Friday Flash Fiction: Sacrifice – A Wanton Waste of Water

A Wanton Waste of Water

Words: 296

Prompt: Sacrifice

Throughout the summer months, Madge worried about the worsening drought situation in the Algarve. She fretted. Dams were little more than puddles … as was the river in her local town. Newspapers and online groups continually warned that without significant rainfall there would be a severe drought come winter.

Every day, Madge made sacrifices as she tried to limit her water consumption and recycled as much water as humanly possible to her thirsty plants and vegetables. She collected all the backwash from the swimming pool, which she stored in big containers and later decanted into 5-litre water bottles. She washed in a bowl and showered in a bucket. Grey water from the washing machine was diverted into a huge plastic dustbin to be distributed on her hardy bushes. Wasting water troubled her, but as her husband pointed out, some things were beyond her control and she was already doing her bit to save the world.

“You don’t understand, love. It’s not saving the world … we’re fighting for survival. People take water for granted.”

Her husband laughed at her production line. “Exactly, Madge, and unless you can persuade the tourists to reduce the length of time and the number of showers they take per day there’s little point in us locals showering in a bloody bucket.”

“Well, some of us have got to do our bit.”

“Okay, love. You go and tell that moronic couple up the road who only visit their villa twice a year to refrain from watering their lush, manicured grass daily … with them there sprinklers … the thousands of gallons they waste pales your sacrifices into insignificance. “

Madge nodded. He had a point, and with no counterargument, went to pour herself a long luxurious bath. Tomorrow could take care of itself.


Sadly this week’s flash is based on truth as per the photograph … When I saw all the sprinklers I did wonder why I bothered going to so much trouble to conserve water.

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