The Frozen Ocean is the tragic story of a rebellious teenager and his quest to find meaning in a world dominated by forces seeking to undermine everything he cares for.
Jackie is an edgy teenager obsessed with his motorcycle as much as dark Japanese comic strips. His efforts to seek revenge on a rival gang to impress a girl go wrong and his best friend ends up taking blame for arson. In an unforeseen turn of events the girl's father moves in with Jackie's mother and becomes his stepfather.
When he learns of Jackie's designs on his daughter, he forbids Jackie to see her and sends her away to a boarding school. Torn away from everything that means anything to him he begins to relish dark fantasies about killing her father. But everything goes wrong when these fantasies accidentally come true and Jackie is forced to escape into the dark confines of The City, a post apocalyptic labyrinth of bridges and canals at the center of a series of concentric neighborhoods he likens to the circles of Dante’s Hell.
Tormented by thoughts of whether the murder was premeditated or accidental, he becomes a fugitive as he seeks to rekindle his love for the girl and make a new life outside the grips of the law and society.
Inspired as much by classic films Rebel Without a Cause or Quadrophenia as it is by Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea or Faulkner’s Light in August, The Frozen Ocean is a dark psychological thriller about disenfranchised youth and its struggle to make meaning of an world that is as empty and ruthless as it is superficial and contradictory.
Jackie ran his fingertips through his spiked black hair and looked out past the lighthouse, enjoying for the instant the play of deep azure forms reflected back into the blazing firmament from the mirror of the sea. The vast array of cloud formations had receded with the setting sun, leaving in their wake nothing but a mass of empty black space. This is me, he thought as his heart began to sink and he wiped his nose with the ridge of his thumb. Nothing but empty black space. A gull flew by and he heard the sound of a car approaching from the distance. A moment later a beat-up old Chevy pulled into the driveway and stopped. Michael shifted his muscular frame in the seat and opened the door, catching the sleeve of his suede jacket on the antennae as he stepped out. He opened the trunk of the car and pulled out two half-filled garbage bags.
“Christ,” Michael said. “I don’t know what you want these for, but whatever it is you’d better help me carry them inside. I’m freezing.”
Jackie took the largest bag and they walked into the kitchen of his house. Without even flicking the light switch he dropped the bag on the floor, sucked in his cheeks and opened the refrigerator door.
“Just give me a hand and I’ll explain,” Jackie said.
They quickly emptied the contents of the refrigerator into a large cardboard box on the floor and then began to fill it up again with as many of the small brown butcher’s packages from the two garbage bags as they could. Ten minutes later they were finished. Jackie turned on the light and started cleaning up the blood from the floor.
“Boy, I’d give a million to see the look on her face when she sees this.” Jackie pulled a bottle of whiskey out from under his coat and took a swig.
“To your own sister,” said Michael. He shook his head.
“She needs it. A dose of reality.”
Michael grabbed the bottle from Jackie and took a swig.
“Lets get out of here. We’ve got a party to go to.”
“Leave your car here,” said Jackie. “I’ll double you on my bike.”
Michael flicked out the lights and they walked outside. The evening sky was fading as they mounted the rusting leather and chrome octopus, decked with its mass of mirrors and rock stickers. It was a vintage Triumph he had just bought with money from his sixteenth birthday.
Jackie zipped up his jacket and took a deep, almost ceremonial breath as he looked out to the beach about a hundred yards from the driveway. The sea had always amazed him - even before it had engulfed his father six years ago. While it gave birth to and supported millions of shimmering life forms, its silver-black waters could also kill, spewing out dead and rotting animals, slimy arms of kelp and half-cracked shells. But the ocean was more than just the pulsing gray receptacle of life and death that stood before him. It could rise beyond itself to become a vast paradigm of all existence, stretching out into all quarters of life and reason to stand for all that was uncontrollable and hopelessly out of reach in life. Jeanette - the beautiful redheaded girl in his Latin class - was one such thing. She was life and death at once embodied in a single glance – a desperate wish for a kiss or at least a hopeful embrace - every facet of that swelling black wash before him.
“So, are we going then?” prompted Michael. “Or are we going to just sit here staring out into the f——ng water all night?”
“Suck my dick,” Jackie retorted with a sharp grin as he turned the machine’s stubby metal ignition key. The ride into the City was always long and treacherous. The dirt roads were more crags than road and it seemed like every day there was another story on the radio about a fatal accident on the perimeter freeway just outside the industrial sector. The bike jolted into motion and they drove off into the grey light of dusk.
The next morning Jackie came down into the kitchen. His mother was sitting alone at the breakfast table humming something nervous and foreboding, her ropy black hair tumbling to the shoulders of her pale blue summer dress. She had something important to say and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to know what it was.
“Don’t you have classes this morning?” she asked.
“I’ll only miss one. Besides, I thought you’d be at work.”
“That’s no excuse.”