I was invited to read The Cold Pools during a free promotion by the author. I like free stuff, so I went ahead and downloaded this short story to my Kindle. I had no idea what I was getting into. The story starts out with a happy couple, very much in love, on their way to a luxurious vacation retreat. In a few short pages, it ends in a very different place.
I'd hate to give away any of the surprising twists or shocking turns this story takes, so I won't. Suffice it to say this is no ordinary vacation for the couple, and they don't live in a world that any of us have experienced firsthand. What's interesting about Cold Pools is the future it describes -- and the horrific possibilities therein. It's a sad story, and it's a fiction story, but it could very easily become real. Maybe that's why this short story is so chilling, and why it's still lingering in my mind despite the fact that I've already started reading something new.
I downloaded it for free, but I would happily pay to read it again. Chris Ward is a very promising writer, and for anyone who's interested he's included the first chapter of his novel at the end of Cold Pools. If his full-length story is anything like this short, terribly beautiful tale, I'm sure I'll enjoy it very much.