"He's not coming back." Dan paced to the window to stare mournfully into the driving snow. Again.
Casey turned a page in the dictionary. Murder. 1: to kill a human being unlawfully and with premeditated malice. "He's coming back," he said. Again.
"He isn't," Dan insisted.
"He said he'd be back in four hours; it hasn't even been two."
"We're going to die," Dan moaned softly, pressing his forehead to the glass. Again.
"We're not going to die," Casey repeated. 2: to slaughter wantonly: SLAY.
"There's no food."
"He's bringing the food."
"There's no water."
"There's no toilet."
"We're going to die."
"We're not going to die." 3: a: to put an end to. b: TORMENT. c: MUTILATE, MANGLE d: to defeat badly ~ vi : to commit murder.
"This plan sucked, Casey," Dan observed. Again.
syn: see KILL. "There was a plan?" He flipped to the K's.
"Like you couldn't snowmobile in Vermont, or New Hampshire, or Maine."
"Or upstate," Casey intoned. Again.
"Or upstate. No. No, we had to have some sort of exotic, micro-brew, double-Y snowmobiling experience in the middle of the goddamn Canadian outback--"
"Wilderness." Kill: 1: to deprive of life.
"Wilderness. Canadian wilderness. Canada has no outback." 2: to cause extreme pain to.
"Do I look like I care what Canada has?" Dan turned away from the window to stare at him with wild, dangerous eyes.
Casey started flipping to the C's. "Now that you mention it? No, not particularly."
"There's a very good reason for that, Casey. Do you want to know what it is?"
"No." Cabin fever: 1: uneasiness or distress resulting from a lack of environmental stimulation as when living in a remote, sparsely populated region or a small enclosed space.
"Because we got lost, Casey."
"So he tells me anyway."
"Because you got us lost. Because you dragged me to Cariboufuck, Canada and got us lost and caught in a blizzard and we had to be rescued by Dudley Do-Right and Deuteronomy the Wonder Dog."
A low growl emanated from the rug beside the wood stove.
"Ix-nay og-day," Casey said, clearing his throat. "Olf-way."
"Ask me if I care about his fucking species," Dan hissed, gesticulating wildly. "Go on, ask me!"
Casey leaned back on the cot, eyeing his friend warily. "I'll pass."
"You have driven us to desperate times and desperate measures, my friend. For our noble Dudley is no doubt a Mountie-cicle by now. There will be no mooseburgers and beaver buns tonight, no-sirree-bob. We must either eat or be eaten."
"So eat me," muttered Casey, paging energetically toward the P's.
"I have therefore come to the inevitable conclusion that Deuteronomy must make the ultimate sacrifice."
The wolf displayed its prominent incisors with considerable enthusiasm.
"Relax, Dief." Psychosis: fundamental mental derangement characterized by defective or lost contact with reality. Casey sighed and closed the dictionary, then rose from the cot to stand beside Dan.
"And stop talking to that dog like he understands you," Dan snapped.
"He does understand me," Casey murmured, rubbing Dan's shoulders, making contact, stimulating. "Don't you?"
Dief cast him a pitying look.
Dan cleared his throat. "That cuts no ice with me, my man. I am cold. I am ruthless. I am hard--"
"Show me." Casey yanked Dan close and seized his mouth hungrily, then threw himself against him, sending both of them toppling to the cot.
Dief heaved a sigh and rolled over to face in the opposite direction, every hair and whisker radiating long-suffering exasperation.