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by Tom Stoppard

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Broken Water Main

square830The street was slick as if we’d had a good rain. The closer we drew to our light at the crest where Saddleback Ranch and Glenn Ranch met, the wetter the road. It was flooding near the top. A pair of police cruisers hedged off the road. In the darkness, I could see a blue-white geyser shooting into the air in a steady torrent. A firetruck stood at the ready. At the other end, more police cars blocked off the road. We splashed past our usual turn and made a left at El Toro. Lynn and I schemed about what we would do if our water was cut off by the burst. “The only water we’ll use is for drinking and flushing the toilet,” she said. “I have Gatorade on hand,” I added helpfully. When we got home, we turned on the kitchen tap expecting it to scream as empty plumbing does. But a stream bubbled into a glass and I drank it.