Dry Season’s Eve

This is a bit of an apocalyptic flash. I was thinking of the drought in California as I wrote this, although I fear the drought in California is only the beginning of a new climate. This post is a response to the April 1 Flash Fiction Challenge on Carrot Ranch:

In 99 words (no more, no less) write about the day the earth turned brown. How did it happen? What else might be going on? It can be dramatic or even humorous. It can be the greater globe or a localized ccurance. It can be an aftermath or a revival. Follow where the prompt leads you.


I saturate my lawn for the last time, mourning the impending brown. The stifling hundred-degree days without a swimming pool. The baked brown lawns and flowerless gardens. The absence of squeals of children running through sprinklers. Already the sun beats down, a shadow of the summer’s heat.

I water only until I see water running down the sidewalk, then put the hose on the top shelf of the shed, the shelf I need a stepladder to reach. The dry season begins tomorrow.

I pour myself a glass of water, drink a sip, and pour the rest down the drain.


Although I don’t live in California, I am concerned about the order to reduce water usage that was issued yesterday. Water is a precious resource–especially in the desert–and is taken for granted. As humans, we thirst for the richness to waste without thought. And when we find it, we do not think—about those who go without, those who would savor what we so carelessly discard. We have taken much for granted, and acknowledging limited resources will be a major change for many.

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15 thoughts on “Dry Season’s Eve

  1. Wow, Sarah, that flash portrays how much we take for granted our convenient waste of water. A sip, then the rest poured down the drain. I’ve known people to forget their sprinkler is on and flood the sidewalk, and I have a habit of running water to brush my teeth. You’re so right — these dry times will require a new mindset.

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    1. I saw a lot more focus on water conservation when I lived in Europe than I do in the US. If you look for it, there are ways to conserve water everywhere, but you have to look for it. It is hard for people to change how they operate, even when these changes are necessary for the planet.

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  2. I like the way you have used your flash to highlight the importance of conserving our natural resources. So many people are wasteful in the way you portray in your flash, giving no thought to the consequences. It is hard to believe, when 70% of the Earth is covered in water, that water shortage is an issue. But when even less than 1% is drinkable it is an issue indeed. Thanks for the timely reminder.

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    1. Yes, it is easy to forget that something that seems plentiful is in such short supply. What one person uses doesn’t make much difference, but it is a drop in the bucket–and that bucket is full of droplets.

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  3. Your flash reminded me of when I lived in California myself out on the desert and we were unable to water our brown lawns. Or thedays where we could only water every second or third day. Great Flash!

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  4. Great flash. I’m sure we do take wáter for granted, especially in countries where there is no shortage. Every time we have a short wáter cut where I live, for repairs etc. I think about what it would be like to have to do without it for a longer spell. Your flash makes me think of how easy it is to waste it, even by people who are aware of the need for it.

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    1. I think when there is indoor plumbing that delivers water easily, it is easy to take for granted even when there is a shortage. I can’t imagine living in a village where I had to haul water every day! Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. A great flash Sarah portraying the stark, hot reality of the need to conserve due to shortage and the wasteful, non-thinking actions that come naturally. Your choice of words certainly portrayed the heat and dryness. This is a problem for much of Australia also. In Germany we were requested to use the bath water to flush the toilets the problem had become so severe.

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    1. Thanks! When I lived in Germany in the 90s the water shortage wasn’t that severe (that I knew of) but friends who studied architecture talked about creating gray water systems (that would re-use bath water for toilets and lawns).

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