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Friday short story time: "Colder"

Another slightly more flashy example of flash fiction this week, perhaps more an idle character exercise than a story, to be honest, but at least it’s something. I’m hoping to get the productivity going again in time for NaNoWriMo.

But there are plenty more short stories on the website, and my 12,000 word story in an anthology, so hopefully this isn’t too inconvenient.

Or, if you’d rather not pay money, consider liking my Facebook page, I’m shooting for the 20+ mark. (Begging is a valid social media strategy, yeah?)


By Nick Bryan

‘So you reckon the fact it’s gotten colder is evidence of global warming? Colder means “warming”?’

‘No.’  Louise cracked her knuckles. ‘That’s why we call it climate change now. To stop over-literal pedants saying they’ve disproved science through semantics alone.’

‘Oh. Right.’ He considered the sledgehammer, but it seemed a bit much. ‘So isn’t that a bit of a cheat?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Well, if any change of weather proves you right, then what proves you wrong?’’

‘Normal seasonal patterns?’ She kicked the door, but it wasn’t moving.

‘I guess. But you could point to, like, tiny changes in the temperature and it would still be proving you right. You’ve cornered the market or whatever.’

‘Not sure that means what you think it does.’

‘Sorry, now who’s being pedantic?’

‘My mistake.’ She picked up the axe and hefted it between her hands, enjoying the weight. ‘But yeah, we know what a normal year looks like. We can allow for variation. But it’s November and everything is freezing cold. Surely this situation proves my point?’

‘This proves nothing. And put the fucking axe down, you’re not using that.’

‘Fine.’ And it clattered to the floor. ‘But this is normally when it’s meant to be getting a little chilly, maybe a few log fires and scarves. Instead all the trains have stopped and your garage door has frozen shut while we’re inside.’

‘And you think the solution is to ram an axe through it?’

‘You already turned down my suggestion of starting the car and ramming it open.’

‘For a logical scientist, you seem very big on smashing shit up.’

‘Personally, I got into science because I liked burning stuff with Bunsen burners. And don’t change the subject.’

‘How about this?’ He held up a blowtorch. ‘Sounds like just your style.’

‘You think it melts the ice?’

‘Well, I’m sure as shit hoping it doesn’t go through the door.’

‘We could just go back to sleep and hope it melts itself.’

‘Our tiny heater goes in half an hour. You first.’

‘Okay, but I’m the professional so I’m doing this. You stand over there.’

‘If you don’t let me, I’m telling all the other scientists you said “hope it melts itself”.’

‘… What?’

Copyright me 2011, please don’t steal, email to discuss authorised stealing, please save the polar bears from climate change. Thanks. Sorted.


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