A sincere thanks to Dan and Jen of Firewords Magazine: The Anthology of Fiery Fiction and Poetry. This month, Dan and Jen bring us Issue 9, Perspectives,and I’m happy to say the magazine includes “The Water People,” a story I wrote earlier this year.
“The Water People” is, in some ways, a different kind of story for me. For one, it’s told from a collective first person point of view, which I’ve never used before. This is a story about days of endless rain, and a strange race of liquid people who take over the world as it drowns. Fine—I have a thing for stories in which the world ends, so that’s nothing new.
I’m also excited because this is the first time my work has appeared in a UK magazine. Firewords is a Glasgow based, print journal that relies on volunteers rather than advertising. You can purchase the magazine in a variety of formats—just follow the link above, and thanks for your support of this gem of a journal.
Here’s an exerpt:
Some say it’s an invasion—an invasion of water people, against which we have no defence. The invasionists insist the water people came across the gulf of space in great ships that drifted like interstellar balloons, until they spotted the inviting blueness of Earth—our Earth, our home. They say the water people melted the icecaps to create a new home for themselves. Others, more reasonably, say we did this to ourselves. The world is changing, and maybe the water people are just a new species that will inhabit this drowning planet. Accelerated evolution, they call it. Others simply hope it’s a dream.
Practically speaking, the rain is the threat, not the water people. We work hard to hold back the water—laying rows of sandbags and building berms. While we work, the city’s storm-sewers fail, and the dry ponds in the neighbourhood become shallow lakes, only traversable by canoe.
We bail out our basements, day after day, but our homes can’t cope with the incessant water. It seeps and it drips and it runs. Wood rots, drywall crumbles, and mould spreads. Many abandon their homes in dismay for drier places to live. But such places are becoming few and far between. Those who refuse to leave, or are too overcome to resist, are sometimes found bobbing amidst the flotsam of their disintegrating homes, peered at and prodded by the water people that come to investigate like curious fishes.