Talking Water This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 7, 2017

As the sun rose, it filled two skies. One; a skyline scattered with buildings, sun gleaming off of windows, almost camouflaging them. While for the other; the sun splayed out, overlapping every tree, hill and animal in a rich gold blanket.


Curtains keep the sunlight at bay while a man sleeps in his bed. He dreams of a penthouse; its grand archways, gaudy décor. He wants it. The man walks under each arch into a new room, each grander than the last. One red handle stands out amongst the rest, its deep glow calling to him. Drawing him closer. Taunting him. His urge to run and push it open overwhelmed him. He opens it to nothing, the penthouse vanishes. He falls, watching it slip away.


He opened his eyes, body drenched in sweat, staring at the blank ceiling. He hated that dream, he feared he would one day have it all only to lose it suddenly. Re-occurring, it haunted him. But he also wished he could never wake up. His life was mundane and boring. He wanted to something different, an adventure. Something.
Stumbling into the kitchen, he wants coffee. Reaching for the cabinet filled with stark white dishes he pauses to look. The meticulously organized mugs, plates and bowls. Everything had its place. The cold water in the kettle begins to boil.


She was the only thing that broke through the golden blanket of the sunrise, the only thing that stood out amongst the few trees and dry landscape. She was walking. Walking with her head held high, dreading the rest of her journey. She had no choice. Slowly she sinks into the sunlight. The hot burning on her shoulders did not bother her, she knew how bad it could get. She walks on.


The hot coffee burned his tongue. He hated it, either scorching hot, or just too cold. Life is just hard he thought pondering the day he had ahead. His toast slowly rose from the toaster. The warm light from the sun hit the bread as it rose. He watched the glowing toast, reaching for a clean plate from his white cabinet. His toast looked perfect, only once he took it from the toaster did he notice the sun had deceived him. The toast was in fact, burned. Unsatisfied, he moved his empty plate carelessly into the dishwasher and while almost empty he turned it on.


It was dry, the ground cracked every time her foot pressed against the ground. They burned now. Her feet, more than her shoulders, which felt like they were on fire. The hot glow of the sun pushed her down, begging her to fall. To give up, give in. Oh how she wanted to. Oh how she wanted to sink below the sand, into the cold dark underground. But she couldn’t. She had to move on.


He took his time, looking at the city from his window, strolling to the bathroom. Reached for the fluffy white towels, squishing the soft bath mat with his toes. He had showered before bed, but he needed to relax and wash the previous night’s dream away. Water streamed from the shower head.


What felt like hours in reality had only been a couple of minutes. Her knees now weak from the weight on her back grind away with every step she takes. Her feet slowly turn to ash. Disintegrating, she walks on.


It was humid, suffocating even. He was off wandering his penthouse, he had spaced out for too long. One minute. Five minutes. Ten minutes. The room had filled with steam. He was beginning to feel better now.


A shadow of a person. Her skin hung loose on her body, water evaporating from within her. But she could see it. The water beyond.


As the hours ticked by he waited. Waited till he could return to his apartment. Maybe he would dream of a penthouse tonight. A penthouse that would not fall from his grasp. He would resist the door tonight.


Closer now. She pushes. Her body breaking as it reaches her final destination. Grabbing at the sand. Pulling. Pulling. Bringing herself closer. Sheer determination brings her skeletal hand towards the water.


The cold air of his apartment on his mind. Such a contrast to the sticky evening humidity of the city. Quickly now his hands fumble with the keys, desperate for the clean air.


She rises, the touch of water gives her a thirst she cannot ignore. Looking back to face the road she has taken she falls back. Engulfed by the oasis water.


Groggy he falls on to the bed, and deep into his penthouse.


She has made it.


He dreams of a penthouse; its grand archways, gaudy décor. He wants it. The man walks under each arch into a new room, each grander than the last. One red handle stands out amongst the rest, its deep glow calling to him. Drawing him closer. Taunting him. His urge to run and push it open overwhelmed him. He opened to nothing, the penthouse vanished. He was falling, watching as it slipped away. He wakes in a cold sweat. The soft morning light breaking through the cracks in the curtain.
        

Heavier now, the water on her back. The sun now a little higher. She begins her journey home.






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