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Drop to Drink

by Michael E. Lloyd


That’s exactly how it sounded. You know, just like the noise a realtor makes when he jumps into a swimming pool.

Mind you, in saying that, I wouldn’t want you to think I’m ignoring female realtors. There are lots of them around, too. I saw realtors, male and female, almost every day in the street where I used to live. There was always somebody being shown around the empty property next door. It had a big swimming pool, and several of the realtors seemed to think it was a good idea to jump into it, fully clothed, at an appropriate point in their sales pitch.

But I never, ever saw one of the lady realtors do that.

So I hope that’s all clear now. I wouldn’t want to get into any trouble and lose everything. Those lady realtors probably know some very good lawyers.

Anyway, as I was saying, this huge “Splaasssshhhhhh” woke me up. Now, the first thing that crossed my mind when I opened my eyes was “they’ve started early today”. ’Cos I could tell it was only about six o’clock — the sun was just peeping through my curtains and playing on the wall to my right.

But the next thing I thought was “hold on, they don’t have a pool next door”. ’Cos they don’t. For one thing, the slope is steep and uneven, so pools just don’t get built up here. And for another thing, the two nearest properties are a long way back down the hill, but that “Splaasssshhhhhh” sounded like it came from right outside my window.

So, I was curious. I grabbed the curtain rod and pulled on it. Yep, nearly full daylight. Then I reached up and tilted the ceiling mirror lever, so I could get a good look out the window.

That’s when I got a real surprise. It was one of my neighbors, Greg, who’d made that big “Splaasssshhhhhh”. He must have jumped off my kitchen roof. There was only the top two inches of it visible above the surface, and he was still just a few feet away from the edge.

“Why did he jump?” I asked myself. Then I worked it out. He must have wanted to be sure to make it to the kitchen table he was now lying on. He looked like a stranded insect with all those arms and legs splayed out. Think I also caught a glimpse of his mother, Fran, as she drifted past. She didn’t look too clever either.

My neck was aching, so I lay back to relax it. I guess it was a few more seconds before I began to wonder about all that water. My house is nearly at the top of the hill. There really shouldn’t be any water up this high.

I took another look. No sign of Greg now, or my kitchen roof. That’s going to give Pam a problem when she comes to fix my breakfast and give me a wash. How will she make it up through all that water? Still, she’s never here before nine (I insist on that) so there’s still plenty of time.

Then it hit me. There really shouldn’t be water anywhere around here. Someone must have screwed up big time. Fire Service must have left a hydrant open all night, or something like that.

No birds singing. That’s what made me reach out for the window lever. Clever gadget, that — all I have to do is pull it down and it raises the bottom window about six inches.

I was right. I could hear it quite clearly now. The silence, I mean. Definitely no birds. Not even seagulls. We don’t get seagulls around here, but you’d expect them with all that water, wouldn’t you?

I tilted the mirror in a few different directions, to get a full look around. Well, at the eastern side of my hill, at least, and across the valley to the smaller ones beyond. Nothing. No hills, even. And still no sign of Greg, or his Mom. But farther away, much smaller, there were lots of other things floating around. I couldn’t make out the details of any of them, just the general colors of their clothing.

There was a funny creaking noise a moment ago, from my door. It’s never done that before.

Now, the only reason I bothered to start writing this is there’s a soda bottle on my bedside table. I figure I’ll tip the rest of the soda out onto the floor (I checked in the mirror — the carpet’s already looking rather damp, so I don’t think it’ll do too much harm) and then I can roll the paper into a tube and pop it in the bottle, then screw it up tight and just toss it out the window.

Then I’ll have another little think.

Copyright © 2006 by Michael E. Lloyd

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