No. 50 Vol. 1Thu 08 July 2021Price: 0/0d

Cistern of a Down

pointing finger Yarns >> Thu 08 July 2021 by Thran

As it was, I noticed rainfall concentrated only in my kitchen window. I first considered it was a freak of nature in the culinary area, like Mr Skinner's Aurora Borealis. When I noticed how regular and directed the 'rainfall' was, I then considered that it might be one of those high-level house features where the windows would wash themselves at the flick of a switch. I went outside to inspect this undersold feature, but found something yet more curious.

Outside there was a tube poking out of the first floor, near where the back wall of the bathroom was located. I considered the horror that I'd left the tap running, so I dashed upstairs but found no such scene. Rather, I was to find something much more sinister lurking in the unseen parts.


The sound of 'hissing' emerged from the cistern of my vintage, genuine, 1980s Armitage Shanks olive green lavatory. A sound associated with poisonous gas leaks. I lifted the top from this cistern and my eyes met a scene of absolute desolation. The buoy, lever and other components I can't name were lined in a green and black slimy scum. The ceramic inner wall of the cistern was itself lined in mold. The water level was above the overflow drainage pipe. Thrown into total disarray; I was at an inflection point: How had life brought me hence? What was man to do?

My immediate instinct was chemical warfare, so I doused the innards with bleach. I clad my hands in the thickest rubber gloves I had available. I brought a scrubbing brush and lacerated all scum from where it did not belong. I did not cease a minute until all the apparatus of my cistern was expurgated. As I toiled, I considered: It was highly likely that I was the first man to witness the innards of this cistern since it was installed, during the decade of Thatcherism and really good pop music. And how often had I sat upon my throne, not knowing what live and grew less than an inch from my back.

Now with the job done, the battle won, the foe well on the run, the question of the overflow was yet to be settled. I inspected the scene, and noticed the lever had a small nut that was slightly off its position. I twisted it using a spanner until it was suitably taught. In time, the hissing sound subsided. A sense of peace overcame the room in its absence. When the dreaded hiss passed entirely, I gave one flush to commemorate this moment and reflected: now all was well in the kingdom again. I could sit assured; no one was plotting behind the throne.

Tags for this writ:

told-from-the-household, mishaps,

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