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The Bus Stop by Hayley Burdett - [209 words]
That Extra S - Mile …. by Partha Pratim Majumder - [1,421 words]
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A Message From God by Abbie Angel From a runaway girl, inspiration from God? Possibly. [599 words]
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Waterworld
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Thinking About My Father by Kevin Myrick A Sort of Essay/Short Story about the relationship with my father. [979 words]
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For Love Of Maple Bars by Young Salinger-esque. [1,541 words]
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TITLE (EDIT)
Waterworld
DESCRIPTION
The combination of muggy heat and absence of water were reaching unbearible levels in a dusty desert town, when a mysterious woman shows up peddling shelves of ironic trinkets...
[1,201 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Science Fiction
AUTHOR
Bri Q Brisee
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[June 2004]
Waterworld
Bri Q Brisee


It had been one of those awful summers again; no rain in anyone’s recent memory. Trees shed their parched and cracking leaves, while bushes melted away to reveal spiny, naked thorns and branches. Deau’s mother was furious when she saw the state of her gardens, where she was forced to watch her endeavors shrivel up and die. There had been frequent fires all around, for everything was prone to ignite with the slightest heat- not that there hadn’t been enough of that. The temperature sweltered ruthlessly day and night, and with water supplies on the brink of exhaustion, the whole town lay under siege in an attempt to sweat the dry spell out.
Deau wouldn’t have been at the market place that day, had it been up to her decision. It happened to be a particularly blistering afternoon, and if her mother hadn’t overheard the ancient ladies at church whispering about the limited water rations being handed out by the Salvation Army truck, she never would have left the dark, dry house at all. But the persistent nagging finally got to her, and after lunch she reluctantly set out to collect her family’s share.
She was surprised to hear so much noise coming from the usually muffled square. After collecting the small container of precious water, Deau spotted a crowd beginning to form around one of the flimsy, rented stalls. Curiosity got the best of her, and after dropping the rations off at home, the girl hurried back to the market, not wanting to miss the spectacle which was drawing so much attention. As she parted through the sea of giggles and snickers, Deau finally reached the stall and saw an old woman sitting on the ground, surrounded by heaps, hooks, and hoards of umbrellas. There were white, lacy canvases which looked like they should never get wet, red and yellow handles with clowns on the ends, and all different sizes, shapes, colors, designs imaginable. The woman took each one down, and said a word or two on its behalf, before carefully replacing it and handling another.
As time passed the crowd started to disperse, but Deau was so mesmerized she couldn’t tear herself away from the curious old woman. She stood there listening in awe until she was the only one left in the marketplace, still gawking at the enormous collection. When the elder saw Deau was the last one staying, she smiled and replaced the final umbrella.
“Would you like to try one out?” she proposed with that same odious grin on her face.
The words seemed to break the spell cast over Deau, and for a moment she just stood there, oblivious. Finally she remembered her manners, and shook her head, mumbling something about her need to return home.
“Go on, dear, this red and purple stripped beauty is just calling out to you. I picked it up on my way back from Madrid,” she cooed as she held up one of the shorter, smaller umbrellas.
Holding her breath, Deau reached out and lightly touched the handle, but drew back abruptly, for it had felt like there was electricity running through the hook. The old woman laughed and smiled knowingly.
“Don’t be afraid, sweetie, there’s something special about these umbrellas. Now be a good girl and try it out.”
Again Deau reached out, but this time closed her fingers around the handle and held it out a distance from her. It felt like small pinpricks on her fingertips, continuing all the way down her forearms to her shoulders.
“Now open it up. Go on, see what happens,” the woman pressed, her face glowing with excitement.
Slowly, the girl unfurled the canopy of the umbrella. No sooner had she finished, than there was a huge roll of thunder as rain clouds rolled in, and it began to pour. Shocked, Deau stood for a moment before dashing beneath the canopy and folding up the oddity. The moment she did, however, it stopped raining completely, and the clouds were blown away. Slowly, village members began wondering outside, poking their heads out their windows, wondering if they’d just heard what they thought they had.
“Did it… did that thing… what just happened?” she asked, completely startled.
Instead of answering, the woman just continued grinning and picked another umbrella up. The moment she extended the overspread, clouds rushed back overhead and began to pour, even harder this time. People rushed out of their homes as they realized it wasn’t their imaginations, opining their mouths to the sky and shouting. Quietly, Deau paid for the umbrella, opened it up, and silently walked home in shock.
. . .
The girl kept her umbrella open everyday for the next week, so as it poured and poured, plants sprung to life, as did the town. Little did she realize, there was such a thing as too much rain for this dusty little town. Halfway through the week, townspeople had discovered the little umbrella stand and, thinking they were just tools to keep the rain off, quickly purchased all the goods until the woman had sold all, packed up, and moved away.
Seven days since she had first bought the umbrella, Deau had enough and decided to have a day of sun. Finding the open umbrella under her bed, she pulled it out and neatly folded it up. Then, walking outside, she closed her eyes and breathed deeply- until she realized it was still raining, hard as ever. Thinking, the umbrella had fallen open, she ran back to her room, and saw it lying folded on her floor. Hurriedly tucking it under her arm, Deau rushed back to the market to have the old lady fix the umbrella and make it stop raining.
Panic finally started to set in when Deau saw what state the township was in. Dry riverbeds had come to life and were now swollen, beginning to slop up into roads and houses. Large puddles washed out pathways everywhere, and there didn’t seem to be a dry spot left on Earth. When she reached the little stalls, still panting, she stopped and looked around in horror when she realized the old woman’s stall was missing. The girl ran around every stall twice, hoping franticly to find the maker of these oddities. The second time through, she happened to notice something- all villagers now seemed to posses curious umbrellas, much like her own. Realizing the other umbrellas must be causing the prolonged rain, Deau ran about, screaming,
“Everyone! Your umbrellas are causing this rain! Everyone close them, quickly, before our poor town is flooded!”
Alas, no one would listen to the girl, for who would put their umbrella away in the middle of a rainstorm? The harder it rained, the more people opened up their umbrellas. The more people opened their umbrellas, the harder it rained. Thus the viscious cycle continued, until the town was washed away completely, Deau and the inhabitants included.
Far, far away, in a dry, dusty town, where trees lie waiting to shed their crinkled parched leaves and bushes sat nude of any sort of coverings, an old woman sat up her stall and waited patiently, smiling to herself.

 

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"excellent fable! beautifully told, good language." -- j..

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2004 Bri Q Brisee
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
June 2004
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1771
 

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