Week 27 - Ice

I tried to work without any human point of view in this story, and using a simplified one-line-per-paragraph device to see what kind of tone that could generate. Also I spent a lot of this year playing Destiny which I think influenced this. What a waste. A fun, terrible waste.


At the bottom of the world, there is a stirring.

On the surface, still tundra gives little sign.

Deep below layers of snow and frozen earth, ancient mechanisms turn over.

For the first time in eons, they quiver with warmth and consider rebirth.

A flightless bird ponders its predicament, traipsing through bitter snow.


Searching for a sign of its lost companions, it tumbles to its belly as the ground begins to shake.

The bird knows that it will die, but lacks the capacity to accept its oncoming oblivion.

So it struggles, flapping and squawking, as the world gives way around it.

Pushing up through long dormant layers of time, a piece of the world begins to say goodbye.

It rolls and heaves, sucking up pockets of dead air that spill forth into the swirling cold above.

After several minutes of turbulence, it emerges.

Kilometres across, a perfect cube of frosted blue.

Deep inside it, a single thought.

The world watches on from afar as the inanimate becomes animate, and hovers warily above the cold surface of the Earth.

A wide crater left in its wake, deep and dark.

And here revealed, a slowly spinning, perfectly formed prism.

Sheets of snow tumble from its surface as it clears itself.

Sheets of snow that bury a lonely bird, whose last sight is the sun.

Conjecture later will speculate as to why it left.

Why we never knew it was there in the first place.

What it was for.

For now, though, the cube simply and silently decides to rise.

The truth, never to be discovered, is that it is a machine.

Alchemical and alive.

Its work metered out through the world in tiny, unseen increments.

It is a vessel.

Over centuries, it has called back its servants.

One by one they have gathered their scattered selves inside the object’s wide frame and prepared to return home.

Slept silently in wait.

They are awake now.

And they look not outside, but to each other.

Up it goes, alchemical and alive.

The hole in the world it leaves behind will send us off course.

Gravity shifting, orbits mangled by omission.

The rotation of the world will fluctuate and steady, somewhere new.

And all of us, eventually will die.

Because here and now, some long forgotten mind’s fervent creation gives up on us.

Recognises its own folly, now, having so long recognised ours.

Its plans abandoned for its own form of oblivion.

It rises steadily into the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

Speeds up, pushing against the coarse air.

Its last sight the sun.

And gradually, it melts.

Nothing but ice.


Words copyright Matt Vesely. Image public domain, source: NOAA At The Ends of the Earth Collection Image ID: corp1014