This is a scenario that could happen as global warming adds to the drying up of the American Southwest:
Tommy climbed the blue and red steps and sat on his ducky-head toilet-training seat. He did everything he needed to do all by himself. It was a Saturday morning. No day-care! He’d spend all day with Mommy! They would watch cartoons together. She would take him to the park. She’d be on the see-saw with him. She’d help him go down the slide. She would take him on the trolley to the grocery and she’d buy him strawberries and cherries to eat on the way home, maybe even a lollypop.
Tommy carefully held onto the ducky-head as he climbed down the two steps. He put on his pajama bottoms and grabbed the lever to flush. It pulled down too easily and did not flush. He looked in the bowl and his poop was still there.
“Mommy! The toilet’s bwoken.” He tried not to cry. Mommy wouldn’t want him to cry.
Mommy came into the bathroom. She had been just outside the door. She said, “Let me see,” and tried flushing the toilet. When it did not flush, she raised the lid on the tank. She said, “Oh, no.”
“I bwoke it?”
She went to the bathroom sink and tried turning on the cold water. Nothing. She tired the hot water. Again, nothing. She said, “Shit.” Then she said, “Sorry, Tommy. I’m not supposed to say that around you. But no, you didn’t break it, honey. It’s the city. I think it’s what they were talking about on the news all week.”
“The city bwoke it?” To Tommy, the city was big buildings. Could the city break things?.
Mommy lifted off the ducky head and sat on the toilet, sliding her pajama bottoms in a manner to leave nothing exposed.
Tommy asked, “Flush?”
“You’re right. It won’t, but it’s the only toilet we have.”
Mommy’s phone was ringing from the bedroom.
“Could you get that, Tommy? It’s probably Daddy.”
Tommy had just learned how to answer Mommy’s phone. Daddy’s face was on the screen. Tommy moved his finger on the green thingy over Daddy’s shirt pocket. Then he put his thumb on the speaker thingy toward the bottom left. When it changed, he said, “Hi, Daddy.”
Daddy’s voice said, “Hi, Tommy. How you doing, kid?”
“Okay, Daddy. I made a poop by myself, but the flush is bwoken.”
“That’s what I was afraid of, Tommy-boy. Put Mommy on the phone. Love you, kid.”
“Love you, Daddy.”
Tommy handed Mommy the phone. She said, “Hey, Steve,”
“What the hell are you still doing there? Didn’t you hear the evacuation notices?”
Mommy pushed a buttons on the phone and Tommy could no longer hear Daddy.
Tommy did not understand, but Mommy said, “I thought the Corps of Engineers were fixing it. Huh? Why would the Supreme Court stop them?
“Yes, yes. That’s idiotic. When Nawra said to pick up Tommy early from day care, with her accent I couldn’t figure out why. I spent the morning at the University library. No one else was there. Last weekend, Tommy was miserable without you here. So, we needed to have fun last night. We had his favorite foods .His favorite books, games. I didn’t turn on the TV and you didn’t call. Mom didn’t call. I didn’t know calls weren’t going through.
“So what do we do? No, don’t steal a copter from your military base. Okay. Yes. Okay. You still have a hidden six-pack? You finished it? Damn you! Yes. Okay. Train, first choice. Copters at the hospital, second choice. The Parkway to Twenty-Third Street. Right on Sixteenth Avenue. Left on Birch. You sure it’s not Elm? Okay, Birch. Okay. Bright clothes. Okay. I will. Okay. Electricity too? Oh shit. Okay. I understand you’ve got to go. Okay. Thanks. Talk to you soon. Love you. Bye.”
“Let’s get you dressed, Tommy. We’ll eat breakfast. Then we’ll get out of this bwoken city.”
“Tommy started to cry. “I wanna go to the park. Playground today. No day care. You said.”
Mommy picked him up and put her cheek against his. “Please don’t cry, Tommy. I probably sound scared and you picked up on that. We’ll be okay. But you have to be a very big boy today with no crying. The city’s water supply is broken. Daddy says the electricity might break today, too. We’ll travel to your grandparents and maybe get to see Daddy. Okay? You’ll be a very good boy today?”
Tommy nodded. Mommy wiped his nose with toilet paper. She threw it in the toilet. Tommy did not understand why.
In the kitchen, Mommy said, “We really needed to go shopping. There’s just enough milk for Cheerios for you. And you have a small glass of juice. For me, It’s Cheerios with the last half can of beer.”
“Mommy, it’s scary.”
“Yeah, it’s too quiet. No car noises. Not even birds. Let’s do what they did in The Wizard of Oz. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.”
Tommy joined in, “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.” Then he stopped and said, “Mommy, I’m hot.”
“Yeah, I’m hot, too. Daddy said to wear bright colors and your coat’s bright red. But you’re right. It’s hot. I’ll unzip it, but keep it on for now. We need to be seen by helicopters or airplanes. There’s a gas station up ahead with a mini mart. We’ll buy something to drink.”
As they approached the gas station, Tommy said, “Minnie Mart is bwoken, Mommy.”
“You’re right. The window’s been smashed.” They rushed toward it. “Damn! It’s been looted. Everything drinkable’s been stolen.”
“I’m thirsty, Mommy.” Tommy started to cry.
Mommy sat on a curb and put Tommy on her lap. She said, “I’m thirsty too. But it looks like the trolley’s not working, so we can’t get to a train. We’ll have to walk to the hospital. Daddy says there will be helicopters there. So we have to walk, Tommy, even if we’re both thirsty. If we see people, we can get help. If we see a window that doesn’t have bars on it, maybe we can break into a house and find melted ice from a refrigerator, or something like that. But we have to walk. So, don’t cry. Tommy.”
They walked. They found the Parkway and walked and walked.
Tommy said, “Mommy, I can’t.” He started crying.
She picked him up and tried to comfort him. When he stopped crying, she started walking again, carrying Tommy. It was dark when she came to the Twenty-Third Street exit.
It was getting dark and cold. There were townhouses along the street but all windows were barred and doors were locked. She found a house with a wooden bench on the front porch. She sat Tommy on the bench and sat next to him.
“I don’t feel good, Mommy. I’m thirsty.”
“I know. Me too. We’ll sleep here. Maybe we’ll feel better in the morning.”
She stretched him out on the bench and wrapped herself around him to keep him warm. Eventually, they both slept.
The next morning, Tommy did not want to get up.
“I feel sick, Mommy. I’m thirsty, Mommy. I need to pee. I don’t wanna walk, Mommy.”
She kissed Tommy. She hugged him. She helped him to pee. Then she picked him up and started walking. Eventually, they found Sixteen Avenue.
She said, “Tommy, do you remember if Daddy said to turn right or left on Sixteenth Avenue. I don’t remember.”
“I don’t know, Mommy.”
They turned left. She knew she had to turn on Birch or Elm Street. But the streets here were named for birds, not trees: Partridge Street, Sparrow Lane, Parrot Road. She hoped that after the bird names, there would be tree names. But then she came to Jefferson Road, then Lincoln Street. They turned around.
When they finally came to a Redwood Lane, Tommy said. “I feel sick, Mommy. I gotta lie down. Please, Mommy.”
She saw a grassy patch ahead and walked to it. She was feeling warm. Tommy’s head felt hot. She took off her coat and put it on the grass for Tommy to rest on. He closed his eyes. She lay down next to him.
The next morning, she could not wake him.
“Tommy. No. Wake up. Please. Tommy. Wake up.” She shook him, but he would not wake up. She put her cheek against his and rested her head on the ground, crying.
Three days later, a rescue team searching for survivors found their bodies. They were among the number of dead who somehow failed to evacuate. The number was in the thousands.
Please help me in my personal war against global warming. Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, and connect with me on LinkedIn. I am writing a powerful global warming novel. I need a great publishing company to market it and print a lot of copies. Publishers look at an author's social media numbers as a sign of potential buyers. So please Friend me, Follow me, and Connect with me. Consider it as doing a small part in saving humanity from the ravages of global warming. Thanks.