Drought (flash day 5)

It was so hot now, even at night, that Ash strung hammocks up in the porch for the children and carried out the bed that he and Molly shared, leaving the blankets inside.
The children laughed at first, swinging themselves in the hammocks until Molly worried the knots would come undone. But soon they were asleep, and only the baby fussed in his cradle, not wanting to sleep, but too tired to play.
Ash watched as Molly soothed the little guy to sleep. Her gentleness toward their children always roused the passion in him and he kissed her long and tenderly before they settled on the bed to talk. It was too hot for love.
“We could leave,” Ash said, bringing up a conversation they’d been having since the last of their neighbors had gone, looking for jobs in the city or land where there was water.
“And go where?” Molly asked. She didn’t want to live in one of the cities, didn’t want her children raised there. And they didn’t have money saved to buy land elsewhere. “The weather will change. The autumn rains will come. Then we’ll hire workers to help us with the land the Creevys and Rimbolds left to us.”
” The creek is dry, and so’s the pond. Every other well is empty, and ours nearly so. We bring up mud with the water now. Even if the rain comes in autumn, we might not be alive to see it if we die of thirst.”
Molly didn’t answer; she’d heard it all before.
“We might have food stored still, but we don’t have water. What will you do when the children are thirsty and you can’t give them water?”
That did it. Molly turned toward him and in the moonlight, he could see the single tear that rolled down her cheek and settled in a crack in her chapped lips
“Where will we go?”
“To the mountains. There will be water there, and game.”
“But the cursed ones–”
“They’re sealed on the other slope. We won’t cross over. We’ll just live on this side until the drought breaks and we can come home.”
“We won’t leave til the well is dry.”
“I suppose we can wait that long,” Ash said, meaning to store all the water he could into canteens and water bags for the next day’s walk.
In the morning, the well was dry.


~ by lamichaud on July 19, 2012.

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