Coal Ash Spill

“Get out of that water! It’s not safe!” Heather shouts from the porch.

Timmy hops to the front yard, splashing all the way. His pants legs are soaked through to his shins.

Heather runs to the curb and scoops her son up out of the flooded street. She rushes back inside, carries him to the bathroom.

“Mommy, what’s wrong?” Timmy whines.

Heather snatches off his flip flops, runs the hot water in the tub. The steam quickly filled the room, fogging the mirror. She rolls his pants legs up to his knees. “Get in,” she commands.

“But the water’s hot.”

“Do you want to end up like those children in Flint? McCrory doesn’t care about you.”

“I don’t know what you—” Timmy jumps when Heather suddenly slaps her hand down against the side of the tub. The hollow sound echoes.

“Do what I say!”

Timmy quickly climbs in and sits at the end of the tub furthest from the water slowly rising. He draws his knees under his chin, curls his toes as the water approaches.

Heather drops an oatmeal soap bar under the running faucet. She grabs Timmy’s ankle, yanks it down into the water, and scrubs his leg, building bubbles as she goes.

“Mommy, it hurts!”

“That water outside will hurt worse. You stay out of it, you hear me?” She starts on the other leg.

“Yes, Mommy.” Timmy winces. Heather doesn’t stop scrubbing until his skin turns red.

—Nortina


coal_ashSunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge for writers to create a 100-200 word story (sorry I went over😦 )using the provided photo prompt. Click the froggy icon to read other stories inspired by the photo and add your own.

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