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CONTAMINATED DAYS: A JOURNAL

By Anashua

Day 1:
Woke up in the morning to a loud shriek. Someone turned the tap on and out came a sickly liquid that filled the room with a putrid smell. It was ignored for as long as possible, but since the smell wasn't going away on its own, we had to intercom the caretaker downstairs. “Don't worry about it,” he said. “Just the sewage pipe leaked into the water line.”

Day 2:
When I woke up in the morning, I thought it was someone's idea of a prank to surround my bed with water bottles. Then I realised this was our day's water supply. Kept getting extremely thirsty every ten minutes since then. Ran out of water two hours after midnight. Spent the night tossing and turning with unquenchable thirst. No improvement in the water line yet.

Day 3:
Woke up to the sound of heavy barrels being rolled into the house and the splosh splosh of precious water. The neighbours have been exceptionally kind in providing gallons of water to this apartment of godforsaken people. Someone had the genius idea of phoning WASA about the crisis. All the officers were out for the week since it's almost Victory Day (only four days to the 16th). On the bright side, they told us there's nothing to worry about.

Day 4:
The neighbours are refusing to supply water! Water wars are about to break out downstairs. There's no place to walk with all the five litre MUM bottles crowding every inch of available space. First breakout of disease recorded. Victim: Baby. Now we have the added issue of cleaning poop every hour. Went to buy more water. The shopkeeper said, “We've run out of bottled water. But don't worry, it'll be fine.”

Day 5:
Halotab could be man's greatest creation, and I never thought we'd need it without a zombie apocalypse. Turns out, this is bad enough. We bought 10 packs of the magic tablet. You put it in the water, and the water becomes usable, though the strong chemical smell will make you never want to use it again.

Day 6:
We're becoming increasingly survival-oriented. Civil war about to break out; mother shouting intermittently about me wasting water. I was just drinking it. First signs of recorded delirium: everyone is imagining the smell got better. Everyone threatened me physically because I pointed out that they didn't work on the line yet, so the smell couldn't possibly get better.

Day 7:
Apathy has taken over delirium. At any given time of the day, there's someone turning on the taps and listlessly sniffing at the water. What makes it scary is that they don't really expect the water to improve. They've given in to this state of decay. At least it is Victory Day, maybe the WASA people will be back from their holidays tomorrow.

Day 8:
Called WASA again. They lied blatantly and said they already worked on the line. Called our caretaker; he said they didn't.

Day 9:
No one bothered with the water. Life's fallen back into routine. An unending supply of Halotab and mineral water is working out for us. Humans are quite adaptable, really. What's the point of clean water in the taps, anyway? Whoever uses taps?

Day 10:
Today hey fixed the water. Just when we got used to the dirty one. Now we have to get rid of the habits we grew. No more carrying chlorinated water bottles into the loo. I must say, water tastes strangely bland without that mineral tang.



 

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