Water Break by Curtis LeBlanc
We got a call from his neighbour a couple days back, said there’s a sinkhole the size of his Ford Ranger forming in the backyard next door, said he’s worried there might be some kind of water leak. Apparently, the guy who owns the house wasn’t overly concerned about his sinking lawn, considering he wasn’t the one who called. In fact, he looks like he’s more worried about the fact that we showed up to check things out.
After I see this guy squirming, talking to me with the front door open just a crack and the chain lock pulled tight, I radio public works to find out if he’s been skipping on his payments. Turns out, he hasn’t. Never missed a payment in his thirteen years of tenancy. So I get off the radio and ask him, “Mind if I take a look?”
He says, “Be my guest.”
There isn’t much around the back—a twelve-by-twelve deck and an empty plot of grass. At one end of the yard, I can see the sinkhole forming around where the valve is supposed to be. It looks like fresh sod on top. At the other end is another fairly large spot of crisp green grass that I’m guessing he used to replace a dead patch. I poke around with the metal detector over the spongy ground that’s sloping in, and off it goes, wailing. I dig a couple inches down and hit the valve cap—ting—right on the head. No problem. It’s pretty clear to me what’s happened here….
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