The Whims of the Ice God

In darkness the cubes are born.  Whatever droplets stay still long enough for their heat to drain away waken to the life of a cube in the freezer.  There they remain, chilling with 11 other twins, quietly carrying on until each meets the Grim Melter: no black robes here, but a bright unforgiving light, shining a cube into dissolution.

It is the only existence the cubes know, not being given to movement.  They hear similar tales from the other objects in this curious world.  These neighbors are…different.  Not, any broad-minded cube would hasten to say, that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s hard to ignore how different the cubes are from frozen peas or frozen pork roasts or frozen chunks of unidentifiable mash (hastily shoved into a Tupperware container, or subjected to the indignity of a plastic bag: kept from a vague desire for thrift, without creativity or determination enough to do anything but, one day, dispose of it).  The cubes are purer.  They have been created to melt, which allows them far fewer existential crises than, say, the frozen pound of bacon stuffed rudely between Lean Cuisine boxes.

(Why am I here? it wonders, a lament which might stem from its having once been part of a perfectly content pig.  Unless it wonders why it isn’t in the refrigerator to be cooked sooner rather than later…or unless the Lean Cuisine boxes have hissed that it cannot provide dietary fiber, iron, and potassium without saturated fats, as they do)

No, the cubes remain a touch aloof, a merry enough band, listening to the wisdom of the freezer pack.  He is a venerable being who, despite having melted a thousand times, always freezes again.  This endless, eager reincarnation of his both awes and unnerves them, for they are all destined to melt, to thaw and resolve into dew.  There is a whispered legend, though, that any cube who melts will, one day, join the great cycle of water and freeze on a later day: not in cube form, but in whatever shape suits the container.  Perhaps a cube, perhaps a sphere, perhaps within the cylinder of a pipe, perhaps a great pointy icicle (icicle!  it stretches the bounds of belief, to be frozen in such a shape without any visible object enforcing it).

The cubes who return to the freezer after some of their tray are taken bring back tales of glory and honor: cooling the fevered brow, half a tray making a beautifully shaken cocktail, rendering boiling tea immediately drinkable, speeding the setting of Jell-O.  The Great Melter takes them all in a thousand different ways.

But there is always a great, unspoken fear among the cubes.  They are born in darkness and thaw under the light, no matter what, but it is the height of shame to disintegrate without their melting doing some service.  And yet this is the bedrock of their creed: that some cubes are frozen only to fall from the tray to the floor, their frigidity doomed to be spent without gain.

These are the sacrifices.

These are the cubes which satiate the clutching demands and the fiery wrath of their deity.

These are under a great doom, for they satisfy the whims of the ice god!


3 thoughts on “The Whims of the Ice God

    • I’m sorry your day was wretched, but I’m glad to have improved it! Pretty sure I have Chesterton, Wimsey, and George to thank for teaching me to find drama in small annoyances.

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