Fiction on Ice



Ezra’s eyes follow the lines that look like seafoam green waves. Warm periwinkles and grays mix into the pattern, but it never moves. Ezra then knows the river is most certainly frozen. He walks down the sloping shore, its sand hidden beneath snow, and he stops where it meets the edge. Above, the sky hints at an approaching storm, but the whole landscape sits quiet as a mouse.

Every winter it manages to surprise him. How can a river, full and deep, freeze so densely? People say cars drive on it without cracking the top, although Ezra’s never seen one. And where do all the fish go? Perhaps aquatic life carries on as usual under ten inches of ice. Sometimes the freeze lasts for months. Ice fisherman cut holes in the river and stand in place for hours. The frozen river holds them up as if it were a bridge. Then eagles come to fish where they find openings in the ice.

Ezra bends to break off a chunk, but it won’t budge. Next, he stands over a spot swirled from the last snowfall. He brushes it clean with his waterproof mitten. It’s like a scratched mirror, or a smudged window, and he hovers over it and imagines he can see the floor below. He wonders how far he should walk, and then he sees water bubbling and flowing near a thin patch.

An eagle circles overhead, and it’s just the distraction he needs. The thin ice makes him uneasy, anyway. His mother did say be careful and be wise. He will comb the beach instead. Snow covers every stick and rock, the ones he likes to gather in the summer. He digs his boot into the snow and hopes to find something to skip on the glassy top, or throw in the bubbly spot.

Writing Prompt: Facts about the frozen river are intermingled with Ezra’s outing in the above fictional story. Write about something you know well (examples – a place you visit, an animal at the zoo, tractors) and fit true facts about it into a fictional story.

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