Flash Fiction: The Desolate Winter Land

by Chris McGinty

The lake was iced over. The ice likely went deep. This area was in perpetual winter for centuries now. The sun shone sometimes, but it was weak, and useless to start any sort of thaw.

There was no longer hope and if there were people around, they would know that. They could move in. They could build homes, hospitals, hospitality services. They would not have parks, playgrounds, purchased land. It was desolation. You could own the building that kept you warm, but you could not plant crops in the area surrounding it.

The creatures that survived here were matched for harsh environments. They consumed food supplies, and they were food supplies. The colder it got, the more suited they would become. The plant life neither survived on heat or photosynthesis. Where it got its water was a true mystery. Several days would pass without movement then some days would be bloody and violent. It was all survival and no recreation.

Sometimes the ground shifted deep below the surface threatening to destroy it all. It would happen. One year would come along and the ground would crack open. The lava would spew forth and melt it all. This was so far off that it felt pointless to consider. It felt pointless to wonder. The beasts slept, but they never dreamed.

The wind blew and kicked up a thin layer of snow. It made no substantial change to the landscape. It didn’t have that power here. Nothing did until the ground opened. Even then, it would just change the type of desolation. It wouldn’t change the future in any significant way.

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