"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Frigg | Spring/Summer 2023 | Melting | Peter Anderson
artwork for Peter Anderson's flash fiction Melting

Peter Anderson

The polar bear sat down at our kitchen table. I poured him a coffee. Or her. How was I to know? Things are more fluid every day. It’s too hot, said the bear. Maybe this will cool it off, I said, reaching for the ice cube tray in the freezer. We sat there quietly, watching a fly bounce against the window, trying to get outside. When I was 5, my grandfather took me to the joke store that sold dirty magazines and bought me a plastic ice cube with a fly embedded in it. Back home I dropped it into Father’s martini and held my breath until he found it and pretended to be shocked. That’s better, said the polar bear, watching the ice dissolve in the cup. The fly buzzed against the glass. Bzzz, bzzz, bzzz. When I reached for the fly swatter the bear stood up and left, without saying goodbye, without finishing their coffee. I poured what was left into the sink.

Peter Anderson’s Comments

Recent studies report that all 19 polar bear subpopulations have experienced arctic ice loss, leading to an unwelcome increase in human–polar bear interactions.

Table of Contents

Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 61 | Spring/Summer 2023