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Featured Story, Week of February 4: "The Princess of the Ice Bowl"

Each week we feature a story written by one or two of our group members at one of our meetings. For this week's featured stories, the group was given a magazine photo as inspiration, and told to create a character from it. Once they did, they were told that this character they'd invented was about to take the field at the Super Bowl. (A timely prompt, given that our meeting was the day before the big game.) We had 20 minutes to write.

Here is the magazine photo that inspired this week's story:

The Princess of the Ice Bowl

By Richard Donatone

She stood calmly, poised, ready for the weather. Her dress was down-filled, with bare sleeves in case she got too hot. Her red hair caught your attention as soon as you saw her. She was preparing to venture on a field of ice. The largest arena, the largest venue and the biggest game of the year, the Super Ice Bowl.

She was there to represent a time in the past, when there were trees and fruit and all living things that came from the ground. Since the Climate Apocalypse of 2080, when most of the planet’s living things had frozen and died almost in place, when a Polar Vortex of Unusual Size and Cold merged with a second vortex of almost the same size. The two merged into what the media called a Super Duper Polar Vortex of Unusual Size that enveloped the entire globe.

It didn’t matter much what they called it, most of the people they had broadcasted out to, where frozen in front of their TV and computer monitors. Just when the networks had succeeded in keeping people frozen to the screen, it had actually happened, but caused by nature not programming. Now those people would not be able to go on line and order the products advertised. Their rigid bodies, which were already quite rigid from lack of movement, since they watched their TVs, saw products, ordered them online and delivery would come straight to the house. Thanks to having the whole house computerized, you could let the drones in the front door without getting up. The drones would then put the product where the consumer wanted.

When that had first been established, it was hailed as a major triumph of technology over human endeavors.

The event, the Super Duper Polar Vortex of Unusual Size was now 40 years in the past. It was thought that it would be best to try to make things feel “Normal” even though there was nothing the same as it had been in the past. So there was no “Normal”. The only thing that was normal was that people would reflect back on how things used to be and how great they were then. Although most of the people who had actually lived through the event were dead, their stories became, the new fables for a new age.

And the beautiful red haired woman, dressed in a down-filled quilted gown was holding a branch of what looked like a fruit tree. The image of the fruit tree was gleaned from the memories of those who had survived, but their descriptions were a little faulty because they themselves had never really seen one. They had just seen pictures of fruit trees.

In any event, the image of living plant life was an illusion that all wanted to believe in and what she represented.

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