Laborde, Katheryn Krotzer (McFarland, August 2010, ISBN 9780786437894)

Colin knew the igloo would cause trouble. I’d erected it in our freezer from rings of ice-cubes I shaved so they’d lean in to make a dome. A tiny ice Eskimo kept watch near the door until, one day, Colin snapped it off to put into a drink. With its dying breath, the Eskimo vowed revenge. It placed a curse on the freezer.

After Colin moved to California to marry a woman he met on the internet, Hilary insisted we clear out the freezer so we could store food there. A hairdryer had no effect, so I started chipping out the igloo with a butter knife and mallet.

The knife went through a pipe. Coolant flooded out into the kitchen. I readied the mallet, but no Inuit huntsman came out of the spreading mist to fight me.

“Hilary, a ghost Eskimo ruined our refrigerator,” I explained.

But neither Hilary nor the contents insurer proved willing to accept the event as the work of supernatural forces. Instead, they settled the blame on the idiot with the mallet.

The problem then arose to dispose of the refrigerator. We lived in the back flat. Though bereft of its ability to refrigerate, the refrigerator remained a rusting, seven hundred litre tarasque manufactured during the Fraser government. I couldn’t lift it, let alone carry it thirty metres out to the road. But having got his revenge, the freezer Eskimo came to our aid. We made a ramshackle sled out of an orange couch that Colin had left behind and lashed it to the back of the Volkswagen that I kept out the front. Chunks of stuffing flew as I ground it up the driveway in front of a crowd of neighbours. It listed back and forth, threatening to roll through the fence at any moment. That I made it in the end, I can attribute only to the final mercy of that Eskimo’s spirit.







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  1. Christopher Johnstone

    That all of these stories are real is sometimes hilarious, sometimes terrifying.

    Also, good use of ‘tarasque’. If you Google image search ‘France Tarasque Festival’ you can see images of the traditional Tarasque parade.

  2. Aha. The spikes and scales remind me of those early Korean military ships

  3. I confess I can only remember them from the real time strategy game Age of Kings

  4. Pingback: Benji - The Melbourne Review of BooksThe Melbourne Review of Books

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