The Horrors of Lukewarm Water

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Through all my years, I have come across many trinkets and ideas that are completely

and utterly worthless. From the Art Major to the ctrl+alt+del wand, I have seen it all. With each

new “innovation”, I have slowly, but surely, lost my faith in humanity. Lukewarm water,

however, is a different breed of pointless, so much so that it strikes an irrational fear into a heart

as venerable as mine. It is not so much the uselessness of lukewarm water that causes me such

agony, but it's uncanny resemblance to its holy counterpart: hot water. Lukewarm water is the

apotheosis of God’s wrath, the eighth deadly sin unleashed upon humanity. Lukewarm water,

the Ying to hot water’s Yang, only worsens your fatigue on a freezing winter day, causes the

honourable tea to fall from grace and corrupts the healing essence of instant noodles. It will

mercilessly destroy any and everything that crosses its path.


My first encounter with the corrupting liquid occurred when I was but a curious child,

eager to try anything and everything that caught my eye. ‘Twas a wintry day, cold as can be. I

desired a refreshing sip of hot water to warm my chilled bones after a long and hard snowball

war. There was, conveniently, a tall glass of water on my desk, calling to me like a mother to her

child. It seemed too good to be true, and indeed it was. But the word ‘caution’ simply did not

exist for a seven year old boy brimming with energy. The moment I downed my first hearty gulp,

however, I knew something was wrong. The unholy temperature alone was almost enough to

trigger my gag reflex. Unlike the soothing burn of hot water that cleansed the glacial freeze from

my body, the inferior warmth of the lukewarm water left an unpleasant, almost slimy, taste in

mouth. I know I should have stopped after that first, irreversible, sip, but the absolute disgust

that I felt in that moment clouded my mind. I felt as if I was locked in mortal combat against a

savage beast, one that would rip the heart out my chest if I showed even a shred of hesitation.

After a few seconds that passed slower than fifth period, the monster was no more. But looking

down at the emptied glass, I realized that although I won the battle, the war was only just beginning.


A staple drink that all cultured people enjoy is tea, and I am no exception. And not the

bastard child, English tea synonymous with milk and biscuits, mind you, but the one true heir to

the Tea family fortune: piping hot green tea imported from mainland China. Even as a child, I

considered piping hot green tea to be the epitome of luxury. The gentle warmth of the steam

curling off the glassy surface, slow swirling of the soft green leaves, and gentle scalding of my

lips as I sip the nectar of gods are all sources of pure bliss, my raison d’être. Just imagine the

horror that I experienced when, in my haste, I used lukewarm water instead of boiled water one

busy day. I could only watch in horror as the steam failed to form, absent as my resolve, and the

leaves sank with a Titanic melancholy, knowing full well that it was an abomination of my own

creation. It felt as if Dr. Frankenstein himself had whispered in my ear, Do you understand

now? At this point, I was in too deep to simply run and pretend that this was just a nightmare. I

had to take responsibility. With a shaking hand, I put the glass to my lips and took a sip. To this

day, I still can’t forget the flavour, despite my best efforts. The heat was as half-hearted as an ice

breaking game on the first day of school, and the taste of tea was so faint that only a seasoned

veteran like myself could detect it. That was the day that I exposed myself to the cruel reality of

the double-edged blade called water, as if I was Alice falling down a rabbithole leading straight to Hell.


Years later, I was finally able to move on from the “tea incident”, praying to whatever

merciful deity worshipped by the masses that I was out of the woods, safe from the terrors of

lukewarm water. Little did I know that I stood only upon the cusp of these metaphorical woods,

still blissfully unaware of the eldritch horrors that lay within, clamoring to greedily consume my

soul at any given moment. Only in my ironic hindsight could I piece together the events that

unfolded that one fateful day, transforming my mundane eighth grade field trip into a tragedy of

nightmarish proportions. For the first half of the day, it was smooth sailing, and everything had

gone according to plan. We arrived just before ten, and spent two hours learning about the plant

and animal life that was being protected at the conservation center. It was at lunch, however,

when this happy course of events would come to an abrupt and brutal stop. My good friend Max

had brought a bowl of Mr. Noodles, a blatant display of his superior wealth and culture. But for

all his meticulous planning, he made a single mistake: his Thermos had deteriorated with age,

and the heat leaked out of it at an accelerated rate. The once scalding hot water, perfect for

instant noodles had devolved into the infamously incompetent lukewarm water. Unfazed, Max

poured the water into the cup, and began to stir the noodles, powders, and sauces into an

abomination that would make my lukewarm tea look as harmless as a puppy. The noodles

remained solid, albeit in chunks of all shapes and sizes, refusing to heat up. A thin layer of

grease and oil covered the surface, causing the bowl, conveniently coloured bright green, to look

like a barrel of illegally dumped biowaste. The powder swirled around in the horrible liquid,

like miso soup with an evil disposition. For a brief second that felt like an eternity, I managed to hold in my horror

and disgust, trying desperately to repel the memories of the “tea incident” seeping through the cracks in my

mental restraints, as if I was a gnarly veteran recalling the gruesome details of the Great War. But it was all for

nought, when Max, bewitched by the Siren’s Song, had a spoon of his cursed concoction. In that single moment, I

witnessed the River Styx and Sanzu River merge into a single raging torrent of disgusting Lukewarm

temperature, sweeping me into the afterlife where I would be forced to atone for my sins in all eternity. By some

miracle, perhaps the mercy of the gods that I prayed to, I lived. “What did it cost?” asked the innocent and naive

child that I once was, blissfully ignorant of Lukewarm Water. “Everything.” I replied, my empty voice echoing into

the endless abyss.


I shudder to think that lukewarm water could appear at any given moment, where and

when you least expect it. It spares no one, not even a child seeking the comfort of heat on a

winter day. Not even the honourable display of culture and wisdom through the consumption of

tea and instant noodles are safe from the corruption of lukewarm water. The unholy substance will mercilessly

destroy everything that it touches. Though I may be of exceptional physical health, the same cannot be said

about my soul. Blackened and twisted by its repeated encounters with humanity’s deadliest sin, it serves as a

constant reminder to all, screaming out, “Beware the Lukewarm Water! The jaws that bite! The claws that catch!”

Heed my words of wisdom, and let my struggle not be in vain!

Submitted: October 10, 2019

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