Georgia Charles travels to the Yukon to distance herself from a cheating husband. While struggling with the idea of her newly discovered pregnancy, she’s kidnapped by bank robbers who flee to north-western British Columbia. Here, she escapes into an area known as the last frontier.
Hopelessly lost in this vast, undeveloped wilderness, she pushes her way through a raging snowstorm and discovers a cabin. Georgia’s happy to have escaped her captors, but she’s trapped by days of blizzards and becomes a prisoner of Mother Nature.
Her will to survive is tested as she struggles through a harsh winter in the wilds. Faced with a lack of survival skills, she reaches the brink of emotional breakdown. She’s forced to confront her fears of childbirth alone and the possibility of complications. She envisions an angel, imaginary or real, who helps her discover her inner power.
Can Georgia unearth a maternal strength to save her life and that of her unborn child? Or will she perish?
A compelling, heroic story of one woman’s survival against all odds.
Escape. That thought repeated over and over in my mind like the rhythm beat of a perpetual drum. But where could I go? Desperation took desperate measures. I would run at the first opportunity. This was a matter of life or death—mine and my baby’s.
Gary watched my every move. Late afternoon, we pulled into a gas station at the first town since turning onto this highway. A place called Dease Lake, surrounded by hundreds of miles of wilderness in any given direction.
“Hey, bitch…” Gary said, “… lie down. Bobby, you fill up the tank and I’ll go get some snacks. Lady, if you so much as twitch, I’ll shoot the first person I see in this hole.” He patted the gun in his jacket pocket. “Then, I’ll kill you!”
My heart pounded. There were people here that could help me, but they might as well be on the moon. Tears welled in my eyes. Don’t panic. Stay calm.
We were back on the road in a matter of minutes. Gary threw a can of pop and a bag of chips at me.
I finished them off in short order, only to keep up my strength. Great nourishment for a pregnant woman. Not that it mattered. This may well be my last meal.
“Isn’t that the road we go down to reach Uncle Pete’s cabin?” Bobby asked.
“Uh-huh. There’s the sign to Telegraph Creek.”
The van climbed up steep grades and dropped back down to valley bottoms. It was a rough ride on the gravel road, full of twists and turns on a washboard surface. My recent snack sat like a brick in my stomach and once again, I quelled the urge to vomit.
Hang on, girl. Now isn’t the time.
The further we travelled, the more I panicked. Soon, escape must be soon. It would be over for me when my captors reached their uncle’s cabin.
Gary mumbled to himself. Finally, he screeched to a halt, pounding the dash. “We’ve gone too far. That old bridge up ahead is miles past our turnoff. We’ll have to turn around and go back. Keep your eyes open for the turn. These damn logging roads all look the same at dusk.”
He swung the van around and sped back in the direction we just came. Five minutes later, a popping noise sounded and the van veered to the right.
“Sounds like a flat tire,” Bobby said.
“No shit.” Gary pulled the van over to the side of the road. “You get the jack and tire iron and I’ll get the spare.” He told me to get out. I dragged my weary body out the side door and a cold wind hit me in the face.
The front passenger side tire was flat all right. This was it. My moment to escape. There wouldn’t be any more opportunities. “I need a break, please,” I said, pulling my jacket collar up around my neck.
Gary glared at me and turned to Bobby. “Take her. I’ll remove the tire.”
I followed Bobby up a trail until he pointed out a spot for me and turned his back. “Now, don’t you run on me, missy.”
“Run where? And it’s getting dark.”
I squatted down, quickly scouting my surroundings. The path continued into the dense forest. Gary cursed down by the van.
It’s now or never.
“Hurry up! I need you,” Gary yelled.
“You done yet?” Bobby asked.
“No, not yet.”
I could hear metal hitting metal. Gary was having quite a temper tantrum. “Get down here. These lugs are stuck.”
“Hurry up, lady. Jesus! Gary’s real angry; you don’t wanna make him madder.” Bobby fidgeted.
“I’m sorry, you go down and help him. I’ll be right there.”
“What? I can’t just leave you. Gary’ll kill me.” Bobby started pacing in front of me.
“What’re you doing up there?” Gary yelled.
“I’m not done yet, okay? It’s a pregnancy thing. I’m not going anywhere, I promise. Anyway, pregnant women can’t move very fast. That’s why Gary caught me in the lane in Whitehorse so easily. Remember?”
Gary’s yelling and swearing grew louder. Any minute he would come running into the bush after us.
“Okay. I’ll go down and help Gary. You come as soon as you’re done.” Bobby ran off down the path. “I’m coming . don’t have a shit fit.”
I didn’t believe it. He actually left me alone? Go … now.
Up like a shot, I bolted along the path in the other direction, securing my jeans as I ran. Bobby and Gary were yelling at each other, probably about me. I knew it would be Gary who would come. And if he caught me, I wouldn’t make it back with him.
Pounding feet sounded behind me. I glanced over my shoulder, almost tripping, but saw no one. My lungs gasped for air. Gary gained ground, the sounds of his obscenities getting closer. Get off the trail, now. My eyes searched for a place to hide. The near darkness provided deep shadows in the trees. The pathway rose up a small incline. I flew over the top and down the other side, where the path veered off to the right. To the left, an old game trail barely visible meandered through the trees.
I slowed and glanced around me. A tangle of fallen trees and branches on my left looked like a good spot to hide in. Branches scratched my face and caught in my hair as I pulled myself over the decaying trunks. I tumbled face first into a hollow under a log, filling my mouth with dirt and leaves. The smell of musty, rotting debris turned my stomach.
Gary charged over the top of the incline and came to a dead stop. Damn. I hoped he would miss the game trail and keep going.
“Alright, bitch. Come back now and I’ll let you live. If I have to chase you, you’re dead! Got it? D-E-A-D!”
Let me live? Sure you will. Oh God … I felt like a trapped animal. Terrified he would hear my raspy breathing, I tried to control my gasps. There was nothing I could do about the pounding of my heart.
June V. Bourgo is a semi-retired, self-employed graphic design and sign maker whose incredible journey has taken her down many different paths. From years of working in marketing/sales for a major telecommunications firm, managing a physiotherapy clinic, living on a houseboat in Victoria harbour, to working at a gold mine on a remote mountain in the Yukon, she chose to turn her experiences—good and bad—into life-changing lessons. Her debut novel, “Winter’s Captive”, shares with the reader what she learned through the fictitious story of one woman’s struggle to enlightenment and empowerment.
Born and educated in Montreal, Quebec, she now lives in the British Columbia interior surrounded by ranch lands, with her husband and two head of cat; Marbles, a calico diva and Picasso, a subservient tabby. June is currently working on a sequel to her debut novel.
Links to read more about the Author and where to purchase book:
Click here to read an interview with: June Bourgo, Author of Winter’s Captive