Manchester in the Ice Age

‘But don’t you think this is magical, Geoffrey? Look. Over there.’


‘Snow buntings. Aren’t they beautiful?’

‘I have no problem with little birds Kevin. I’m talking about mammoths and bloody giant tigers with teeth as big as bananas! I’m talking about that street in Chorlton where they all decided to go native and are living by hunting reindeer.’

‘Oh, that’s just a myth Geoffrey. They get their vegetables from Unicorn like everyone else. They just see the reindeer as a more humane source of meat. And good luck to them I say. I only wish more people would embrace the project so readily.’

‘It’s too much for me, Kevin. This morning there were two eagle owls trying to mate on my balcony. He had brought her a present of a mauled lemming and, as they were far more interested in doing whatever owls do, it was me who had to dispose of the bloody thing. It was still alive, Kevin. Still breathing. I had to kill it. I cannot cope with this. I should have stayed in Sheffield.’

‘Sheffield! What did they do for 2100? Build a frigging cutlery museum! We remade the Ice Age. This city is the future, Geoffrey.’

‘No. It’s the past. The distant, distant past. And they didn’t just build a museum, thank you. There is a zoo as well.’

‘A zoo! For Christ’s sake Geoffrey, look around you. There are polar bears stalking Rochdale Canal. There are woolly rhinoceros in Prestwich. And look at us. We sit here, eating edamame, awaiting the best mussaman curry this side of the Southern Hemisphere, while outside an arctic fox is fighting with a raven over the remains of an abandoned pizza. Market Street is an enchanted grotto. People have started living in igloos in Flixton. The M62 is the world’s largest ice rink. This is the most beautiful city on earth.’


And it was. He knew that. He would ring Mary that night. He would get her to visit him for a weekend so that even if she chose not to stay, even it was really over, at least for just two days she could see the magic through his eyes. Lose herself in the city’s splendour.

Benjamin Judge has lived in Littleborough for nearly four years. He writes short stories, which people are starting to like, and a blog called Who the fudge is Benjamin Judge? His plans for last year were to write more and eat less. One out of two isn’t bad, eh?

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8 Responses to “Manchester in the Ice Age”

  1. December 06, 2010 at 7:27 pm, marie said:

    This made me chuckle. I’m also loving the idea of a cutlery zoo – I dont think I was meant to think that :-)

  2. December 07, 2010 at 11:26 am, Sarah-Clare Conlon said:

    Lovely piece of fiction, great imagination and very Manchester savvy. Particularly enjoyed the nod to right-on Chorltonites and the reference to Rimbaud.

  3. December 07, 2010 at 7:31 pm, Joanne said:

    Hello Benjamin,
    Your story Manchester in the Ice Age is amazing. It made me laugh loads. The one thing preventing me from laughing as much as I’d wanted was that I had to finish the story which had me completely gripped. Well done.

  4. December 10, 2010 at 7:56 pm, Benjamin Judge said:

    Wow! Thanks you two. I’m glad you liked my story.

    And I love the idea of a cutlery zoo. You better use that idea quickly or I’m just going to steal it.

  5. December 10, 2010 at 8:41 pm, Aaron said:

    Lovely little story. I would quite like a bash at ice climbing the frozen Southern face of Urbis.

  6. December 13, 2010 at 9:58 pm, Joel K said:

    Oh yeah!

    Then again, I hope some film tycoon doesn’t try picking this up and making it into a ‘spoof’ sci-fi feature, full of gurning actors.

    It’s good and local as it is.

  7. December 14, 2010 at 11:19 am, Benjamin Judge said:

    I hope some film tycoon does try picking this up. As long as I get my ten percent of final gross they can do whatever they like with it.

  8. December 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm, National Short Story Day | Craig Pay said:

    […] could also read Manchester in the Ice Age by Benjamin Judge (oops, another MadLab chap) as well as plenty of other […]


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