“The Cold Hard Facts of Freezing to Death”


If this holiday season has filled you with a few too many warm fuzzy feelings, you can banish them instantly with this longform piece about freezing to death.

Putting the bulk of the article in second person makes it especially chilling (pun…kind of intended).

Breath rolls from you in short frosted puffs. The Jeep lies cocked sideways in the snowbank like an empty turtle shell. You think of firelight and saunas and warm food and wine. You look again at the map. It’s maybe five or six miles more to that penciled square. You run that far every day before breakfast. You’ll just put on your skis. No problem.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →