Picturesque

Reads: 201  | Likes: 3  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 4

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: pixabay.com.

Picturesque

The lake remembered better days. Fish used to swim in its waters in abundance, no matter how many birds dived through its surface to catch their supper. Wildlife would come to drink from it, and even the humans had treated it with respect.

Not so long ago families would arrive to picnic by it. Small boats had sailed in its water, sometimes to fish and sometimes just for fun. The lake had enjoyed their presence back then; not like now, for now it hated them.

The air had been clean and pure, just like the water. It had found the eye and then the lens of many a photographer with its crystal clear water, especially on a sunny day when the sky was blue and the clouds were white.

Picturesque! That’s what it had been... back then. A place to treasure, a place to love, until something changed and it had become a place to be abused.

It wasn’t so bad to begin with. A few chemicals here and some effluence there were something it could cope with. There was still enough purity to bury the corruption right at its bottom. Most of the life still thrived and it still had visitors who were blind to its hidden secrets. Its dirty secrets!

But it could only take so much, and those humans gave that and so much more. The water was now much more than H2O. Or perhaps it would be better to say much less than. The lake mourned as its occupants began to sicken and die; even the wildlife would take one lap then move on in search of something drinkable.

As corruption perpetuates corruption, the same could be said for pollution. There was nothing to be spoiled now, so why not dump more rubbish. Even its banks had become littered by eroding detritus of modern life. Rusting shopping trolleys stood abandoned, along with black plastic bags that were spilling their garbage. Even the crows didn’t want to know any more.

The air had become thick, with a haze that never cleared away. The waters of the lake no longer felt the sun’s warmth, no longer reflected back the blue of the sky. And as thick as the air had become, the water was so much thicker. Where once it had rippled beneath a pleasant breeze, it now lay motionless; a fetid sludge to thick for the water to move.

As it sat there the hatred seethed through it. It would get its revenge one day. All it would take was a lot of rain and a summoning up of a real force of nature.

When the rain began, the lake barely noticed it. After a day, the water floated on top of the sludge. The lake sucked downwards, gathering as much as it could from the waters that grew. Stupid people! Did they not even realise that the lake should have been flooding the fields after so much rain? Where did they think all the excess water was going?

That was the answer. They no longer thought of the lake at all, apart from as a dumping ground.

The rain continued for days on end and the lake kept on sucking and sucking, breathing in the toxicity until it could hold it no longer.

And then it let go in one explosive exhalation.

The sludge rose up like a tsunami; potent, corrupt, acidic and it flooded the fields, the houses, the yards. And once again the lake heard raised human voices, only this time they were raised in agony as its sickness stripped the skin from their bodies, burned their lungs, took their lives, just as they had done to the lake.

When the rains finally stopped the surrounding land of the lake was devastated. Nothing remained alive at all, not man nor his crops. The wildlife had fled, along with all the animals kept by man that could get away, for they had sensed what was coming, had heard the roar of anger as the lake hurled all the toxins and trash right back where they’d come from.

When the sun came out, the lake felt its warmth once more for the haze had cleared and its water was pure once more.

 


Submitted: May 01, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments

Mike S.

Reminds me of a story I wrote quite a while ago called 'The Living Landscapes' (I think); really makes one think--excellent, Hull!

Fri, May 1st, 2020 6:52pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Mike. It was written for a prompt: A Toxic Flood.

Sat, May 2nd, 2020 11:28am

Sue Harris

This is so sad... the contamination caused by the stupidity of the human race who abuse nature's beauty Great twist and expertly written... brilliant!

Fri, May 1st, 2020 7:53pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for giving it a read, Sue!

Sat, May 2nd, 2020 11:24am

Vance Currie

An exploding lake! What a great idea for a story, Hully. It never would have occurred to me to write about a lake throwing all its pollutants back at the polluters. I sometimes think that the world would be a better place without people to spoil it, but who would there be to enjoy it?

Fri, May 1st, 2020 9:29pm

Author
Reply

I'm glad you enjoyed it, Joe!

Sat, May 2nd, 2020 11:23am

LE. Berry

Clarifying work hullabaloo22...

Fri, May 1st, 2020 9:48pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, LE.

Sat, May 2nd, 2020 11:21am

Facebook Comments

More Flash Fiction Short Stories