Water of Life. Flash Fiction.

Derek paused his music, frowning he listened intently, it sounded like someone was running the tap in the bathroom, the pipes were making that odd, annoying rattle again. Had Sandra come home already? He glanced out the window, no sign of her car in the driveway. He stood from his desk and walked down the hall slowly, he couldn’t hear any splashing water in the bathroom, so he hadn’t left the tap on, he opened the bathroom door and confirmed he was right. He shook his head, even after two years he was still a bit on edge in the house. In their first week someone had broken in, whoever it wasn’t hadn’t actually taken anything, they’d rifled through all their belongings and moved things around, no one had any idea who it could have been and no one was ever caught. If it was up to him he would have moved somewhere else but they were locked in with their mortgage. They had updated the security system and added external cameras which helped, but silly things, like rattling pipes, still made him nervous. He went back into the office and looked up at the ceiling, scanning it for signs of leaks, there was nothing he could see and the rattling seemed to have died off. He sat back at his desk, just as his hand touched the mouse there was another rattle, this time followed by a definite splash. He sighed and stood again, it had to be a leak, maybe the tap was just dripping slightly. Wouldn’t be the first time they’d had problems with plumbing in the house, the first  plumber they had out he’d looked through it all, shrugged and told them there was no issues he could see, the second and third plumbers all agreed with the first. The third suggested doing an entire refit of the pipes, after all it was an old house and old houses had some strange quirks, but they just couldn’t afford it. He opened the bathroom door and saw water running freely from the tap and pooling in the sink. He crossed the room and twisted the tap, it moved easily but the water didn’t stop, the plug had fallen into the sink somehow and the water was steadily rising. He reached into the water to pull the plug, it was surprisingly warm, he grabbed the plug and pulled it. The water level kept rising. Great, it was blocked too. As he pulled his hand out of the water it seemed to stretch with it, like it was a thick syrup, though it didn’t feel any different from regular water. He shook his hand, expecting it to break the weird tension and the water would splash back into the sink, but it didn’t. He felt a strange pressure around his hand and the water seemed to rise along his wrist and under his shirt sleeve, the shirt remained dry. He let out a yell and pulled his hand backwards but the water just stretched with it, he scrambled backwards, his foot caught on a towel and he fell, he landed with a thud, the sudden jolt stunned him for a moment, a second later it was replaced by an intense burning in his hand. He let out a scream as the water around his hand started to turn a deep red, he scrambled backwards the water following him. The burning was moving up his arm and onto his chest, he could feel it making its way up his neck. He tried to pull away but he couldn’t, suddenly he slid forward, towards the sink. The water reached his lips, it felt as though it was trying to force its way into his mouth, it filled his nostrils and he could feel it moving up them and down the back of his throat, he thrashed on the ground, writhing in agony.

Derek stood, stretching slightly, he looked in the mirror and straightened up his shirt slightly, then he reached over and turned off the tap. He pulled a face at himself in the mirror, testing out his facial muscles, smiling, he turned from the mirror and walked down the hall, back to the office. Soon Sandra would return, it would be easy enough to get her near a sink. The pipes rattled in the walls, Derek smiled and gently patted the wall, “Soon my love, soon.”

About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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