'Ice Bear' by Nina H B Jorgensen

I’m melting.

The bear looks at me. I look at the bear. We’re the same colour. We have that much in common at least. We’re both a sort of white with a hint of muddy grey like a concrete wall where damp has seeped through and left a birth mark the shape of some far away continent. When the snow comes it paints over the ugly patch, the part that has grown old. For a while the wall looks white again and the sky puts the paint back in its cupboard and the bear turns its head away.

The bear can’t save me. I can’t save the bear. The birth mark won’t rub off despite our attempts to lick it clean. Last year we were both bigger versions of ourselves. We have that in common too. We were fatter then on cold winds and seal blubber and we stood tall like light-houses flashing our own beams of existence across the night. But now the sea is nibbling at us like hungry fish and the bear has to watch its step and tiptoe or we’ll both go under.

If the bear could speak it would ask me: “why are you disappearing?” I would ask it: “why do you need me?” All this time I thought it could crush and drink me alive. Its eyes used to pierce through me like drills cracking open the seabed to find out what’s hidden beneath. I thought I was the vulnerable one to be walked across to a better side. Now the bear is clinging on to my edges, rubbing them smooth, and I’m the life raft except I’m not shatter-proof and I’m melting.
Soon I’ll be all at sea and the bear will be on dry land. I am sorry for the bear. The bear is sorry for me. But there’s nothing more I can do. It’s time to saddle up the white horses, hold on tightly to their manes and let them take me to the far away continent that is my destiny.

So I bid farewell to the bear and the bear bids farewell to me.



FlashFlood is brought to you by National Flash-Fiction Day UK, happening this year on 27th June 2015.
In the build up to the day we have now launched our Micro-Fiction Competition (stories up to 100 words) and also our annual Anthology (stories up to 500 words).  So if you have enjoyed FlashFlood, why not send us your stories?
More information about these and the Day itself available at nationalflashfictionday.co.uk.

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