Saturday, March 5, 2011

No Water

NOTE: This is in response to a writing prompt from The Red Dress Club. This is my first attempt to write fiction, and I am not sure of myself, so try to be gentle!

In the moments after my car was run off the road, I lost consciousness. When I awoke, my first thought was of my son. He had been strapped into his car seat.

“Michael?” I say his name.


A moment of panic spikes through me. I tell myself to breathe. I take a deep breath, and try to turn my head. He is there; I see his chest rise and fall out of the corner of my eye. My son is breathing, and so I now breathe. He is sleeping, I realize. He slept through the entire accident.

Suddenly my car door is ripped open, and I turn again, this time painfully. A gun appears, pointed at my face. “Get out,” a voice says. I glance at the source of the voice, at a man with no hair. His head is covered in blisters from sunburn, and he is dirty. My revulsion must have shown on my face, because the gun suddenly was shoved into my lip hard enough to split it.

“GET OUT NOW!” He yelled. I reached for the seatbelt release, and got stiffly out of the car. I kept my hands up, and let the blood run down my chin.

“Where is it?” A shove with the gun, and more blood gushed from my fast swelling lip.

“What are you talking about?” My incomprehension had to have been obvious.

“Water! Where do you keep the water?” The man's voice was desperate.

Now I understood. Water. I looked around; there was no vegetation to be seen, and lots of dust. There was no more water out here; it had all been piped into the cities, where it was doled out by the thimbleful to those residents lucky enough to be able to pay for it. The ones who did not have the money, went without, and died. Water gives life. Water takes it away. Soon, there would be no more water at all, except for what was in the polluted oceans, and that was unfit to drink.

“I don’t have any water.” I was sorry to have to tell him this, and not just because he had a gun in my face. I could see that he was only sweating lightly in this heat, and that was not a good thing. “I would give you water if I had it.”

“You lie!” The man yelled. “Nobody travels this far out from the city without water!” He looked into the car, and saw my sleeping child.

“Get the boy!” For the first time I realized that there was another man; I had been focused on the gun in my face. My son was unceremoniously ripped from his car seat. He began to cry and struggle. The man who pulled him from the car brought him over to where I was standing, and put a gun to my son’s head. I was instantly angry, and afraid.

“I do not have any water. Please let my son go,” I tried to keep my voice steady, my eyes on my child. It was no use. Before I could shout “NO!” my son turned himself in the man's arms, opened his mouth, and ripped the throat out of the man holding him. I quickly pulled the small knife I had hidden in my bra and sliced the throat of the man holding the gun on me. He had been staring at my son, and was dead before he realized what was happening. I caught him before he landed the wrong way and spilled everything.

“You should have waited until Mommy got out the bucket, “ I told my son. He was drinking greedily and ignored me. I sighed.

Water gives life. Water takes it away. Unless you adapt.


  1. Your scene unfolds nicely. I would like a little more earlier on about what age the child is because the ending seemed difficult for me because I thought the child was very, very young.

  2. Freaky!! I want more background. What accident? Was it these guys that forced the character into the accident? Guess I need the chapters that come before or after. You gave me chills.

  3. That was absolutely not what I was expecting.

    I saw it taking a left turn away from reality, but that last part really threw me.

    You last lines are wonderfully chilling.

    I'd be interested to see how you flesh this out without a word limit, since obviously creating an different reality requires a lot more than 600 words. I'm kind of curious, too, how young the child is, to have adapted in such a fashion, to have the strength to do what he does.

    The language is strong, and the idea is definitely intriguing. Keep coming back to the fiction. It's so fun!

  4. I really enjoyed this. I got the idea that this would be an interesting reality when you were talking about people paying money for thimblefuls of water.

    I love that your main character seemed so helpess but really, she was more of a danger to these men with guns.

    The ending was brilliant.

    I would also love to see this fleshed out. I hope you link up again and maybe another prompt will help you continue the story. It's actually how much of my 2 ongoing novels have been developed :)

    Visiting from RDC

  5. This is really good.

    Twisty and turny in the best way.

    I agree with everyone above...I want to read more!

  6. I agree, the only thing I got caught up on was thinking the son was younger. Maybe somehow sneak in that he's older? Besides that, I love the idea behind this, how all have the potential to turn into animals based on our environment and circumstances. Kept me reading faster to find out what happened next!

    And saying hi from TRDC! :)

  7. Are you sure this is your FIRST attempt, because this was great! Glad you joined TRDC and love a good twist at the end.


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!