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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2191002
James Keeler goes to work, just like any other day...
March 15th, 2018. Kenosha Water Factory. 8am Green Door.

It was yet another day, a day of solemn pride. A day that could not be described. But I will describe it for you anyway. The mosquitos flew freely as the slight breeze picked up. It was a day of evil tidings, of prevention and perversion. In every sense, the people of Kenosha were happy. Though no one had seen the street car in months, and the stores opened later and later.

At the water factory, James Keeler had just gotten to work. It would be an early day today, going through the paperwork and trying to discover where, if ever, he was going to get a million gallons of freshwater by next Friday. He had to figure something out pretty quickly, because the people of Kenosha wouldn't want to miss their lengthy showers or their boiled chicken dinners.

Something had to give. There had to be some way of bridging the gap. James kept searching through the GWD, The Global Freshwater Database, in order to find his quarry. Nothing but the best would do. Or, at least, something with out E Coli. One never knew exactly how bad it could get, especially in this global environment of "Water Insecurity."

"Ah, Geneva Swizerland had freshwater," said James. "Over a billion gallons."

James read Geneva's profile on the Global Freshwater Database:

Fresh Water. Over ten billion gallons. Sold in batches of three million gallons for a million dollars each. Water has a PH level of 5.5 to 6. Keep water cooled. Has a low boiling point. Keep away from Hendricks Bacteria. Susceptible to Hendricks Autoimmune Bacterial Viral Infection in humans. A disorder very similar in character to HIV. Be vigilant. Make sure that all water containers are sealed and airtight.

"Hey, Steve," said James, looking up from his desktop computer.

"Yeah, what is it?" said Steve. "Did you find that water?"

"What is Hendricks Autoimmune?" said James.

"Hendricks Autoimmune?" said Steve.

"Are we equipped to handle -"

"Just take the water," said Steve. "We need it."

And so, just like that, James made the order. A five million gallon tankers was summoned, and, with little fanfare, the tanker splashed the Atlantic Ocean in style. James went home with the feeling of having squeaked away with a win. No one would tell him that he didn't do what was best for the citizens of his little Wisconsin town. On the way home, James scoped out the neighborhood. His Saab 99 hit the streets as he continued up the avenue, making power moves as he drove down through the lanes.

James stopped at a stoplight. It was 5:16 pm. He looked out and saw an older lady with a very young son. New beginnings, he thought, as the light changed and he picked up the pace, headed west to house and home. As James drove, he noticed the cars around him. Very few Porsches, if any. A lot of Nissans, Toyotas and Hondas. This was America, the most foreign country in the world.

James made it, finally, to his home. It was a Victorian house, set up with a portico and gazebo. James was so happy to be here. This was his final stop of the day. The groceries were waiting for him in a drone buggy in front of the house, right on time. He could time it so that he would meet the drone just after it arrived.

"Whatever will be, we will see," said James, as he removed the food from the drone buggy and headed for the door.

Some of the masonry on the steps was cracked, but that wasn't cause for alarm. James made his way up each step, not hopping, but neither slouching. The door was right there. The portal to paradise. James knocked on the front door, then used the doorbell. The knocking was a habit that he had picked up as a child. The doorbell was obviously the most effective way of getting attention.

Kenosha was the perfect place, for a perfect night, jus like this one. James didn't have to wait long before the door was answered.

"Hello?" said Sally.

"Hello," said James, as he walked in with the groceries.

"Do you always make an entrance like that?" said Sally, watching as James walked through the living room and towards the kitchen island.

"I want you to know that I was always the one who loved peppermint," said James.

"And I, chamomile," said Sally.

It was a beautiful night. A week later, James made it back to the Kenosha Water Factory with renewed focus and hope.

"What do we have here?" said James, looking at a letter from Switzerland that was sitting on his desk. Apparently, the water had been delivered into the Kenosha water system on time. There had only been a short hiccup in trying to adjust the amount of the sale to make up for the difference in currency. James put the letter down and began to look out onto beautiful Lake Michigan. It was so beautiful that one could possibly over look the poisons, the toxins and the takeins.

Nothing would stop the progress of society, technology, but that didn't mean that one couldn't reminisce of a simpler time, a time of infinitely more vast possibilities. A time in which no one could deny the beauty, the utility and interest. One's interest meant one's children.

James had a sense of accomplishment this day. A week later, he got to work and there was an angry mob in front of his office.

"You gave us all HIV!" said one of the mob members. "You killed my entire family!"

"What?" said James. "I would never do anything like that. What? I've been working here for thirty-five years!"

James had already forgotten the issue that had come up when he first bought the water. Flustered, he tried to make himself appear contrite, yet innocent. He tried to make everything right.
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