“Uuuugh, nothing is possible!”
The words fly out of my mouth as I fling my sweaty arms in the air. The sofa is damp and uncomfortable against my damp and uncomfortable back. “The AC will never start working, I will never stop sweating gallons, and THIS FREAKIN’ HEAT WAVE WILL NEVER END!”
“Carson,” Ron emphasized, “be more, uh…positive.”
“Dude, you were complaining a second ago.”
“At least I wasn’t saying nothing was possible! That’s dark for a 17-year-old.”
“But it's true.”
I hauled myself up into a sitting position and slouched against the sofa. Arizona summers were never cool, but this freakin’ heat wave had partially melted me.
I check the weather on my phone, as I had been doing every 5 minutes for the last hour. 110° and sunny.
‘Heat wave’ is classified as when it's over 90° for a couple days or more. Safari also explained that it kind of depends on the place. That was true—90 in the summer was actually average for Arizona summer.
Sadly, that meant when we got heat waves, we were talking over 100°.
In other words, want-to-go-soak-in-ice-for-a-day kind of heat.
It didn’t make me feel better than while I was stuck at home, my parents were living it up in Florida, which was a cool (in both ways…) 80°. Seriously, Mom, Dad? Making your teenage son stay at home, with no AC and only his best friend, Ronaldo, for company wasn’t really earning them any Parent Points.
“I want ice,” I groaned. “Actually, no: I need ice!”
Ron shrugged and got up from his chair. “Well, your freezer broke a couple days ago—when the heat wave started, actually.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
“Let’s go see if Walmart has any ice.”
“We went an hour ago.”
Ron rolled his eyes at me. “Stop killing my suggestions!”
My friend checked his phone. “Oh, look, it’s 111° now. Yikes.”
I stood up and stomped over to the door. “That does it! Let’s go get some ice. And, if not, hop in Walmart’s freezer!”
“Brilliant,” Ron said sarcastically (or maybe he was genuine. It could’ve gone either way—I was starting to like my sudden idea). “Let’s go!”
★彡 ✰ 彡★
By noon, I had pulled up into the parking lot of Walmart.
“Dang, it’s hot,” I said as we walked through the sliding doors. Ron nodded and added, “And think, we were complaining about that cold wave 7 months ago, near Christmas.”
“That was weird,” I agreed just as we rounded the bend to the giant, clear freezer.
My friend and I moaned in unison when we saw it was empty.
Ron sighed. “Well, there’s nothing there. Do you want to grab some chips before we leave?” He followed my gaze to the freezer. “Are you going to go in it?”
“Yes!” I exclaimed. “Actually, no. Whatever.” I inspected the freezer closer and noticed something that I was certain wasn’t there a moment ago—a bag of ice, smushed into the corner of the giant, clear box.
“ICE!” I hollered. I regretted it a second later because a wave of people rushed to the box (this a natural phenomenon that occurs during heat waves…I call it Heat Zombies. Basically, at a certain temperature, if you say ‘ice’ or even ‘working AC’ a whole bunch of people will crowd you…).
Then, they pouted, muttered something like ‘liar’, and walked off.
“That was…strange,” I frowned as I watched the dozen or so people drift away. “They didn’t take the ice.”
Ron knocked on my head. “Carson, there is no ice.”
“Yeah there is!”
I opened the freezer, which was barely cold (but still felt amazing), and reached my hand in. I grabbed the bag of ice in the corner and pulled it out. I sighed with happiness as the cold bad cooled my hands and showed it to Ron. “See? Ice.”
“You’re holding nothing,” Ron noted, “and calling it ice.”
“It is ice.”
How did he not see this? I glanced at the bag and, yep, it was definitely there. Although the ice was…different. At first it was your white-clear ice, but now…it was sky blue. Was it food-dyed? If so, how had I not noticed it before?
“Are you sure the heat isn't affecting you, Carsy?”
“Ugh, don’t call me that,” I glared at him.
“What? Carsy? Carsy, Carsy, Carsy,” he teased.
I didn’t even look up, my gaze focused on the ice. Now, it was pink. A second later…yellow!
“What kind of ice is this?” I said in awe. It was changing colors!
“Ice that doesn’t exist.” Ron elbowed me. “Seriously, Carson, are you sure you’re okay? You’re examining air. Do you want some water?”
“No!” I barked. “I’m examining ice!”
“Geez, geez, okay,” Ron said. “But I seriously think the heat is affecting you. Really, drink some water.”
I crossed my arms (which was hard, holding ice). “I’m good, thank you. Now, I’m going to figure out how this ice is changing colors…” I poked at the ice, which was now orange.
“Carson, please,” Ron pleaded. “Drink some water.”
“How about I eat some ice?” I glanced at him like, eh, eh?
I teared open the bag (I’d pay for it soon) and grabbed a purple ice cube. I didn’t know what was in these, but for now, I was going to eat them out of spite.
As soon as the ice cube dissolved in my mouth, I felt way better.
And by way better, I mean way cooler.
I’m always a little bit cooler after eating ice. But this ice was different. It cooled my cool body, inside and out. I felt like I was in a 60° room. All my sweat (and trust me, I was coated in it) was gone, and my skin was cold instead of clammy. The roof of my mouth wasn’t dry. Basically, I was mixed between two emotions. First, OH MY GOD I FEEL NORMAL THIS ICE IS AMAZING. Second...OH MY GOD I FEEL NORMAL WHAT THE HECK IS THIS ICE?!
“You ate air,” Ron said flatly. “I feel so reassured.”
I grabbed his shoulders. “Dude, I ate ice. Color-changing ice that nobody can see, but makes me feel cool. Like, my skin is cold right now.”
Ron grabbed my hands. “Yikes!” He peered at my palm like it held the secrets of the universe. “Geez, how is that possible?!”
“This ice,” I held it up proudly.
Ron snatched at it. “Let me try.”
I tried to dodge, but he still touched the pack. But…he didn’t.
His hand passed straight through the ice like it was a hologram.
“Ack!” I jumped back and dropped it. “Your hand passed through it!”
“Do you believe me now that I can’t see it?”
“I guess,” I said as I edged closer to the ice.
I picked it up and glanced at its label.
▁ ▂ ▄ ▅ ▆ ▇ █ ⒾⒸⒺ █ ▇ ▆ ▅ ▄ ▂ ▁
єχρσятє∂ fяσм: тнє ιѕℓαи∂ѕ σf кαякαяιι
𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙘 𝙞𝙘𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙗𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙗𝙮 𝙃𝙖𝙧𝙠𝙚𝙣 & 𝘾𝙤. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 100 𝙘𝙪𝙗𝙚𝙨 𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙜𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙙 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙄𝙘𝙚 𝙑𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙮, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙚 𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙗𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙪𝙧𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙈𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙊𝙛 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝘾𝙤𝙡𝙙, 𝙋𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝘼𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙠𝙖. 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝘼𝙣𝙩𝙞-𝙃𝙚𝙖𝙩 𝙄𝙘𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙥 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙮 𝙘𝙤𝙤𝙡. 𝙁𝙚𝙚𝙡 𝙛𝙧𝙚𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙡𝙤𝙧𝙚.
“What?” Ron said.
I shook my head. “Wow. Okay. This is…weird. Don’t laugh, but I’m pretty sure this ice is magic.”
“I just said don’t do that!”
“Whatever. Magic doesn’t exist.”
“I know,” I bit my lip, “but then how is this possible? This ice, first of all, doesn't act like ice. Second, it’s actually color-changing. And this label! I kinda think…”
“I kinda think this ice is magic. It’s shipped from a magic place, and it’s not intended to be here. But…it is.”
“Now,”—my uncertain face morphed into a grin—“now I ‘explore’ this ice’s ‘many different features’.”
★彡 ✰ 彡★
“Wow. I mean, just…wow.”
We bought the ice and went home—back to my sweltering house. For the past half hour, I had been experimenting with the magic ice, reporting my findings to Ron.
Spoiler alert: there were quite a few ‘findings’.
So far, I had figured out the ice could do 4 things. First, if you ate it, it would literally cool you down. But I already knew that. What I didn’t know up until 10 minutes ago? The ice was like popsicles. When it was yellow, it was lemon flavored. When it was purple, grape. You get the idea.
Next, the ice never melts—unless you ask it to.
Then, when it does melt, it turns into color-changing water. But that’s not the end of it.
The water isn’t normal water, and not just because it's made out of melted, not-normal ice. The water is still ice, even when it’s a liquid! It's like you’re drinking ice—it’s cold and has the same texture.
Freaky but awesome.
The last thing I found out:
The ice cubes could turn into statues. Any shape you ask it to turn into, it will.
I may or may not have made more life-sized ice chickens than I need.
Anyways, I was super sad there were only around 80 cubes (plus various ice sculptures) left.
I fill a glass with melted ice and put the rest on the kitchen counter. Ron and I jumped on the couch and I clicked on the TV.
“115°,” Ron noted, glancing up from his phone as the intro to the show played. “Yikes. And the AC’s still broken.”
“Meh,” I grinned, taking a sip of my enchanted water. “Dude, this ice is freakin’ magic. I mean this in the least cheesiest way possible, but I swear, anything is possible.”