Winter 2012 • Vol. XXXIV No. 1 Fiction |

The Source of Life

The dogs don't know it but we're running out of water. The power went out for a day, a few days ago, and they told us to boil our tap water but the pump isn't working right. We can go down to the stream but the stream is pretty much off limits, even for dogs, and the plumber hasn't answered my call. I tried three other plumbers before Mr. Pike, who's semiretired. My husband, who does call each day at 11:00 a.m., says I should drive straight down to New York City where the best water gets piped in, but as it happens, I remind him, we need new brake lights. I could take the car to a man in Manchester but he charges an arm and a leg. "I know, I've got plenty of each," I say. "How are the dogs? What can you tell me about them?" "You sound like a talk show host." He reminds me not to go near the lake and we hang up. I used to swim at Lake Aftsbury. It's a small lake and actually, up here in the north country, might very well be called a pond. I wasn't a strong swimmer

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Beth Bosworth is the author of The Source of Life and Other Stories (University of Pittsburgh Press), for which she received the Drue Heinz Literature Prize in 2012. Her other books are the novel Tunneling (Crown Books) and a debut collection, A Burden of Earth and Other Stories (Hanging Loose Press). She divides her time between Vermont and Brooklyn, NY, where she teaches English at Saint Ann's School and edits The Saint Ann's Review.

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