In the ruins of a house. There was all sorts of refuse scattered in the upstairs hallway, soiled clothes, a loose dresser drawer upturned and spilling lost pennies and dead batteries on the floor, all the debris abandoned in a sudden move. Broken picture frames and their forgotten faces smiling up through shattered glass. The place still marked in the yellowed pages of a coverless paperback novel. The silent reclamations of another life telling their fragmented stories.
A thin stream of water trickled across the floor, soaking into the carpet. I traced the source of the leak to a pipe protruding from the wall in one of the bedrooms. I could hear my brother creaking around downstairs. I called down to him to shut off the valve to this pipe. I could hear the sharp squeak of the valve as he turned it off, but the water just began to flow harder. I called down again in a panic. But no matter what, the water spilled profusely from the pipe. It began to flood the room and the hallway beyond, sweeping up all the debris and carrying it along and spilling over the edge of the stairs. I knew there would be no stopping it. The water would rot the house to its foundations and the whole thing would crumble in a heap.