly around the handle and tied in a bow at the end. Moreover the smell of pine trees seemed to fill his nose, even though it had stopped up the second he stepped outside. He did his best to breath in. He could definitely smell the scent of pine. At the same time all the snot that was currently in his nose completely disappeared. “That smells good!” he said excitedly as he pulled it closer to his face. In his excitement, he hadn’t even noticed that despite the bitter cold his nose was completely clear.

That didn’t help with the weight of the axe though. Despite his clear nose, the crafted wood handle and metal blade were still fairly heavy for him to wield. His thin 5’7” frame wasn’t used to any sort of manual labor. Especially something as labor intensive as chopping wood. Not to mention how he didn’t know how to handle the 31 inches of wood he was supposed to use. It felt like it was almost half his size. He grabbed it at the end and ended up swinging it over his head. However the weight of the axe was a bit more than he expected, pulling him down into the snow behind him.

“Dang it!” he whined. Now his legs all the way up to waist. “At least it’s still frozen…” he tried to stay positive and picked himself back up from the ground. The axe laid beside where he fell. “Okay… So how do I do this…” he questioned. Picking it up again he naturally held it in a more proper way. His hands were further away but he wasn’t giving it the same death grip. It was firm but allowed his hand to slide along the wood instead of focusing on power. He lifted the axe over his shoulder.

THWAK

The wood burst in two and fell off the stump. “Holy!” Cody celebrated, looking back and forth at the two pieces of wood. “I did that!” He saw another piece of wood in the snow. He had to use both his hands to get the log onto the stump. They were just too big for him to handle. However once he got set up he lifted the axe over his head.

THWAK

It broke in two just like the first one. Joy was filling his mind as he had accomplished something he’d never thought he could do, not once, but twice. He looked for another piece of wood. He didn’t want to come down from this high. He’d never felt something like this before. Blood was starting to pump faster through his veins. Even a bit of sweat appeared on his brow despite the bitter cold. He set another one up.

THWAK

“Damn. That feels good,” Cody said. There was a bit of gravel in his voice as he uttered it. Moreover he was actually starting to feel warm. Despite the wind whipping his face, or snow all around him, he didn’t feel cold. What he didn’t notice was hair starting to creep out of his skin throughout his body. He’d always been next to hairless and his facial hair never seemed to grow in right. However, right now hair was growing all over his face and body. In just a few seconds, he had a full-fledged beard covering his face. It helped protect him from the cold. He ran a hand across it and set up another log.

THWAK

It easily split in two. Each swing had gotten easier. He looked down at the log in his hands. It fit almost perfectly in the huge mitts. He set it up and chopped it down. His body was starting to get hot. Sweat covered his brow and he could feel it starting to soak into his undershirt. He removed the heavy coat and saw a red and black flannel shirt underneath his coat. For some reason he thought he was wearing something else under his coat but the warmth of the flannel was perfect for this kind of weather.

THWAK

Chopping the wood was almost too easy. It was almost like he was a natural. With each swing more and more weight was adding onto his frame. A mixture of muscle and fat gave him a large burly frame perfect for this kind of weather. Even in the bitter cold he could still stay warm. His large imposing chest stuck out far in front of him. So far that he couldn’t button the top two buttons of his shirt. Some of his chest hair spilled out over keeping the upper part of his chest warm. An equally hairy belly pushed the bottom part of his shirt as well. It wasn’t too big, just big enough to give him a sturdier frame. He loaded up another piece of wood with his free hand.

THWAK

Cody just kept growing bigger. His 5’7” 140 pound frame had gained so much size and girth. His thin shoulders and arms currently filled the sleeves of his flannel shirt while his jeans were filled with thick legs. With each log chopped he’d seemed to grow another inch taller. Quickly passing the 6’ mark then barely stopping at 6’4”. He looked down and saw the massive pile of wood in the snow.

“Whoops… Guess I got carried away,” he laughed. The light amount of fat around his belly shook with the rest of his body. He reached down and pulled the logs underneath his arms and headed back for the door. “At least we’ll have plenty to stay nice and warm for a pretty long time.”

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