Sweet Water – (Friday Fictioneers, July 2012)

This week’s photo prompt from Madison Woods’ Friday Fictioneers is a tap/faucet/robinet (depending on where you hang your hat!)

Sweet Water

That long dry summer Billie guarded his secret; he queued daily at the town’s well, and drew less water than others, saying piously “let the children have my share.”

Yet at home each evening he drank greedily from a sweet, inexplicably infinite supply, wasting the precious well-water on illicit crop cultivation, whilst others grew nothing.

At night hosts of amorphous, silver-scaled alien beings congregated round his water tank, whilst Billie averted his gaze from their mysterious activities, repulsed by their sagging mouths moving in silent screams.

And when the rains finally arrived, Billie raised silver-scaled hands to his scream-less mouth, realising that nothing ever came for free.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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54 Responses to Sweet Water – (Friday Fictioneers, July 2012)

  1. claireful says:

    Fantastic piece. I find it really hard to get across a whole story in 100 words, but you’ve really done it here. Loved it. Thanks for visiting mine.


    • Sandra says:

      Actually Claire it was around 108. Try as I might, I couldn’t get it down any more. Even so, it’s the trying that matters I guess, because it eliminates the dross that can bog the story down. Thanks for commenting – loved yours.


  2. raina says:

    oooo….glad he paid for his greed! Great story Sandra 🙂


  3. Linda says:

    As you say, there is no such thing as a ‘free lunch’ Janet and this was a particularly good example. 🙂

    For anyone else that happens along here is mine: http://womanontheedgeofreality.com/2012/07/27/friday-fictioneers-memories-are-made-of-this/


  4. rochellewisoff says:

    Reminiscent of a TV movie in the 70’s called Slither where a guy slowly turns into a snake. Great story in a very creepy sort of way. Thanks for commenting on mine.


  5. Parul says:

    Judicious utilization of words and very good plot!
    A lot told in so few words!
    Thanks for sharing!



  6. Yikes.. Excellent use of the prompt. xx


  7. nice easy greedy read with a great twist to it.. Randy


  8. Dear Sandra,

    All I could think of was Gig Young’s as an angel perpetually refilling a helpful tipsy priest’s wine bottle in some movie or another. Where did the ‘infinite’ supply of water come from and what was he growing? I also thought of Silverfish, those nasty gray utterly squishable insects. Strange piece this week, but it did fit the prompt.




    • Sandra says:

      I struggled with this prompt – didn’t like what I’d created but once it was written I found myself unable to come to the prompt in any other way. Sci fi’s not my bag really. The infinite supply came from the aliens’ peculiar abilities, and he was growing wheat or vegetables. Thankfully, he was using the well-water for the crops, but once he’d ‘gone over’ maybe he’d start using sweet water and it would get into the food chain and … (maybe I’ll work on this) 😉


  9. unspywriter says:

    Perfect last line. Good build-up of suspense and wondering in a short space and a great ending.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/shadows/


  10. Oooh, I shuddered! Serves him right, the selfish old so-and-so. Well done!

    Thanks for your comment on ours at http://www.lazuli-portals.com/flash-fiction/elixir


  11. vbholmes says:

    Great morality tale–a lot said in few words.


  12. A well written and unique take on the prompt, Sandra. Greed does not pay. Thank you for commenting on mine. Here for others: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/fridayfictioneers-aqua-madness/


  13. Mike says:

    A wonderful story Sandra.
    I loved the ending – glad to see he got his just rewards.


  14. Excellent job and justice prevailed!!


  15. I love it when payback is swift and just. Very nicely done. Your peice is a very pleasent and smooth read.


  16. rgayer55 says:

    I enjoyed it, Sandra. He was a sneaky little snake with his pious attitude. Looks like that snake came back and bit him.

    thanks for the nice comment on mine http://russellgayer.blogspot.com/


  17. Carrie says:

    mwah ha haa! Never trust those aliens. A delightful bit of sci-fi.


  18. Janet says:

    There is always a price and he paid it dearly. Nicely written.


  19. mahjira says:

    I think desperation and greed are played very well in your story. We see what happened to him in the end with his greed, but what happened to his crop? Did it “grow a little funny” with the alien water? Great job!


  20. keliwright says:

    Creepy. I like it. The price we pay for those little deals with the devil may be to become like him? Gives one pause.


  21. I understand the greedy Son-of-a-B got his comeuppance…but where did the aliens come from to teach him a lesson? Or were they indeed, aliens? Maybe I’m not supposed to know. lol.
    Tks for visiting mine.


  22. Adam Ickes says:

    I think my view of this guy is a bit different. I find his greed to be a good thing. He saved the rest of them from a similar fate by hoarding his water and not sharing. He got what he deserved, but at the same time he’s a bit of a hero.


  23. Yikes! A bit like selling your soul to the devil…silver devils in this case. This was a unique and great take on the prompt. I really liked it!



  24. ron pruitt says:

    Hi Sandra,
    Wow, I really liked this one. It was reminiscent of Metamorphosis with a moral message. Richly dark and textured. Great story. Thanks for reading and commenting on my story. Ron


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