Charli Mills devoted this week’s essay and 99 word prompt to an absolute necessity – clean water. She shared the vision of a group of concerned people called Water Walkers. Please take the time to read her insightful essay here: https://carrotranch.com/2022/10/10/october-10-story-challenge-in-99-words/

In answer to her prompt, I’ve written two 99 word works. The first is a fantasy that I believe could be brought to reality. The second is a sad reality.

Aquarius 

A story told in 99 words

By Kerry E.B. Black

Born into a winter when the three rivers froze solid, the pretty little Aquarius charmed all who dove into her ice storm eyes. As she grew, so did her charms, from honey-wheat hair and reedy figure to tinkling voice and buoyant cheer. To have her as part of any team meant success. From trouble shooting to efficient enacting of a plan, she waded through issues to bail out even the worst situation. 

Lovely Aquarius, with water lilies and marigolds threaded through her beachy waves, donned a new mantle, ‘clean water’ her battle cry. Her leadership swelled awareness and resources.

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Weight of Water

A true story told in 99 words

Written by Kerry E.B. Black

She walked over a mile each way to collect water, the liquid of life. Two handmade buckets slung from a yoke weighed on her neck and shoulders, but she bore the burden proudly. She knew the value of her cargo. With drought a looming adversary for all of Africa, she felt herself lucky. 

The source of the water shortage mattered less than the fact of it. Who cared about government mismanagement, climate change, little money for infrastructure and support, or corruption when dying of thirst? 

Worse, she heard by 2050, more than 5 billion people may face water scarcity.

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I hope you enjoyed my wishful words – or at the least found something in them to ponder.

I live in a city surrounded by water. Three rivers are fed by smaller tributaries and streams. Creeks overflow during periods of heavy rain, and flooding is often an issue hereabouts. However, I can’t imagine drinking the water flowing into the mighty Mississippi without treatment. How blessed are we to have access to such a necessity? How weighty to consider the many people around the world facing water scarcity.

In our beautiful world, over a million people die every year because they don’t have access to clean water. We all need to listen to our waterbearers, because we need to correct this problem. I know many intelligent people. I believe if you focus some of your impressive intellects on the issue of the lack of clean water, the problem would be corrected within a short time – maybe before another million people die.

https://ourworldindata.org/water-access