It seemed like it had rained forever. The rain wouldn’t stop and the day was filling up. Like me, people were on their way to work and struggled along as they waded through the flooded pavements. The roads were okay, so I don’t know why we didn’t use them instead. A house I know at the corner of the street was full of activity. At one end of the garden the husband was mowing the grass; at the other end his wife was mopping the lawn with a mop and bucket. I walked on and there was a man at the bus-stop who tried in vain to turn the pages of his soggy magazine but only managed to get print on his hands. A girl passed me going the other direction. She smiled and said hello and I noticed her arm tattoo had started to run. Purple ink was dripping off her fingers. A man in a yellow canoe drifted past me and waved. I said, you need wiper blades on your visor. He didn’t answer and paddled away.
During the dry summer just gone we almost totally ran out of water. People were forced to drink from the water feeders in the rabbit hutch and even out of their toilet bowl. What a difference now. I can see second floor apartments full to overflowing with water, like somebody has left the bath taps running. There is a tide mark on the window pane. I’m not yet halfway to work but I know my boss will appreciate the effort when I get there. I listened to the radio this morning while I was eating my toast and the weather people didn’t mention rain. And there are no clouds in the sky so I don’t know where this water is coming from. Perhaps someone cried too much or somewhere in the middle of the ocean a big ship hit an underwater ramp and when it came back down it caused an almighty splash.
I’m still wondering about this when I finally get into work. I see my boss who is already waiting and tapping his watch theatrically. He demands to know why I am late and I say, haven’t you seen the rain outside? He points to the window and says it looks fine now. He is right because when I leave with my desk stuff after he fires me all the water has drained away and the yellow canoe is stranded on the floor in the car park next to a grey Volkswagen Golf that looks like they haven’t bothered to paint it. Or perhaps the rains have washed all the colour off. And now the sun’s coming out.
Henry Bladon is based in Somerset in the UK. He is a writer of short fiction and poetry with a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Birmingham. He is the author of the novel Threeways, and several poetry collections. His work can be seen in Poetica Review, Pure Slush, Truth Serum Press, Lunate, and O:JA&L, among other places.