Parched

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Sul Sul!

Elena North here.

Now that I’ve fetched myself a glass of water,

and drank a good sip,

let’s continue with the story about my family,

who struggled to live in a postapocalyptic world.

Where did I leave you off?

Well… I can’t really remember.

Age, you know.

Ah, but…

WATER.

Water was scarce in the region,

and unsafe to drink.

Only the liquid locked in fresh food seemed to be okay,

and safe to have.

It was barely enough to keep us from total dehydration.

My son Patrick suffered a lot.

And he had decided to dedicate his life to finding out

which chemicals would make the water from our pipes

potable again.

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But he didn’t have success, and that made him mad.

And frustrated.

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After my death, my family continued to cook

as much juicy food as they could to stave of dehydration.

It never seemed quite enough.

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The burn in the throat and stomach was always there.

Patrick mixed, stirred and shook,

but no liquid he made with the water from the region seemed to be potable,

and bottled water was not shipped in to Glassbolt.

The care trucks brought food, but didn’t really think about fresh water.

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Sometimes it seemed he was so close to finding the secret ingredient,

but then he just had to spit it out again so not to be poisoned,

or whatever the water did to people who drank it –

nobody really knew what it would do.

But it tasted foul, and sour, and burned the throat.

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Patrick mixed and mixed (and he gained weight… he was always very thirsty,

so he ate more than much).

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It was especially sad for the kids.

Marina and Leo were still so small.

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Of course the scarce water also had effects on the general hygiene.

My daughter Celina was trying to send an emergency call out to the rest of world,

when the power was on and the computer worked.

But no one seemed to read her postings, or see them.

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Johnny, my husband, was worried as well.

He often talked with Patrick, motivating him to keep trying.

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And try he did.

He got so far that he even once used vinegar from the kitchen!

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But all his tricks were of no use.

The water stayed as it was – foul, sour, stringent.

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So food was their only resource and salvation.

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Patrick grew grey hair, and Marina grew a teen,

and still there was no solution to the water problem.

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Patrick grew a sad, sad, sad man.

Whatever bubbly effects he could make with the liquids.

Even adding soap did no solve the problem. As was obvious.

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Patrick stirred and stirred, as he grew older he got more and more creative.

But no drink he made could ever be drunk.

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He often felt absolutely miserable.

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And then one day, it happened that he just couldn’t take it anymore.

His heart stopped beating. If of old age or dehydration, we couldn’t tell afterwards.

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Rest in peace, Patrick.

At least in the spirit world you don’t suffer from thirst.

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But I notice there’s still a lot more to tell about how my other children did.

Let me take a sip of water

and catch my breath.

I’ll soon go on telling.

I just have to use the bathroom for a moment.

I’ll be back soon.

Until then,

Elena North