Jumping out under the blade-slap, whop-whop rotors of the blue helicopter we did the blackest diamond run. Clicking tips, Rossignol red, we carved ghost tracks into the gentle face of Franz Josef, an ice age in retreat. In the cafe we kept our beanies on. Steam erupted from the gagging coffee machine. Cloud-breath evaporated. Slicks formed from boot-drip on the timber floor. In the air you could smell hot chips, someone in the chair opposite was eating a hot dog. I drank chocolate, melting to marshmallow at the thought of how we’d taunted that giant.
On the bus back down the wind screamed up in a white out. We sheltered behind pale blue panels of the rusting bus. Snow shagging off branches. Bodies with limbs like twigs could have been poking out of the snow. Marooned in the remote, we were black ice, white knuckles away from that. We listened to windows splintering under hundred mile an hour spleen, bus heaving its warning, plates shifting in glacial memoir, or was it humour?
Later at Happy Hour we drank Bourbon, ice clinking its thawing ways
against the sides of thick glass.
First appeared online in Penduline, (US) New Zealand Issue, 2012