Imaginif prompts for daily writers.
If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the below photo (changes daily) as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and your link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Stories below are copyright and are Megan Bayliss' writing around the below daily picture prompt.

The day the water ran out

They’d warned us for long enough: conserve water; do not waste, have shorter showers, use grey water on gardens, install rain water tanks, replace water hungry machines with water saving devices, replace taps, etc, etc. They spoke so much about it that I stopped listening.

I guess I forgot to take them seriously.

A grave decision had to be made at the local council level and immediate water curfews were ratified to preserve what little water was left in the reservoirs.

Households could access tap water only between the hours of seven and nine pm. Businesses, between the hours of 8 and 10 am. Accommodation houses would close by the end of the month because we could not spare water for those who did not pay rates.

Families had to become super organised and think ahead of their ongoing lifestyle needs. No sprinklers or hoses, no filling of swimming pools, no more fish tank top ups, water bed fills were out and fish ponds and garden water ornaments had to be dismantled.

I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t really think they’d do it.

I had dreadful morning sickness and the first day of the curfew I found myself without flowing water to damp my brow, wash my mouth out or clean my teeth. Making a cup of ginger tea was at the cost of another person’s drinking water: my husband's or my toddler's quota.

I wanted a shower because I felt like crap. I couldn’t have one. I started to gag. The morning sickness coupled with having no water was all too much for me. I couldn’t fight the nausea.

“Don’t spew in the toilet,” my husband yelled from the kitchen where he was wiping the bench with an already thrice used cloth. “If you spew in the toilet you’ll use too much of our bucket water in the manual flushing. Spew outside in the garden so the cat will eat it.”

I held the vomit in my mouth. I tried to re-swallow but it made me sicker. I spewed down the front of my Tee Shirt. Oh God. It tasted like poison: Bile that was acidic green and capable of making great stains or eating straight through clothing if not washed off immediately. If I left it, the ants would surely eat holes in my clothes anyway. Spewing without water is such a no win situation.

“You can’t wash that until tonight, sweetie,” husband supportively said with a hint of annoyance in his voice (or was the annoyance in my ears?). “I can only thank God we’ve got a water saving machine otherwise you’d have to hand wash. All the old top loaders have been banned. We’ll do a load tonight at 7pm. All our clothes together, though.”

It was so hot. I just needed a cool shower.

Fanning myself with one hand and holding the toddler’s body heat away from me with the other, I pleaded with my husband. It was all his fault. I’m not sure how, but it WAS all his fault.

“Let’s take Clinton down to the water park so we can cool off. I can’t stand this heat.”

He looked at me. Blinked. Straight faced. Serious.

“Shelly! The water park is closed. Never again will water pass through the pipes or tip out of the bucket. Never again will children and families happily play beneath the free flowing joy of the water park. There is no more water. All run out. Nothing. Zilch. Gone.”

That was when the water shortage was made serious to me. To think of my children growing up in a world without water play was a horrific thought. No water to swim or play in was like a global injustice. How can kids have no water to play in?

If only I had taken them seriously. If only I learned about water conservation. If only I had been a responsible mother I might never have experienced a day where the water ran out for my babies.

If only I again had the opportunity to start using water wisely and with my children's future in mind!


If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the above photo as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and the link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Story above is copyright and is Megan Bayliss' writing around the above picture prompt.

1 Response to "The day the water ran out"

Julie G said...

Hind sight is a wonderful thing.
Lets hope it never comes to that.

I really like when you wrote...hint of annoyance in his voice (or was the annoyance in my ears?).

I didn't think a vomit scene could read so well...(holding back a lump in my throat)...

A powerful voice and piece.
Thanks for reminding me how perious cool clean crisp water is.
I do all that I can, (notice the dirty car)..to save water.


http://thelittledunpony.blogspot.com/2010/06/shell-shock.html

 
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