The Owners This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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It was their land, passed to theirs, and theirs to theirs. The lean blue grass swept through the humble valley, blanketing all that is earth. Leaning sweaty backs against the porch support, the owner and family watched with sinking souls as the drilling rigs suppliers trampled through, leaving muddy tire tracks in their hideous, undesired wake. The monsters screeched to a stop, beeping, beeping, beeping in mockery of the unimportant.

The earth and owners cried in final synergistic desperation as the hole grew larger, and larger still. The land was being taken away; the land they always knew as what little remained of America the once-Beautiful. Chemicals flung from the oil wells and cast themselves on the owners with pounding headaches and treacherous stomach pains.

Momma, come look at the water now!

Honey, don’t drink that, you hear? Dear, what do we do? Tell the company? Think they’ll listen? How could this’ve happened to us?

It’s worth a damn try. All this only started happening when those big shots came rollin’ in. Lemme take a look at this water. Hell! I bet it’d light on fire.

The owner pulled open a wooden drawer, housing a stout blue and black lighter. Flame device in hand, his feet stomped with angry smacks, though still somewhat controlled as to dispel any worry from his youngest. He turned on the water to a rushing high and let it run steadily for a moment, staring in disbelief and disgust at the unsanitary brown-black liquid running from his faucet. In a swift and simultaneous motion, he pushed up the safety button and sparked the lighter with his thumb. The water and flame met in a thunderous uproar of inferno, engulfing the entire sink. The shocked owner quickly discontinued the pathetic excuse of hydrogen dioxide, now swirling and mixing with a multitude of mysterious chemicals. After repeating the anomaly to his wife, the owner dialed furiously into his keypad.

Hello? This is Shirley from the company. I am the supervisor. He’s not in at the moment, but I can take your complaints. I thought you said this was about a problem with the rig? Yes, well that is unrelated to our drilling. You should call the city. I will be hanging up at this time. Thank you.

Dear, I have a headache; I’m going to go lay down. This is ridiculous. We need to tell someone about this. They can’t just bust in here like they own the place and take our livelihood like this.

Their recently skinny cat walked by in a limped motion, flicking his tail against the jean pant leg of the owner and jumping to the couch as a final resting place. The boy went over to his pet, stroking it and carrying through his hands an abundance of matted fur.

The owner brewed internally, scavenging for ways to overtake the power. He intended to execute his plan and call the city, though it would have to wait for another day. His anger melted to despair. He felt utterly defeated and confused. How could something like this happen here, in our small town?

The owner looked over at the monstrous rigs, standing like skyscrapers over the helpless earth, muddied, sickened in terror. It seemed like it was always moving, pumping with a noise to be just heard audibly in the owner’s house like a buzzing fly; always there, always there.

They never would get justice, the owners. The rigs would stand in egotism, sucking the life and the remains of the once-life until they would run dry, leaving behind an array of toxins and chemicals. The water would ooze and gurgle out unseemly color, forcing the owners to purchase store-bought water, though they had used their local well all their lives, as the lives before them. The city would be powerless out of spite or despair, unwavering of the process at hand. The altering, the destroying, the contaminating.

The owner and his family now sat on their front porch, blankly staring at the massive structure only yards away from their home. The sunlight reflected from the metal into their eyes, though the family did not shield them. They sat, staring back.





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TARDISinTokyo said...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm
Hi! This is really good! I've never read the Grapes of Wrath, but I know a bit about fracking. You did a really good job of showing all the horrors that spring forth, and not just saying things like "it was really bad. The water lit on fire." Great!
 
sarahdcee26 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm
thank you so much!! I can't wait to read some of yours :]
 
read said...
Apr. 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm
great job!!! you have a gift!!! share it with others!!!
 
sarahdcee26 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 5, 2012 at 1:17 am
thank you so much! sorry I just saw this! I will try to post more soon :]
 
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