Fire and Ice

Eldred Peterson convinced his neighbour, Max Carter, to transport his crop on ice. Carter’s vegetables arrived in the capital as fresh as when they’d been picked. They fetched twice the price with no wastage. ‘Ice,’ Peterson assured him. ‘It’s the future.’

Peterson gave up his farm and set up an iceworks. He refitted a fleet of trucks. Soon he’d bought out every transport operation in the valley. Ice made Max Carter a wealthy man.

His swagger, his gold watch and his athletic build caught the eye of Stephanie Carter. She’d married Max because a man with land had seemed as close as she’d get to a man with money. But she longed for more than to be a farmer’s wife.

Neighbours began seeing the big ice trucks more often around the Carter place—every second day it seemed. Then the visits just stopped. Three days later Stephanie Carter called police with a story about her husband’s disappearance. A search recovered his burnt out Ford at the bottom of a ravine and the cops closed the case.

Until two weeks later. Nine hundred miles east a walker stumbled on a shallow grave. Though Peterson had told Stephanie they’d left no clues the body in that grave was as fresh as the day it had taken its last breath.


2011—Richard Holt / small stories about love (