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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

United Friends Challenge #238 - Jack and Jill

Desnath's Challenge
Write a story finishing with this sentence ...
I was standing on the top of the hill, and then I tumbled down.
Suddenly with a jolt, I woke up.
“Jill, Jill come on, it’s Monday and we have to be there on time, otherwise there will be nothing left. Just a few muddy dregs at the bottom.”

“What? Who? How?” I was just surfacing from a nice relaxing sleep, but being shaken awake was not my sort of thing. It was husband Jack pulling at the covers on the bed, but then I was back in the reality. The world had changed and since the war we had problems, big problems. Rivers were poisoned, Seas just one mire of mud and filth but we still needed water to live. Monday was the day when we got our ration according to what had been collected from the last rain storm and we had to make it last a week at least.

“OK, Jack, stay calm, I am coming.” Getting ready was no big problem, we had eliminated washing a long while ago. We did not even notice that we smelt of our body perfume. Everyone was in the same boat. We were happy to get a few dregs to drink. We used to hate rain, spoiling plans for the day. Now rain was welcome, the only plans we had were to try and collect as much water as possible. Jack and I got ready to go.

“Come on Jill, walk faster, we have to climb Wet Hill to get there.”

Even the name was a joke, but everyone called it Wet Hill these days as the reservoirs were at the top for collecting the rain. I think it used to be called Primrose Hill in the past, before the war.

So Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.

We arrived tired and probably as smelly as the rest who were standing there waiting for their ration. Jack pushed his way to the front and then the trouble started.

“Hey you” said a particularly dirty specimen “where do you think you are going, first come, first served.”

“But my wife is expecting a baby” answered Jack.

This was one of Jack’s favourite lies. He had a few on stock. Everyone turned and looked at me.

“She doesn’t look like it” said a woman with two children hanging on the hem of her skirt. “Get to the back of the queue and wait like everyone else. If she is pregnant, it would be better to lose it. More water for everyone else.”

So Jack was pushed to the back of the queue.

“Jack why do you always have to bring that one” I asked him “no-one believes or cares if there is a baby on the way.” This was true, water was scarce and the most precious thing to have. More babies, more thirst in the world.

“This is enough” said Jack. “Every Monday we wait for our water and never have enough. I want to have a nice wash again and smell fresh as I used to.”

“No good thinking of that Jack, no-one smells like that any more.”

“Jill, I am fed up with your comments and I am fed up with you. If I didn’t have you I would have more water to myself. Get out of the way woman and let me get on with it.”

I was shocked. Jack was never someone to look after the others first, and now his true character was obvious. Other people started to look at him. It was when he started to push his way to the front that the real trouble began. One of the water police grabbed Jack and gave him a rough push.

Jack fell down and broke his crown.

It was then that there was a flash of light and the rumble of thunder in the distance. The sky became black and it started to rain, to pour, filling up the reservoirs again, the water was even spilling over the edges. Jack was forgotten. Even I did not care any more about Jack. Water was in abundance, I grabbed my water bag and ran with it. I probably ran to fast.

And Jill came tumbling after.
I remember I was standing on the top of the hill, and then I tumbled down.
Suddenly with a jolt, I woke up.

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