“The War Between the Water and the Road” by William Alexander
This story was published in Lightspeed Magazine, December 2016 issue.
You can read this story free here: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/war-water-road/
This story follows a young boy on his quest for justice. His father tells him that the park he plays in used to be a lake and everything was underwater until they built the road. Once they built the road they struck something underneath the ground and released all the water from the lake leaving behind a pond only. So, the boy, Oliver, sets off to deal justice to the road, and those who might have worked on the road, for hurting the water, and the lake.
The story follows him on his quest through talking with an old woman by the pond to listening to the ghost stuck in the pond. He finds out from the old woman that the ghost was someone who worked on the highway and died while working.
While they are talking, a war breaks out between the water and the road. Rain starts to fall and turns the road into a slick sheet of ice. Oliver helps the old woman across the ice and takes her home. On his way home, he slips and falls on the ice. He decides he needs to help the ghost and in the process, realizes that he can put a stop to the war. He calls a truce to the war between the water and the road.
This was an interesting story. It was filled with whimsical and fantastical elements. A little boy on a quest, setting off to right the world of wrongs commited. He learns a few life lessons along the way and in the end, all ends up well. A fun fantasy story that is a bit different than some of the other stories out there.