Absolute Zero

John K Adams
ILLUMINATION
Published in
8 min readMay 11, 2024

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Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

‘Where’s global warming when you need it?’

Toby stared out the trailer window at the bleak, icy landscape. Icicles arrayed like glistening fangs hung from the eaves. It was snowing. How many weeks had passed with no sunshine at all? Too many.

Even inside, he could see his breath. The space heater never kept up. The walls were cold.

Everything changed so fast. No one knew the trigger. Experts spun theories off non-stop finger pointing. But the hot air didn’t make a dent. Cold was the new norm.

Just prior, it had been unseasonably warm. News sites discussed the heat stored in the world’s oceans. Had it already been two years? You lose track of time when it’s always winter.

One day it clouded up. Drizzle became rain, became snow. The ice glazed trees looked magical. People pointed and photographed the winter wonderland. The song ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ made a comeback.

But the novelty wore off. Sub-zero temperatures snapped extension cords run to warm brittle engine blocks. Cars froze in place and disappeared into snowbanks.

Heating bills soared. If it warmed up a little, it snowed all the more. Stores sold out of winter wear. Snowshoes became the rage.

Blizzard followed blizzard screaming down from the north. Snowplows couldn’t keep up…

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John K Adams
ILLUMINATION

I write to see memory and language wrestle with reality. Please comment.