The Igloo

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

September 20, 2014

Sapphire waters shimmered like the diamond in Tiffany’s platinum ring. She leaned into Dustin at the railing of the cruise ship, Arctic Memories. Honeymooners. Where sea ice once blocked ships from northern passage, oil platforms rose like gritty icebergs. The ship maneuvered the wells and land came into sight.

“Can you believe how green it is?” Tiffany scanned the black shore rock with its verdurous covering. Baffin, once grid-locked in glaciers was the new “Emerald Isle” of the north.

“Trees and seeds were the generous gift of Optimum Oil after the big melt.” Dustin worked for the company and was taking his bride to the nouveau tourist destination of the Arctic.

“I can’t wait to see The Igloo.” Tiffany had studied art in college and The Igloo was her favorite architectural feat. It housed a casino draped in concrete white-washed like ones natives once built of snow.

Her professor had proclaimed, “Economic benefits from melting ice—tourism, trade, hydrocarbons—are grafted into one sweeping sculpture as a monument to man’s potential.”

Tiffany ignored the homeless Inuit loafing at the dock. She marveled at the shadow cast by art and economics beneath an ever warming sun.


The Igloo by Charli Mills is prompted and linked to Short Story & Flash Fiction Society Flash Fiction Contest #1.

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  1. Harvey Gable

    Eco-tourism…good slant. Puttered thru Sandpoint last summer. Vibrant community garden.and The Counting Crows. Or was it the summer before last. Great stuff.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m interested in the ideas of climate change since it’s hard for us to imagine the possibilities. I like to explore ideas in a non-apocalyptic way, the good and the bad. Hey! You visited Sandpoint! Beautiful place, isn’t it? Great community garden, farmers markets and the Peach Man! Were you here for the Summer Festival then?

  2. Annecdotist

    Great cli-fi flash, Charli, and see you found another source of inspiration.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Anne! It’s something new and supports flash fiction and short stories as stand-alone genres.

  3. TanGental

    ah, more flash challenges! Great take on the prompt too. Reminds a bit of a James Bond film set in an ice hotel

    • Charli Mills

      I thought I’d give this a go, spread my wings a little. Yes! It does look like that ice hotel.

  4. Norah

    Very interesting piece of flash, from a few points of view: the topic of climate change and a non-dystopian future (I do prefer a positive view); the location, the same as that of your daughter’s study; the length – how much longer it seems, with so much more to be told in, than our more precise 99 word requirement. I really like the way you have created a positive picture, while indicating clearly that all is not perfect. Well done.:)

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Nora. Like you pointed out, not all is perfect, but different influences, adaptations and results won’t make for fixed formulas. Plus, I think if we only examine dystopian consequences in climate change stories, readers will burn out on the topic.

    • Charli Mills

      And it felt long, writing 197 words! 😉

  5. ruchira

    Loved your flash fiction, Charli.

    Giving out a positive message is just in your blood 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Ruchira! Maybe it was the star I was born under! 😉

  6. Amber Prince

    Wow. That first sentence alone was just beautiful.

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Amber! It’s a reworking “like sparkling diamonds.” I had a college prof who said that every time you have a cliche come to mind, make it new. Over the years, it’s become a fun habit. 🙂

      • Amber Prince

        Well you remade it brilliantly.
        That is good advice, I will have to remember that in the future! It certainly helps you think outside of the box.

      • Charli Mills

        It gets fun after a while, too!

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