The queue was as long as the entire city. They all were waiting for one single thing. Their daily allotment of water. It wasn't much, but it was enough to get by. It was a state of misery, but what were the people supposed to do if they wanted to live?
Some of them were very thirsty, others managed to save for worse days, yet nobody's situation was rosy red. The line of impatient individuals was slowly getting shorter, but it seemed that it wouldn't end anytime soon.
Instead, more and more joined, making the queue gain in length rather than shorten. They were weary, but they were aware that enduring was the only way to feel the rejuvenating liquid again.
This sad state of affairs was due to one fact. Drought. It hadn't rained for at least a month already and the land had gone dry. Although many wished for it, their prayers remained unheard.
However, there was also another thing to it. Fatimus Sphere, a man of extraordinary sizes and mass. He was the fattest person walking the Earth, his diet requiring tremendous amount of food.
How dared he stroll around the town on display for the impoverished people waiting in line was a mystery. It was partially his fault that the city's water supply was almost entirely depleted.
In the first days of the drought, he had sneaked into the reservoir and drunk the refreshing blue liquid to the bottom. It is understandable that a person of his weight had had a hard time crawling stealthily, so he had been forced to resort to underhanded tactics once in a while when his clumsy moves had alerted a nearby guard. Eating them had been a trivial matter for Fatimus and it had taken him but a gulp.
"Why did you do it!" people screamed at him hatefully as he passed them by with his usual rolling. They went as far as throwing stones at him, but the flab covering his whole body effortlessly blocked the attacks, making it seem like pebbles were bouncing off a lake surface.
"I was thirsty," he replied without turning his head and looking them in the eye. However, it wasn't a sign of impoliteness, it was because he was so overweight that every movement was a problem for him.
"Give us the water back!" they shouted at him.
"I have none, I'm sorry," he responded and disappeared behind the nearest corner, having been rushing as fast as his legs allowed him.
"I'll beat him!" someone from the crowd yelled angrily.
Yet a woman, possibly his wife, grabbed him by the arm. "It's no use. You'd only exhaust yourself."
The two were at the far end of the queue and it seemed that there were hours in front of them. They had been standing there for at least one already, yet they were hardly halfway through their daily ordeal.
However, the greatest shock was yet to come. It was a scorching hot day and many were kept conscious by sheer power of their will or constant nudges from people around them. Yet there was no way to avoid this situation due to the drought. Or was there?
"Citizens!" echoed a loud voice amplified by a megaphone. It was the mayor himself. "I'm afraid I have bad news for you."
"What?!" some shouted, though most already suspected what the problem was. It was more than obvious.
"We've run out of water," the mayor replied with grimness in his tone.
People were rightfully angry although only within reasonable bounds as their thirst and dizziness prevented them from any significant rioting. Still, there were those that resorted a bit of violence.
"But what are we supposed to do?!"
"My children are dying of thirst!"
"We have the right to drink! What about the others!"
"Citizens, please!" the mayor tried to mend the situation but it was to no avail. "This is unexpected but I trust we will find a way out of this mess."
"Mess?! Mess! There's no getting out of this mess!"
"What gave you the right to decide over the distribution of water?!"
"He's lying! He's hoarding it for himself!"
"Hoarding?! That's nonsense! Can't you see how I'm sweating? I've been standing here since morning and I haven't had a single drop! People, I'm in it with you! And it's important that we are on the same side!"
"You're the mayor, do something!"
"Go ask the neighbouring cities!"
"Neighbouring cities?! Are you mad? They hate us and will kick us out once we appear on their front door!"
"Do we have any other option?!" the people shouted in unison, discovering the power of their voices and repeating the sentence again and again in a chant. The mayor was thus pushed into a corner. Truly, he had no other option.
"Alright, alright!" he said as he walked off the podium where the water had been distributed. He imagined how the neighbours would laugh at him as they showed him the way out of their towns. Nevertheless, it was his job to look after his undernourished sheep and unless he wanted a revolt, he had to do their bidding.