Short Story Fiction
Popsicle Toes
Scott A. Gese

Two young boys head toward their favorite skating rink on a cold winters day.

After days of hard snow the forecast called for clear skies. A beautiful winters day in Northern Minnesota. A deceptive sun was out. It was bright, but its radiant heat couldn’t penetrate the thick blanket of cold air covering the area.

Popsicle ToesJonathan Petersson/Pexels

After days of hard snow the forecast called for clear skies. A beautiful winters day in Northern Minnesota. A deceptive sun was out. It was bright, but its radiant heat couldn’t penetrate the thick blanket of cold arctic air covering the area.

Eddy Angus hadn’t been ice skating since last Saturday and he was anxious to head to a rink and strap on his blades. The city was good about flooding the public playgrounds for their winter sports programs. Outdoor ice hockey and public skating rinks were all over the city. Eddy wasn’t old enough to drive so he had to walk a long mile to the nearest rink.

The good thing about the rink Eddy was heading for was that it had a warming building. He would be cold when he got there, but he could warm up before hitting the ice. He put on his thermals and doubled up on his wool socks, slipped on his ski suit and galoshes, grabbed his gloves and hat, slung his skates over his shoulder and headed for the door.

The rule of the house was to let a parent know anytime he went outside during the harsh winter months. Anything could happen and it was best to let someone know of your whereabouts. Eddy’s parents had gone shopping, so he left a note.

His neighbor and best friend, Adam, was going with him. Eddy picked him up along the way.

“Man it’s cold out here,” complained Adam as he pulled his wool scarf up over his face.

“It sure is,” replied Eddy. “We can warm up in the shack once we get there.”

The two boys continued walking. Not a soul was outside and it was too cold to do much talking. The crunch of frozen snow under their boots said it all.

“I think the temperature must be dropping. My toes are frozen stiff and we still have a couple blocks to go,” remarked Adam.

“I think you’re right. Thank God for the warming shack. We’ll be there in another five,” replied Eddy.

The boys finally made it to the rink, but something didn’t seem right. “Where is everyone?” Eddy remarked. “Looks like we have the rink to ourselves.”

“I’m heading for the warming shack,” replied Adam through chattering teeth.

When the boys got to the shack they found it locked. A note was tacked to the door. It read: “The heating system went out so we will be closed until further notice. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

The boys were stunned. “No heat? I’m too cold. I don’t know if I can make it home,” complained Adam.

Eddy used a little common sense. “We only have to make it to Newman’s grocery store. It’s just a few blocks past the rink. Start walking.”

Twenty minutes later the boys hobbled into the store. Mr. Newman knew the boys and he could see they were in trouble. He took them to the back room and set them in front of a heater. “Take those boots off and I’ll get you something warm to drink.” They removed their boots and were soon sipping on some hot cocoa while Mr. Newman call their parents. He let them know where their kids were and that they were fine.

“Adam, your parents are on their way to pick you two up.”

“Thanks Mr. Newman,” replied Adam. “And thanks to you we’ll be keeping all of our toes,” added Eddy.

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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