A story inspired by a frosty walk across the marshes

Photo of ice crystals on the marshland plants.

The world was frost. Across the marshes, the ice was thick – even the mud was frozen.

Eira stood amidst the glittering crystals, feeling the sun’s warmth groping its way through the night’s chill. Where the heat touched the trees, she could see the new leaves, greener each day. Geese took their cue from the golden light to gather and fly in skeins across the clear sky. Beneath a stunted tree, the snowdrops were beginning to break through the solid ground.

At a time when others might rejoice at the end of winter, Eira was emptiness. Her world was disappearing. Its passing would leave her diminished until the chill of the north wind was felt again.

She pinched a stem of a nearby plant and slid her finger and thumb from root to shoot. Ice crystals clustered together and she placed them on her palm. For a moment, they glittered in the sunlight. Then, they began to ebb away; Eira’s last sensation of the frost was the chill and the dampness it left behind. The small puddle that remained was joined by a teardrop. There was no pleasure in parting.

Footsteps sounded behind her.

“Leif! You came!”

“What else would I do?” Leif said, his face opening into a smile. “I heard you were leaving. I have something for you, something you gave me.”

His embrace was immediate. Eira was overwhelmed by warmth, the fragrance of flowers and the sound of birdsong.

“For you,” he whispered, releasing her.

“Thank you.”

With that, she left him on the marshes, rising to the sky before leaving with the skeins of geese.


2 thoughts on “Crack in the Ice

  1. So a question. This is great writing. Saw your other post about using an AI app to write stories. My question is whether it was AI. Do you find when you write it yourself it has your style and flavour?


    1. Ah, that’s an interesting question. Although I have played with AI for writing (the output is terrible and dreary, in my opinion), Fictionbot is all my own invention. I wanted to have fun with the idea of a near sentient writing bot, giving it the neurosis and procrastination habits often found in human writers. The piece of fantasy writing was a pastiche of the style, with a little bit of satire as all the names are from the IKEA catalogue and the ‘AI’ inadvertently uses real information about the products when writing character description. I have a series of blogs planned written by Fictionbot (although me actually) but I might use the creative text I can wring out of a genuine AI to base the creative piece on. I hope that makes sense, it is all for fun. I will look at the structure I am using to make the source of the writing clearer.

      Thank you for your compliments about ‘Crack in the Ice’. I am glad you liked it. When I am not pretending to be an AI, that is the work I would prefer to be producing. Thank you for your wonderful writing and your interest in my attempts.

      Liked by 1 person

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