The Darkened Corner
By Tom Hamilton
Published by Philistine Press at Smashwords
Copyright 2010 Tom Hamilton
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Cover photo by Joe
Published by Philistine Press
1. Freeze It So That It Doesn't Freeze / Tampa / December 80
Sharp palms scratched against a clear, cold sky and the fading yellow light baked away from the black outlines of the buildings like a beautiful gas. Out in the groves we could hear the sprinklers spitting as the farmers tried to cover the tangerines over with ice. Their goal was to coat the trees with just the proper amount of slush. If they could manage to keep the temperature right at 32 degrees Fahrenheit then they could preserve the endangered crop; freezing it so that it doesn't freeze. Like lowering some one's pulse rate so that their heart doesn't burst. But like every idea this was much better in theory than it was in practice and if they were off by only a couple of degrees, the trees wouldn't be able to hold the weight of the hardened ice and they'd split down the middle like a broken heart.