Frozen. In time. In space. Inside. Outside. When water turns to ice we become cautious, and when our emotions freeze we wait for the melt. It’s an interesting concept to apply to writing, which is what writers did this week.
Some found inspiration in the weather or used it as characterization, setting or tone.
The following stories are from the November 3, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a frozen story.
Caution Sign by Larry LaForge
Ed straightened his posture and tightly gripped the steering wheel with two sweaty hands. His heart rushed as he slowed the car and read the sign: Bridge Freezes Before Road.
Edna glanced at the traffic behind them from her seat on the passenger side. Cars slowed impatiently; several honking horns were heard. Ed plodded along.
Edna looked repeatedly from front to rear, alternately eyeing the bridge ahead and the growing number of cars behind. Ed focused squarely on the view in front of him.
Edna finally threw up her hands in frustration. “Ed” she pleaded. “It’s 81 degrees outside.”
Rigor by A. R. Amore
He seized. The glove reached out from the towering snow bank left by the plows at the end of their narrow street. He was aware they’d constructed tunnels to several ‘forts’ they’d filled with snowballs for coordinated attacks. The glove shown bright pink in the morning light and he knew it could not be attached to anything important – he’d have heard by now. Yet, deep inside a tight paralysis. Instinctively he turned up from the driveway to his daughter’s bedroom window half frozen in his bathrobe, raw hands grasping the plastic handle of a barrel filled with garbage.
Toward Freezing by Deborah Lee
She wakes resentfully with the realization that winter has arrived. The calendar may say autumn; the weather gets the last word.
She shivers and sits up. Thin light fingers around the boards on the windows. Troubles raises his head and whines hopefully: “Kibble? “ At least she can’t see her breath. Yet. But it’s November. The heavy leaf coverage, her camouflage as she sneaks in and out, is nearly gone.
You can have a sleeping bag, insulating pad, the comfort of a dog beside you on the floor. But when you’re homeless and squatting, you can’t have warmth. Not truly.
Cold Morning by Charli Mills
Sarah fidgeted in the freezing air of the prairie morning. First night on the trail in these western wilds. She had an extra cup of coffee at the campfire Cobb built that morning. The hot enamel mug felt good in her hands and tasted even better with the thick slabs of bacon he fried. Cobb bought the best items and loaded their new wagon. While others dickered over prices of mining tools in Leavenworth, Cobb uncrated a large plow with an iron share and wooden mouldboard. A plow? Had cold made him daft? He winked and they headed out
Frozen by Irene Waters
Dead cars littered the yard. Long grass grew around abandoned plastic containers and batteries. A child’s blue plastic wading pool reflected my deflating spirits.
“This can’t be the right place.” Jerry sounded hopeful.
A woman appeared. We followed her, silent, into the garage. Huge chests freezers lined the walls, while two pups played in a cage on the floor.
“Only two left. I’ll give you some time. I’ll be back.” She left.
I cuddled a pup. Inquisitive, Jerry opened a freezer lid, momentarily freezing before banging it shut.
“What the hell are they feeding these pups?”
Brain Freeze by Pat Cummings
Jack Mass threw Roger a swift look, then with a cautionary finger against his lips, pulled him down behind the cashier’s counter to crouch at his half-brother’s feet. “Watch this,” he whispered.
Gary stood behind the drugstore register, doing his job, while Jack and Roger peered through the slats of the counter. Darrell Harb slammed into the store and went straight to the Slurpee machine, triggering it to run into his mouth.
“Harb, you gotta pay…,” Gary began, but he was interrupted by a scream of agony from the Slurpee thief.
“Adjusted the temperature down 12 degrees.” Jack whispered.
Yin Yang by Sacha Black
‘I’m not afraid to look,’ I said to the doctor eyeing me.
The paralysis burning through my hands was the inevitability. When I turned the mirror over and confronted what was left of my porcelain skin I’d have to accept my life was over. I’d never be loved. I’d be ugly. A monster.
The doctor clasped my hand in hers and stroked it.
I swallowed, said goodbye to myself and turned the mirror.
I was a monster of sorts. But in the acid carved scars, I saw strength, beauty. I still loved myself and that was all that mattered.
Unfrozen by Luccia Gray
Let me tell you why I know I’m making the right decision. I had steady job, a good husband, an oversized house, and a fast car. Everything I needed for an enviable life. Then I received a message from a secret admirer and replied. Soon I started longing for a more creative job, a more supportive husband, a smaller apartment, and a bike. I left my husband, sold my house, and cycle to the coffee shop every day to write my novel. I know I’m right because my inspiration flows. I hadn’t realised I was frozen until I melted.
Sewing Disaster by Paula Moyer
Frances sat tailor-style on the floor. Her 15-year-old daughter’s knees were at eye level. On Jean’s petite body was the dress she was to wear in the junior high commencement. Turquoise voile with an embroidered border, it captured the girl’s and woman’s eyes as the perfect dress. The white cotton undershift was already finished.
As she pinned, though, Frances was confused. Why wasn’t the border straight?
“Keep turning,” she directed Jean, and turn she did.
Then Frances froze.
The border was straight across the fabric. The dress had a circular hem.
Frances sat paralyzed, staring at failure.
Frozen Mystery by Ann Edall-Robson
Remote, quiet and off the grid. A fixer upper the realtor had said. Only a deer trail to the door.
From the outside, the dovetail corners of the cabin spoke volumes as did the overgrown yard.
It was inside that sent her imagination reeling and took her breath away. Everything in place as if someone had gone out for a walk.
The wood stove with split logs stacked beside it. A bed frame made from poles. A table, a bench, dishes on the shelf.
Determined to dissolve the mystery that had been frozen in time, she signed the papers.
Bitter, Cold by Sarah Brentyn
I loved him with a brutal intensity.
I often wrapped my arms around my chest as one might do on a winter’s morning when frost has formed where soft dew should be.
The strength of my emotions hurt, and I hugged myself to add pressure, like pressing on a wound to stop the bleeding.
Without warning, that love froze. Cold seeped into my heart and, even in summer, I could never stay warm.
The shallow pond, only partly covered in ice, lets me slip into its frigid, watery grave. As I do, I wonder what will happen in spring.
Frozen by Norah Colvin
To an external observer she would have appeared immobile as if frozen in place and time. But her insides churned as the heat engulfed her body in a wave from toes to head. She thought her heart would erupt from her chest and wasn’t sure she could contain the contents of her noncompliant belly or from which end of her body they would spew. Others mouthed soundless words, their messages obliterated by the relentless pounding in her head. Just when she thought she’d crack, like ice exposed to sudden temperature change, she breathed deep, composing her tumultuous fear-fuelled mind.
One Cannot Hold Onto the Past by Roger Shipp
The frost had hit at least a week ago, so I was surprised as I walked the backyard to find so many rose buds adorning the straggled bushes.
Retrieving the trimmers, I carefully clipped eleven unopened, long-stemmed, crimson beauties, and placed them in a crystal vase. I even remembered Mother’s resurrection ‘aspirin’.
The splendor of the roses radiated a majesticness over my western ham and baked macaroni and cheese. Supper was exquisite.
Awakening, and anticipating a breakfast of sausage, pancakes, and roses… I faced disappointment.
Blackened and drooping buds… Darkened, molten leaves… One cannot hold on to the past.
Frozen Shades by Christina Rose
It was deceptive, that clear afternoon. Sun setting beneath forested horizons, blanketing the landscape in a vibrancy that only appears in the crisp evenings of autumn. Sparse wisps of clouds dotted the sky, glowing with the deep purples, pinks, oranges.
River reflected the nightly show, a panorama of effervescent shades parading their nocturnal dance. As the colors faded and lavender turned to navy, the chill set in. Blades of grass, the veins of leaves, instantly collected the frosty dew. My breath a mist of white dust settling.
That moment between day and night that freezes time, an eerie stillness.
Summer Snow by Pete Fanning
Dad packed the snowballs tight in his big hands. Then we stuck them in the freezer before he had to leave.
“I’ll save them for summer!”
Spring came but Dad didn’t. Mom said he took a job far away. The snowballs got pushed back. Behind pizzas and burritos.
Summer came and I dug them out. Only one remained. I traced the ridges from Dad’s squeeze. Mom grabbed a tissue. I packed the snowball tight, like Dad had showed me. Tighter. Gasping as it crumbled in my hands. We scooped it up. Tried again.
But it never looked the same.
Numb by C. Jai Ferry
I chew the ice cubes, softened by my chemical caffeine, and press the splintered chunks against the roof of my mouth, my tongue molding them back into a lump that crunches once again between my molars. I remember my dentist’s admonishment and cringe. But he is not facing the white wasteland on my screen. Siberia would feel more tropical. One by one, I pluck words from my veins, peppering the wintry expanse with markers to lead non-existent tourists through the hinterlands. Chewing and plucking, I create a story upon a lonely dais that increasingly feels like an icy tomb.
Deep Freeze by Sherri Matthews
As if to the beat of a song she didn’t know, he scraped at the ice clinging to the windshield.
Slumped in the passenger seat, she watched as with every slice, white frost escaped into the frigid air; fleeing from its icy prison.
Ha. Prison. I know that.
She didn’t hear what he said as he turned the key and reversed out of the driveway, but she caught his off-guard momentary glance, no doubt bemused at her smirk.
I’m going to Capri and I’m not coming back. That’s me. No commercial.
Divorce papers signed; she floated like scraped frost.
A Frozen Moment by Geoff Le Pard
Mary’s hands shook; the feather-light envelope seemed heavy in her fingers. Part of her wanted to run: home, away, anywhere. Part wanted to see proof of what she felt to be true; that Katherine – the happy smiley Katherine of hugs and sighs – was her sister. She and Rupert had hardly had enough time to understand her and her family, yet she had taken a piece of Mary’s heart.
She opened the door; five faces stared at her, like some family diorama in the Museum. A frozen moment, heavy with portent.
She slid her finger along the seal.