Jonathon Mason

January 13, 2012
By colbyb BRONZE, Meridan, Iowa
colbyb BRONZE, Meridan, Iowa
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Mason ran a hand through his dark hair. Today brought another river he had to sample. Still staring at the road, he opened the glove compartment and dug for his schedule. “Yeah, this one is the Yarrow,” he said, throwing the list to the passenger side.

He had been sampling rivers for five years. Coming out of college, this was his dream job. Now after half a decade of the same work, Mason was sick of it.
Finally nearing the waterway, Mason parked his SUV a few feet from the riverbank. He grabbed a pencil and paper was on his way. “Let’s get this one done with,” he said to himself.
His clipboard and pencil dropped to the ground when he reached the river. Hundreds of dead fish were floating by, clogging the water with death. The bodies whirled along, suspended over the void of water. He looked at the water’s edge and saw something even worse. Any plant life in contact with the water was blackened and bubbling. “Well,” he said. “I won’t have to send this to a lab.”


Mason walked into the office, intent on solving his problem.
“Ah, Jonathon Mason I believe?”

“Yes, thanks for seeing me so quickly.” Mason said, shaking the other man’s hand.
“Not a problem. I believe we have about… ten minutes before my next appointment.” He said, checking his watch. “Now what is it you’re here for, something about polluted water?” Irvine said interlocking his fingers, “I’ll do my best to help you out.” The old politician leaned forward and smiled, his white teeth glistening in the light.
“Right. Mr. Irvine, I’ve been surveying the local rivers for some time now. Lately I’ve noticed something a little troubling. The rivers normally have low levels of mercury and other pollutants. I recently took a look at the Yarrow River, and everything in it is dead. The entire pH scale is off; it’s become acidic, sir.” Mason said.
“Well Mr. Mason, this seems like a problem for someone else, don’t you think?” Irvine asked. He crossed his arms and leaned back. “There isn’t much I can do to help you out.”
“Actually, you can help. You recently passed a law allowing MDL to dump its industrial wastes into the Thurso River. That river forks into several others. I think the chemicals being dumped are mixing together and killing off the river ecosystem,” Mason said. “If their rights to the river were repealed, pH levels would fall back to a safe range.”

Irvine’s kindly visage disappeared. “You’re putting me in an awkward position young man. MDL contributes a large sum of funds to this region’s treasury. Many, myself included, would like to keep it that way.”
“But what about the rivers? The chemicals could be dangerous if they were consumed. If you let them continue, the contaminants will spread to other waterways.” Mason said, protesting the man’s reasoning.
“I’m afraid that’s something a couple conservation offices will have to deal with.” “Please excuse me Mr. Mason,” he said while rising from his chair, “But I have other arrangements to which I must attend. See yourself out at your earliest convenience,” he said while striding out the door.
“Alright, I’ll find my own way to fix this,” he said under his breath. Jonathon Mason walked out of the office, a plan developing with every step.

The author's comments:
Colby Brennen Behrens
4822 M. Ave Meriden IA 51037 712-229-6350 email:

January 13, 2012

Fiction Editor
Teen Ink

Dear Fiction Editor:

I am submitting a short story, “Jonathon Mason,” for consideration in Teen Ink magazine. It is approximately 500 words.

I wrote this for my creative writing class.

I hope to hear from you soon.


Colby Brennen Behrens

Encl: Short story, “Jonathon Mason”

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