The Cleanest City

The Cleanest City

The night was gloomy, and the rain was pouring down on the red roofs of people, who were sleeping in their warm beds. The streets were flooded with water, and the cars were floating like boats. The sky was raging and the light had split it in two. The night was sad but only one witness was there to look, at the sadness of the night.

It was a boy, whose sleep was restless. He opened the window, and the warm drops had splashed his face. The boy was smiling because he liked the rain, but when he saw the water down the street, his happiness had turn to shock. At his young age, he never saw the streets of the town covered with water, he never saw the cars acting like boats and the sky full of angry sounds. The poster, from the free blocks away building, on which was written “We are proud of our cleanest city’’ was seen by the boy, how the words were fading, and the image of a green tree was discolored. The boy closed the window and in one step he reached the bed, and then he pulled the blanket over his head breathing heavily in the muffled air.

The night went long, and the rain had drowned more of the city’s streets. The little boy had slept the rest of the night and in the morning when he comes from under the blanket he didn’t straighten up to the window because he could hear everything from the warm bed. A hum, was heard, a hum of a resentful crowd. Voices of quarrelsome women and authoritarian men were heard in the whole city, and when the boy went to the window he saw that the voices were coming from the balconies. Water,on the streets was instead of people,making them prisoners in their own homes. When, the boy from his window looked down to the water, he saw not just water, but something more. In the rainwater, which was two feet tall, waste and plastic could be seen. It was floating beside cars and even enter in the open windows. The voice of the crowd got louder and meaner, as if  they were arguing with the waste which was floating. Once the sewers filled up and the rainwater raised, the trash that once was under their feet, now was floating on the streets.

The sun raised and the sky got blue in the afternoon. The heat of the sun felt like burning on the skin and a bad smell from the water started to spread around the city. The smell of the sewers started to invade people’s nostrils, making their indignation to be heard by all the neighbors. But one voice, suddenly covered the hum. It was a voice heard far away from the boy’s window but still close for the words to be clearly heard. It was a man’s voice, a deep voice which was coming from a speaker. The people knew that it was the speaker from the city hall and the voice that they were hearing, it was the mayer voice. He started to speak calmly and reassuring by saying that the inundation problem will be solved immediately and that the people will be out of their homes by the next day. From his voice could be felt sympathy and the same concern which was felt by the boy when he heard the neighbors in the morning. And when he approached the subject which everyone were impatient to hear his voice got louder and authoritative. With confidence he said that the cause of the waste in the water was unknown and inexplicable, and whatever the source was it will urgently be discovered and will be taking care of. The mayor has ended his speech by asking people to stay in their homes patiently and carefree, and with that, the silence took control of the city in that afternoon.

The evening has come, and with it something more disturbing. The little boy from the window, returned to his viewing spot, and when he looked down his face lightened and rapidly he shouted:

– Mom, Dad, come quick!
The boy’s mom got in the room with a worried face and with relief she said.
– Oh, Tom, you scared me. What is it?
The boy with the same smile on his face started to point in the street and say:
– Look, mom, it’s my crib!
– Tom it can’t be your crib, she said with an incredulous face. It’s water down there, and you know we threw it, it was too old.
– But mom, look, it is my crib, continued Tom, with more persistence. It has father’s drawings on the wood.
She approached the window, with the same look of doubt on her face, and when she looked in the water, she barely said the words.
– But, how, where did it come from?
But her surprise didn’t take long, for in the block next door, a girl was heard, speaking to his mother.
– Mom, look, my bicycle!

And the hum started to fill the blocks again. It was shocked, excited, frustrated voices all around. The balconies came alive, a man or a woman, everyone started to recognise their long-lost belongings. An old man started to fish his things from the water and later he continued to take what did not belong to him.

When the sun set, the boats started to appear among the blocks. It was equipped men in yellow uniforms who were opening the drain caps letting the water to drain from the city’s streets. They were collecting the garbage with fishing nets, and people from their balconies were watching them with angry faces.

The next day, people gathered on the clean dry street which was in front of the city hall. They were shouting with angry faces and holding thick, large boards in their hands. When the mayor came out to speak in front of the protesters he saw written on their boards ’’We want a clean city!’’. He grabbed his microphone and sayed with a surprised voice and look on his face.

But, citizens of this great city, we have a clean city!

But with his words, he did not do better, he just made the crowd even louder and angrier. People started to call him a liar and a fake, while he was standing in front of them with the microphone in his hand and with a sweaty forehead. And if the mayor couldn’t silence them then a three men group standing on the top of the car with a megaphone in their hands, could. The people turned their heads like a wave and the men continued to speak.

-We have found the source of the waste from the water. We will not describe it, or say where it is, but we will show it to you, said the man in the middle. Please follow us, said the other men, and then they got out of the car and headed for the place of truth.

It was three men and behind them an enormous number of people with their boards down, going with suspense and fear in the hearts. When they arrived, the shock and even terror could be read in their eyes and some women dropped a few tears. They were looking at an enormous landfill, which looked like it was touching the sky. There was everything they thought it was recycled in time. Anger turned into disappointment and desire of revenge was fading away. 

They felt sad and powerless as they were looking at the mountain of waste.

Photo by Christopher.F

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