The feeling of guilt can be overbearing. It consumes you and you cannot help but blame yourself.

The question what if, keeps appearing and you wonder what could have made a difference? Is it possible that anything could have prevented this tragic thing from happening?

Perhaps, perhaps not at all. Sometimes it can be difficult to even react because, what happens after a tragic event has occurred?

Do you think back to the happy times before this, or do you regret your past actions and relationships that are now too late to change?

The short story “Ice Break” was written by Astrid Blodgett. The story follows a single event and a select few characters.

The story is told from a 1st person point of view where the narrator is the character, Dawn. Because the story is about a personal experience, Dawn has experienced, she is a reliable narrator.

But with a 1st person narrator she is limited to the knowledge of others. She therefore makes assumptions: “Marla must mean that Mom and Dad were going to be like Mr. and Mrs. Pichowsky” (p. 3, l. 72-73).

The short story begins in medias res and portrays the moment when the family have arrived at the lake, and the ice breaks.

Throughout the story, two timelines overlap each other and portray the moments before, during and after the accident. At the funeral, at the end of the story, the two timelines melt into each other and become one.

The title “Ice Break” can have a symbolic meaning, referring to the unknown beneath the surface, the ruptures that the underlying conflicts create and when it all finally bursts.

Beneath the surface, there seems to be more than a few problems hidden. According to Marla, their parents are possibly having a divorce:

“I know something you don’t know” Marla sang (…) (p. 2, l. 56), “Remember Mr. and Mrs. Pichowsky down the street?” (…) (p. 2, l. 62), “Mr. and Mrs. Pichowsky got a divorce last year and moved” (p. 3, l. 68).