Serial Short Story #1, Part 1

Just for fun, I’m going to start ‘serial” postings.  Every day, I’ll give myself 5-10 minutes to add to the prior day’s post, until a short story is formed. Not sure how or where it will end…guess we’ll all find out at the same time. Here goes:

Once upon a time there was a girl…

Her name was Zelda Bismark. She lived in an igloo in the south of France, which created a certain kind of havoc. Especially considering that this story takes place in pre-electric times. Needless to say, she lived in a state of constant meltdown, in the most literal sense. The ice man would cometh daily, hauling fifty-seven and three quarters chunks of ice in his broken down cart, pulled by a team of mules. Zelda’s challenge was to build her igloo before its foundation’s chunks melted. All told, in the summer, her shelter lasted an avg. of 4.26 hrs…in the winter, she fared much better.

This transient yet permanent form of housing… she built and rebuilt her igloo on the same tiny plot of land as had generations prior, hailing back to the ice age, in fact…kept her clothed and honest. One never knows when the ice will melt, and so Zelda needed always to be prepared for the inevitability of exposure, in every sense of the word. Exposure of her inner life to the outer world; exposure of her body to an unimpressed, unintended audience; exposure to the elements— light and dark, hot and cold, still and windy; exposure to the unwanted elements of society.

These characteristics gave Zelda heroine status in some villagers’ eyes. She was flawed, in all the ways they were, and yet she lived in that igloo, refusing to succumb to the house she’d been dealt.

On Winter Eve’s, she’d invite the villagers to join her for venetian ices, which she’d shave off the walls and flavor with honey or mollusk oil, and recount the history of her forebears, the Neanderthals of an ice age long passed. That is, past for some, but not for Zelda. The ice age and its glories ran through her icy blood and warm heart. The towering courage and resilience of her people were recounted in the fables and tales passed orally from generation to generation. Tales of the Winter Wizard and the Summer Singer, tales of the Woolly  Mammoth and Hairless Otter. She would sing the poems and songs of the frozen berry fests, thawing frost gardens, droplet dawns, and slushy sleep. She would hold the villagers mesmerized, paralyzed in fact, with fear whenever recounting the whole story of her people’s glorious beginning, born, as they were, in the catastrophic year of the GREAT Winter’s Unending, known otherwise as the beginning of the Ice Age…(more to come)

 

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