“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.”
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Hi, guys! I have a couple things to say: 1. The prompts came out less than an hour ago. This is seriously the second submission. Basically, I wrote this super-fast, so apologies if it’s bad! I hope you guys at least like the chicken-statue part 😉. 2. I’m working on ‘show, don’t tell’-ing, and I think I improved on this story. Did I? 3. Yeah...I’m obsessed with writing fantasy. Much like how I turned the baby-in-a-supermarket prompt into a fantasy story with shape-shifting goblins, I took this realistic fiction prompt and made it fan...
This was incredibly good, Aerin! With the "show, don't tell", you were still telling quite a bit, but there was some more showing in this than the last one I read. Here's a tip to help you show more than tell: use descriptors of the five senses, so smell, taste, touch, hearing, and seeing. The key is the "and" in that sentence. To create a completely immersive image or scene, it is best to use all of them as they are relevant. But, I was able to picture very vividly what was happening, so with this story, it doesn't really matter a whole...
WOW! Thanks so much for taking the time to write that! I’ll go fix that now!
You're welcome! Glad I could help! And thanks for reading almost all of my stories!
it's great you took the time to type all that- one thing, though.. welp is actually a "slang" word for well. not really slang though... just like. WELP GUESS THAT DIDNT WORK OUT :D
Oh. I had no idea! I really thought it was a typo, lol!
For your "riddle" today, I think lightning McQueen would probably have life insurance because being a car IS life in his world, you get what I'm saying? Our life insurance is protecting us and having car insurance is on something you own so it wouldn't make sense for the cars in that world to have it. Really interesting question! 😾🍪 ᗩмａŇⓎ ♣☢
Haha, thanks for putting so much thought into it! I personally think he would have car insurance, because it’s the same thing as life insurance from him but more accurate.
Hmmm, I suppose, but I stand by my answer :)
heyo sis i just finished upgrading our homeboy all the way to 2000 points and i wanted to do the same thing for you but imma take a break lol so im commenting this because i want you to remind me tomorrow or something so i dont forget because i am forgetfull smh.
Wow, you would do that? Thanks so much, Celeste! I’d be glad to do the same to you. Haha, sure, I’ll remind you tomorrow!
Hiya, Celeste! It’s ‘tomorrow’. I’m my time zone, at least. So, uh, yeah. I’m here to remind you that you said you’d upvote a bunch of comments today (wow, this is akward). Thank so SO MUUUUUCH!
lol its not awkward at all i told you to remind me so thanks for that! I will get to it!😎👍
Thank you so muuuuuch, Celeste!
Hello Aerin! You asked me to provide feedback, so here I am! First of all, let me just say, ever since you joined Reedsy this month and followed me(and I followed you back) I have really enjoyed reading every single one of your stories. Though I have not commented, I do read them. I have also been coming to your profile page daily to check out your riddles, and I saw that you (used to) have something saying you got the idea from my quotes. I wonder if you occasionally come to check those out? Anyway, back to the story. Amazing! I do have ...
Wow, thanks a ton for this long and detailed feedback! Aw, thanks so much! That makes me really happy to hear! Actually, I do! Every day I check out the daily quote. I love them!!! Thanks so much, I’ll definitely keep that in mind!
*"The sofa is damp and uncomfortable against my damp and uncomfortable back" ~ personally, I don't like the repetition. I find it redundant and awkward. *In the next sentence, I would take out gallons for flow purposes. *“At least I wasn’t saying nothing was possible! That’s dark for a 17-year-old.” ~ is it though? *"I hauled myself up into a sitting position and slouched against the sofa." ~ I don't think "into a sitting position" in necessary. *"Arizona summers were never cool, but this freakin’ heatwave had partially melted me." ~ I ...
Thanks so much! I’ll make sure to edit it in a sec. Although, and please don’t be offended by this, next time could you be a bit less...harsh? 🥺🤗 I mean, I’m against sugarcoating, but compliment sandwiches is the best way to go for comments on anybody’s stories.😄😄😄 Anyways, again, thanks so much for the feedback!!! 👌
Hi Aerin! I told you that I would read your story so here I am! I have some things to say: 1. This story was really amazing! The magic ice twist was unique! Keep on writing! 2. I think I have the answer to your daily riddle. It is "ton" because it is a unit of weight when you read it forwards, and "not" when you read it backward. 3. “Now,”—my uncertain face morphed into a grin—“now I ‘explore’ this ice’s ‘many different features’.” ★彡 ✰ 彡★ “Wow. I mean, just…wow.” - I don't really think you should have included the star things. ...
Thanks so much, Akshat! 🤗 I’m glad you liked it! 😆
Can you tell me if my answer is right?
Oh, sorry, I forgot! Yep, you got it right!
I do feel like your writing is gradually getting better as I read through these stories! This one in particular was very interesting, though at first I thought Carson was just hallucinating from the heat like Ron. XD It was cool to find out that the ice was actually real. (I mean as real as magical ice from forgeion lands can be I guess... XD)
Thanks! Oh, and WOW, you’ve commented so many lengthy comments...THANKSSSS! Thank you :) Lok Yurp
No Probelm! I love to give feedback in my free time!
Wow, nice story! I love it! Nice idea for ice magic.... AWESOME! Keep up the good work! (Oh and I love fantasy stories, and this story is awesome!)
Hi Aerin! I read in the comments that you're self-publishing. I'm a clueless adult (I haven't published anything yet), so could you please give me some advice on how to go about it? I'd really appreciate it. - Clueless Adult :D
Sure! Basically, I’m self-publishing on KDP—Kindle Direct Publishing. That just means I’m publishing on Amazon. Publishing on KDP is free and your book is on Amazon is 48 hours, and you get 60% royalties for paperbacks and 70% for ebooks priced $2.99-$9.99. You can design your own cover—but Cover Creator will get 40% of YOUR royalties—and, uh, yeah. I think you should look up ‘KDP’ and explore the website if you want to gain information!
Thank you so much! I just realized that I forgot to tell you how much I liked the story. Your story has certain elements of humor and sass that I admire. Great job, keep it up! Please check out my stories too :)
Yaaaaay thanks! Sure!
Magical story, Aerin! You made me feel the heat and exhaustion from the story, and I can totally relate to the characters. Wouldn't you say the Walmart bit is kind of like how people were with toilet paper at the beginning of Covid-19? Note- no need to apologize for writing fantasy!! You can write whatever you want. And besides, after reading realistic stories and living in a chaotic life, I certainly find myself sitting down and reading a fantasy story. Your writing blows me to somewhere far away. Stay elbow-deep in ink, -Scout P.S...
Thank you SO much! This means an insane amount to me! 🤩🤩🤩 Haha, totally! I didn’t even notice that. 🤣🤣🤣 Yay! I LOVE fantasy. It’s, like, fiction doubled. ❤️❤️❤️ THANK YOU!!! 😆😆😆, Aerin P. S. Color Quest is kind of like Percy Jackson in the sense it’s a whole new world—on Earth. There are good gods and goddesses, plus SemiMagicals, on the Divine Side (good), and evil gods and goddesses and Demigods on the Flipside (bad). The sassy teenage protagonist must go on a quest with 4 friends to gather some rainbow keys for a god. Wha...
That SO interests me. Can't wait to read it! When does it come out on Amazon?
Wow! YAY! Thank you so much! I’m hoping to have it out by the end of the month, because I still have to finish typing up the edits (DANG. Editing is fun before you do 10 rounds of it between you and your friend/editor...) and then design the cover. Probably sooner, though. Although you’ll probably see when it’s out—I’m definitely going to be celebrating on my bio! 🤣🤣🤣 Again, THANK YOU! I’m so happy somebody likes the idea of CQ! 😆😆😆 ~Aerin
Hi, Scout!! Wow, it’s been almost a month since we had this conversation, lol, but COLOR QUEST IS FINALLY OUUUUT!!!! Yippee! Here’s the link to the Amazon page if you still want to check it out: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HW4F5NV Thank youuu!! Bye!
Hi Aerin, I’ve actually been keeping up with your bio ;), so yes I’ve seen CQ and I can’t wait to buy it. My only thing is it’s on Kindle, and I prefer to read printed books. My eyes start to ache when looking at a screen for too long. Although, if that’s the only way I can read it, I’ll deal :). Thanks for the link!
Omggg, I totally get you. I can NOT read kindles. Although CQ is out as a paperback, too, just so you know! Hehe :D
Answer to your riddle/question --> I think that Lightning McQueen would have car insurance because his life is all about racing. We wouldn't have him if the Grand Prix didn't exist!
Haha, nice. I personally think that he would have car insurance because it’s the safe thing as life insurance, just more accurate. It’s life insurance FOR a car, so it’s car insurance.
Congrats for reaching 1000 points!🎉
Haha, thanks! I’m so exciiiiiited!
Umm... Answer: air?
Uhhh...here’s the thing. As I explained to something else, there are a couple things that half-work but aren’t the answer. Hint: the actual answer is an abstract noun, meaning it can’t be observed with any of the five sense.
Ohk *processing hint*
*processing failed 😶* *ABORT MISSION* *Dear user, kindly wait for upload of answer. Until then, please make do with the answer: truth*
Haha 😆 Truth. Hmmm. Interesting way of thinking about it, but not the answer I was looking for. You still have a little under 24 hours, though, so keep guessing! I can give you a hint if you want (the abstract thing didn’t count cuz I told it to everybody)! ~A
Is it the answer though?¿
Hi there, just read your story because I'm part of your critique circle, and this was a fun read! It would be nice to have magic ice, especially in summer lol :) Some feedback I would give you is to try to reduce how much you ramble. Descriptions are great, but when you add too many, the story sort of falls in on itself and the reader gets bored. For example: In the first and second paragraph, you could definitely have taken out unnecessary banter between Carson and Ron. We don't need to know where their parents are as it doesn't co...
Love this! Great tone and very entertaining :)
Hi Aerin! I’m a bit late but I thought I’d come to critique your piece and leave some feedback and I’d appreciate if you could do the same for me at some point :) Firstly, I like how fun this piece sounded - you’ve captured ‘teen writing’ well. I can definitely see this as being in a teen fiction book! I think it could flow a little better, maybe combine some sentences instead of such short, jumpy sentences as it can interrupt the ‘flow’ of the piece. In my opinion at least. I also don’t think the embellished stars and the wacky...
Thank you so much for all the feedback, Jessie!
The story is really good! The magical ice was really good.
Great story! For your riddle, these are my answers: It's either air or future, but I feel like future is the right answer...Or no..?
Yep, it’s the future! Also, thanks! 😁
Yay! And your welcome :D
Your story is awesome, it had my eyes glued to it till the end 💜
Yay! Thanks so much!