A crack like a gunshot pierced the frozen air and the ice broke. Ikiak lifted the pole baring the weighted chisel his grandfather had crafted when his own father was just a boy high above his head, before allowing it to drop heavily against the frozen face of the river.
He repeated this action several times before the crack widened enough to insert a shorter chisel, one that could be hit with a heavy stone. Ikiak knew the ice was thicker than the length of a dog’s leg and could take the better part of a day to break through.
And that was with a strong man wielding the rock and chisel. Though he considered himself strong, he was not yet a man. He had seen only eleven summers. As he pounded furiously at the unforgiving ice, a most childish wave of fear welled up large and dark inside him.
Though each fevered blast of stone against chisel sent small chips of ice skidding across the rivers frozen surface, Ikiak feared he would never reach the icy waters below. If he never reached the waters, there would be no fish. Without fish he, his mother, and sisters would surely starve.
In his present mood he was not only shockingly dangerous, he was also in danger. Ikiak filled his lungs with the same arctic air that had once been breathed by his ancestors. He envisioned his father, and all those that had gone before him, and brought the rock down hard.
This story is written in 50 word increments. It contains both the literary quote, “In his present mood he was not only shockingly dangerous, he was also in danger.” – Amanda Quick, ‘Til Death Do Us Part provided by Deb at 50 word Thurday, and the First Line Friday Line prompt, A crack like a gunshot pierced the frozen air and the ice broke. provided by Dylan on MLMM.
8 thoughts on “Ikiak”
Brilliant story telling.
Enjoyed the way you have used language style and tone to sculpt the voice of this character. Very original.
I was there with him, feeling the tension, feeling the cold, hefting that rock, knowing how desperate… which says much for your storytelling 🙂
I am going to be completely honest here, this was brilliant. This is story telling at its best. Love it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I am honored that you would think so, Debbie. I think it was the last line that really drove it home. Somehow I feel like your literary prompts bring out the best in me…
Go, Ikiak! Hope he cracks the ice without falling in himself!
Well done. Rich story line. I so enjoyed it.
LikeLiked by 1 person