by Adam J. Whitlatch

Before he died, my grandfather used to tell me stories about a time long ago, long before the bombs fell, when people didn't have to search for water; no one had to pillage abandoned, burned-out shopping centers for dust-covered bottles of imported water. He told us that people would relieve themselves in gleaming porcelain bowls filled with crystal clear water several times a day, and then flush their waste down a hole with gallons - gallons of clean, uncontaminated water. It used to flow magically into homes from multiple points called "taps" that would open with a mere flick of the wrist, and people would let precious water flow directly into a drain while they ran foamy bristled brushes over their teeth, then they would bathe in large tubs filled to the brim, sometimes spilling over the sides as they splashed and played. These of course were the times before the road pirates, the mutants, and the cults; long before men like me had to risk our lives and search for clean, uncontaminated water, fighting off these threats and sometimes worse. If only we had known then what we know now, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess; children wouldn't cry in their beds for a mere drop of disease-ridden muddy river water, livestock wouldn't be forced to drink their own recycled urine, and our dead wouldn't be processed to harvest every last drop of usable water from their bodies. My name is Matt Freeborn, and I am a Weller; I scour the wastelands for clean water so that you don't have to, so please do me one small favor... don't waste it.


Adam J. Whitlatch is the author of the novel-in-progress "The Weller: Tales of the Wasteland," the story of a Weller named Matt Freeborn who travels the wastelands of post-World War III America in a souped up '71 Road Runner searching for clean, drinkable water. Adam supports Charity: Water, an organization dedicated to bringing clean water to people in Africa. Please watch this short video featuring Jennifer Connelly, then visit charitywater.org for more details.