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Ice Cold and Other Stories : Expanded Edition: Expanded Edition

By Johnson, Kevin, Wade

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Book Id: WPLBN0100303384
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 8.62 MB
Reproduction Date: 1/6/2021

Title: Ice Cold and Other Stories : Expanded Edition: Expanded Edition  
Author: Johnson, Kevin, Wade
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Drama and Literature
Collections: Short Stories, Authors Community
Publication Date:
Publisher: Self-Published
Member Page: Kevin Johnson


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Wade Johnson, B. K. (2021). Ice Cold and Other Stories : Expanded Edition. Retrieved from

Expanded from 3 stories to 65, almost 150,000 words, ranging from my first real effort at a story, to more recent works of humor, horror, fantasy, parallel worlds, time travel, science fiction on libertarian worlds, a superhero tale, a couple of young adult stories, and holiday tales too. These stories were written between 1982 and 2020, and in the course of them I wanted to try a lot of different things. So they range from the very violent You've Seen the Video, Now Read the Story to the spooky Half Seen to the minimalist Princess Katana to the uplifting The Enchanted Treehouse to the bleak Doctor. Which is to say, I think anyone can find some stories in here they'll love…but maybe no one will love every story.

Sixty-five short stories and novelettes, mostly science fiction, but with fantasy, horror, humor, and even holiday tales.

Goblin Hound This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this work are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental. @2015 Kevin Wade Johnson I got to say my hands were shaking a little bit when I put the leash on ol' Jonesie. "You gotta help me," I told my grampa's dog, "'cause we gotta go looking for the goblin hound." Jonesie just grinned up at me the way she always did, a smiling happy hound the way she was, except when she caught scent of a raccoon or heaven help us a skunk, and went haring off after 'em, flying over the ground like some jet airplane or race car. I was scared, I'm not afraid to tell you. I was pretty sure I knew what the goblin hound looked like, from nightmares I'd had, where this huge dark thing all cloudy-looking, cloudy like the worst storm ever, all gray and black and gunmetal blue like the farm shotgun over the back door. Red eyes it'd have, not red like blood, but red like the big ol' sunset I saw on my birthday last year, when I turned ten, a sunset all glowing hot and burning and searing, but red too like the sun's last moments before it was gone, just gone. I wouldn't have thought this was any kind of job for a ten-year-old, but Gramma hadn't minced any words. "Only you can do it," she'd said. Grampa had said the same and more. So I'd gotten Jonesie and gone. Jonesie headed straight for the pump, of course, she loved her drinks of water fresh outta the ground, cold and clear with a hint of blue like the edge of winter. I pumped once and twice and three times and then the water came out into the trough, but the first water always tastes like or something, so I pumped a couple more times before I put her outside bowl down and let her at it. Maybe not the job for any ten-year-old, but now I knew what I'd always thought maybe was true, that I was special. Something about me was unlike anybody else, out of all the anybodies that could save us from the goblin hound. Maybe it was that I was braver, that the sight of the goblin hound and its sun-dying eyes wouldn't leave me frozen like the winter that was coming to turn the crick to ice. Maybe hearing its howl, worse than the scream of a hare Jonesie caught, worse than the hoot of an owl you can't see but know is swooping down on some poor critter, maybe that wouldn't leave me filled with horror the way it would most people. So Jonesie and me, we left the pump and the trough and the well out there behind the big clapboard house, big enough for everybody today, today being Thanksgiving, and we went to the barn. It smelled like cows and straw and hay and dust and cow flops same as always, dust floating in the sunbeams coming golden through the cracks in the barn's boards, golden with a touch of white for the oncoming winter, cows looking at me lazy-like, 'cause me and my little sister had milked 'em an hour agone, but that didn't stop me and Jonesie. We prowled the place, checking where the straw was deep enough for a monster hound to hide in. We looked in every corner and crack. Jonesie sniffed everything, sneezing a couple times. No goblin hound. We headed down to the crick, through knee-high grass, already brown and starting to slump from last week's frost, crackling and brittle. No frogs, just the lazy green and brown water that flowed but not very fast, not fast like some goblin hound would be. Great long legs, strong and muscly, sending it across any crick in one big leap, fast as Big Boy or one of the mares at a gallop, I was sure. It'd come at me with long fangs bared, fangs sharper than its ears pricked up and pointy, red tongue lolling, taking in big gulps of breath while it got ready to tear me up good. But I was special, the only one, so maybe it'd turn aside at the end, unable to follow up and finish, leaving the hot stink of its skunk-eating breath. Or maybe I'd scare it, and it'd see me and have those sharp ears droop, and it wouldn't stand tall as the chicken coop, but would slink off, tail tucked in and fierceness forgotten. We were checking the big pile of rocks where I knew Old Uncle Catfish hid out, when the bell started ringing behind us, clanging and clattering like this was the last day. "C'mon, Jonesie, we got to save 'em!" We went barreling back the way we'd come, up the crick's dry dirt crumbly bank, through the grass our legs pushed aside with a shushing noise or our feet crushed down on. We raced back, my heart pounding scared and excited, Jonesie panting and still grinning. Gramma stood ringing the triangle bell she loved, there at the back door. I saw then what it was. I saw, in the pump trough, where water still pooled from before, drops were falling from the pump, slowly, one, then another, dimpling the water in the trough and making ripples. In one ripple I caught a glint of red, a reflection of the sun, sure, but there was rage and heat in that red, fury and fight in the rippling, and I knew the goblin hound was about to form out of that mix of fire and water. Jonesie barked while we were running and while the bell was clanging, and I ran up and stamped a foot in the trough, and Jonesie followed me, and the red reflecting light was gone. We went on to the back door, and no deathly dog boiled up, no fighting or clamoring or anything went on. "Good, honey," Gramma said, smiling down at me. "You've done it, now dry your feet and Jonesie's paws, and come on in and clean up for dinner." "I've done it!" I was still trying to catch my breath, which I felt like was still back at the pump, not that my chest wasn't pumping itself. Grampa came over and ruffled my hair. "You sure did, kiddo. If not for you, that gobblin' Jonesie would've made off with half the turkey or ham. Now set on down and set to!" And I went in the dining room, to the big wooden table with all my aunts and uncles, cousins and sisters and brother and Mom and Pa, and I saw the turkey and ham and string beans, smelled the taters and stuffing and gravy, heard all my family chattering away, and sat down at my chair. Jonesie went and curled up in her corner like she'd been taught to do, which I knew she wasn't so good at in the kitchen with everyone moving about with all those food smells tantalizing and tempting her. I took some of everything passed to me, and dug in with all the appetite I'd ever had, and so did Jonesie once she got a big bowl of scraps, even bigger than usual. And we all hushed to give thanks and as we all ate together, not hushed, I ate with hunger and happiness, and a dose of pride, too. If not for me, why, we wouldn't have had a chance to eat, wouldn't have been able to enjoy. I'd saved the holiday, I had, both Gramma and Grampa said so. And later, when the sun set angry and roiling, mad that me and Jonesie hadn't let it make a goblin hound, I knew, and that knowing made this the best of all Thanksgivings. Everybody, the whole family, and me too, we had ourselves a happy Thanksgiving. Thanks to Jonesie. And me.

Table of Contents
The Original Ice Cold - Ice Cold - Exile - Emptyville Libertarian Worlds - Glamour Angel - Numb - Run - Cinnamon Girl - Love? I Can Get It for You Wholesale - Unauthorized Intrusion - Body Guard - You've Seen the Video, Now Read the Story Parallel Worlds - The Only One in the World - Exit Ramp - A Friend in Need - Reflective Phase Time Travel - About Time - One More Time - Time Change Science Fiction - Warrior of Empire - Free! (Dark) - Free! - First Contact - The Alien Woman Fantasy - A World of Dream and Nightmare - Devil of a Storm - North Woods Werewolf - Princess Katana - Invincible Horror - Botnet - Half Seen - Surly Bonds - Vampire Country - If Psychic Powers Are Real, Where Are They? - Resistance - Doctor - A Door Closed - Hector Superheroes - Nightwatch: Dusk and Dawn The Environment - Knightside - Rising - Blinded by the— Humor - Another Friday Night in the Multiverse - Immortality at Last! - Roman in Time - Bugs - Suddenly Ninjas Came Through the Window - The Lost Heir of Generica - The Bureaucracy of the Rings Early Efforts - Not…Human - Death of a Captain - Riven - City of the Dead - A Time to Remember Young Adult - The Enchanted Treehouse - Sam's Tale: The Girl Who Fought Pets/Tearjerkers - Old Abby - Percival's Thanksgiving Mainstream/Holiday - Christmas Is Just Another Day - "Christmas Is All a Lie!" - Christmas Storm - The Christmas Sweater - Christmas Alone - Goblin Hound - Hosanna Hound - Et in Arcadia Ego


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