For the Want of a Nail

Submitted into Contest #160 in response to: Set your story during a drought.... view prompt


Fiction Funny Speculative


The Ancient Mariner said ‘Water water everywhere and all the boards did shrink, water water everywhere nor any a drop to drink. How can that be? I hear you ask, well the reason is not what you think. The tap came off in the kitchen the one over the washing up sink

 Stupid, stupid me!! I had nothing to do with killing an albatross yet here I am spending valuable time making up a poem about an absolute disaster in my own home. It was the thought of the boards shrinking that did it. Polished wood floors and water are not a recommended combination.  I have a flood Noah would not overcome spreading throughout every room. My spending time making up a poem makes what Nero did look blameless by comparison, although I suppose he could have found a use for the water. Christ only knows what Emily will say. We have only seen rain once in over seven or eight months, our tanks are borderline empty, yet I have a swimming pool in our kitchen. In my defense I will admit I am not a plumber. I do my best. I really thought I had refixed the tap securely. After all it was her idea to put the new washers in wasn’t it? The bloody tap wasn’t even dripping.  What was she thinking? “We are in drought,” she says, as if I didn’t know! ”If you replace all the washers now we won’t have any taps dripping and wasting water over summer.” Right! The last time I saw this much water in one place I was on The Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls. Where am I now? Outback Australia miles from the nearest plumber, knee deep in water in the only indoor swimming pool ever put in anyone’s kitchen. The tyranny of distance is only one enemy I have to do battle with out here on a daily basis. 20,000 acres of now barren country on Leech Creek off the Mulligan Road has fallen victim to a drought for the last seven years. Emily runs a close second.

Have you noticed the cost of having water trucked in lately? Oh yes Emily will no doubt remind me, she will know down to the last cent. Perhaps I should bring a few head of cattle into the kitchen. At least they will get a drink. I’m not sure if the cat got out before Armageddon struck. That would just top it off wouldn’t it? A drowned cat, a drowned Emily’s favourite cat. She will kill me.

At least the water has stopped rising, something positive at last. Oh shit, that probably means the effing tank is empty. She will definitely kill me.

Amazing isn’t it? If we were having a flood caused by rain and the water was coming in from outside not only would we get our insurance payout but probably get disaster relief as well. I’m pretty sure flooding from the inside is not actually covered. In fact I don’t recall it being offered as an optional extra. Bloody insurance companies.

None of this is helping. What have I got to deal with? One flooded kitchen with the water spreading rapidly through to other rooms, one detached tap somewhere under water after causing said flood, two empty water tanks and one possibly drowned cat. The last is not actually confirmed, so there is still hope. I can add to those items one wife whose sense of humour will surely be lacking, particularly if the cat is confirmed as collateral damage. Can cats swim? I know dogs can. Where is that bloody dog? I haven’t seen him since this disaster started. Could I blame it all on him? It certainly hasn’t rained cats and dogs out this way in my lifetime. Did it ever really rain cats and dogs? Probably not, although I do remember reading it rained fish somewhere a couple of years ago, Texas I think it was. None of which helps my current situation.

Emily is away for another two days. That is two days in which I have to have this cleaned up. Not a hope in hell. Should I leave home? Probably my best option, certainly the safest if I value the rest of my life having the normal male accoutrements still attached.

What did I just kick? Jesus, that’s where the tap went, it’s the bloody tap. Wait a minute, there is no sign of the O ring. It is missing. That was Emily’s job. “I’ll grease the new O ring and replace the old one on each tap.” I clearly remember her saying she would do it. She must have missed this one. It wasn’t the washer that caused the tap to come off after all. How good is that? Emily you are in deep shit. Happy days, I’m going to enjoy this. I think this is what is known as Karma

Where is my bloody phone? I’m going to call her and tell her what she caused. No, oh no no no, definitely a bad move. That will give her time to make up an excuse. I’ll wait until she gets home. Hold on! I have to put the tap back on or the water will continue gushing when I get the tank refilled. If I do that Emily will not believe me when I tell her the O ring was missing. The water is going down, still no sign of the cat though. Think! How do I get the water back on and still have the tap as proof it wasn’t the washer that caused the problem?

Is that thunder? It must be ages, well at least years, since I last heard that sound. Out here that normally means there will be a storm, nothing has been predicted though. Chance would be a fine thing. The Weather Bureau gets the predictions right about 80% of the time. I hope today is in the other 20%. The ground is as dry as a chip, except the bit around the house today of course. The dam is almost empty thanks to the ongoing drought. Five years now. No, it is at least seven if truth be told.

Gee it has gone dark early hasn’t it? There might be a storm after all. Those clouds look decidedly ominous. What’s that noise on the roof? Bloody hell, that’s hail isn’t it? God it is loud, I cannot hear myself think. That is rain, really heavy rain. I would go outside and dance in the rain if I could open the door, there is something blocking it. Could it be the cat? Or the dog even. No, I’m sure it is the water. It needs to go down more.

Ah there’s my phone, what is that message flashing?


If only I can find the cat and the dog!!! And of course the Insurance Policy. I do love Insurance companies.

August 21, 2022 23:39

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