Blood Water

This story is in response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.

 

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Laura first noticed the color of the water had turned to a slight orange. Harold, her husband, then commented on the acid taste of the water. The local water company had just ended a contract with an adjoining city and had started to provide the city with drinking water from the local river.

Still, the guidance from city officials about the temporary water supply they switched to in 2014 — partly to save money — sounded assuring. In a notice sent to residents in July, city officials declared: “This is not an emergency. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours.”

Turning on the local news station the lead story was a study that found that children drinking the city water had blood lead levels seven times the CDC limits.