A class of fourteen exchange students are on a skiing holiday in Italy, on one of the longest slopes in Europe. On the last lift to the top, on a high, remote ski lift to the summit of the mountain, the cable suddenly stops. It soon becomes apparent, however, that it will not start up again...
When the ski lift first stopped, it was a minor inconvenience for the entire class.
Marcus for one was most irritated. He had been sitting in the little chair next to sharp-tongued and opinionated Jessica Peuvant, who was presently rolling her eyes and tapping her ski-stick against the footrest. Marcus, indeed, most of the little class, was afraid of the endless critique that seemed to pour from Jessica Peuvant's mouth. He decided to sit there and hope that she didn't have anything to say.
But the ski-lift still didn't move. After about five minutes, most students were turning around in their seats and calling to their friends. Jessica Peuvant stayed silent; she now appeared to be in the deepest thought. Marcus had a little inkling that something was wrong - very wrong indeed. He told himself he was just being paranoid, that the cable would start moving again soon, that all this worry would be for nothing.
After about a quarter of an hour, Mr. Gallin, their beloved teacher and a man with greying hair and glasses, famed for his calm demeanour, began to look visibly worried, or at least that's what Marcus could see, as he was several seats away from where Marcus was. This was indeed strange. A cold wind was beginning to set in, and numbly, Marcus checked his watch. It was five o'clock now.
They had been told to be expected at the top, surely? He'd even seen the man at the bottom camp, the remotest base, phone the people at the top, to keep the cable going - at least taht's what Marcus had understood, though he didn't know too much Italian. Was this some kind of silly prank?
After half an hour of not even the slightest movement, activity had noticeably silenced. There was the odd chatter between students, discussing whether the cable had been jammed. Marcus looked at where he and Jessica Peuvant sat: in between two pylons, and, in relation to the rest of the ski lift, nearer the top: he had been up this particular cable before. They were at least forty feet off the ground, where snow was now softly falling.
He was just thinking about this when there was a high-pitched scream. Violently, and as one, Marcus and Jessica turned towards the source: it was Marie-Jean Havre, and she was staring down and wailing.
What Marcus next saw defied belief. Wolves were appearing through the trees - their teeth bared and their muzzles matted with blood.