Ice, Forever

By Col Cort

sfgenre“Picture it, sire: ice, stretching from horizon to horizon. A world frozen and dying, the final fires of civilisation all that holds back the ravenous wolves. Heroes will rage, empires will fall, and you and the ancient gods — ”

“I’m not inviting my family, imp.”

“ — I mean, you will lead an army of darkness rising in all vengeful glory! It will be a magnificent apocalypse, master, stunning.”

“Ice is rather old fashioned, little demon. Clichéd, even. I want this to be the kind of party that shakes all the heavens and hells, not some boring day of reckoning where people start leaving before the world even breaks apart.”

“Ice is a classic, lord. The world grows cold, cities fall dark. Vivid stuff, powerful.”

“Mmm… add it to the list and we can revisit it, but if you can’t do better I’ll boil you alive in holy water.”

“Sire, as you are such a valued customer, I can arrange floods, rising tsunamis of water, blood, or mercury — ”

“Mercury, really?”

“Yes, sire. A special price, just for you.”

“My parents had a pool of mercury I used to swim in as a grub. I suppose it has nostalgic value, if nothing else. Add it to the list, it might be fun. But come now, foul merchant, I have asked for treasure and you offer me trinkets. What’s next in your catalog?”

“Giants, lumbering and inhuman shadows at dawn. We have a special on this week.”


“An asteroid? A ball of fire falling from the sky, doom carried on wings of burning stone?”

“No! The last time I tried that the locals sent up some form of space vessel and blew the asteroid up. It was embarrassing.”

“What about plague, my lord?”

“Plague? Plague? My grandmother uses plague! Come now, you weak devil, if that’s all you can offer you should flee now before my anger makes me hungry.”

“Or lava flows, sire, rivers of flames! Reasonable prices — ”

“A fire sale? Come now, imp, think before you speak. I am no poor young demon out to scrounge a cut-price apocalypse! Now get out, there are other merchants more deserving of my time.”

“Wait, sire! What if the ice is caused by nanobots?”


“Nanobots, sire! They escape the lab and form a funeral veil across the sky, falling in deadly silver rains that freeze everything they touch or form oceans of mercury that choke the survivors with their fumes.”

“That does sound fun…but it would still be death by ice.”

“But it’s your ice, sire, ice like no one else has ever seen. A classic delivered with a clever twist. People love that.”


“Ice forever, my lord, from horizon to horizon guaranteed. You and your friends are going to love it.”

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About The Author

Col Cortie

Col Cort’s body lives in a place called Wollongong, but his daydreams take him just about everywhere.


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