World Book Day!

It’s world book day! A day to celebrate the wonders of books, writers and readers.

At Caley Water, we have a team of engineers and scientists who can read. And occasionally do! Bad jokes aside, to ‘celebrate’ World Book Day, we are going to ask our friend chat GBT to produce a story about a Hydraulic modeller working alone in the office in Edinburgh, when something scary happens – in the style of Stephen King.

Water Remembers

In the dim heart of Edinburgh’s Haymarket, under a sky choked with winter’s early dusk, Sophie found herself alone in the Caley Water office. The day’s usual hustle had bled away, leaving behind a silence so profound it was almost a presence in itself. Ross and Paul, the enigmatic duo at the helm of Caley Water, had asked Sophie to stay late to work on an urgent hydraulic model. Their request, delivered with unsettling smiles, was not one she felt she could refuse.

Sophie was the newest hydraulic modeller at the firm, her talent with numbers and systems undisputed, yet she often felt like an outsider. Ross and Paul were peculiar, their interactions with staff veiled in cryptic exchanges and lingering stares that seemed to bore into one’s very soul.

The task was straightforward: update the city’s water flow model to account for a new development project. But as the hours waned, the quiet office transformed. Shadows danced in the corners of her vision, and the soft hum of the computer became a cacophony in the otherwise silent space.

Around midnight, a chilling draft whispered through the office, carrying with it the faint, unmistakable sound of water dripping. Sophie followed the sound to the break room, only to find it dry. Puzzled, she returned to her desk, attributing the noise to her overworked imagination.

As she worked, the sense of unease grew. The office felt… different. The familiar became foreign, the benign menacing. Sophie shook her head, scolding herself for her foolishness. It was just a job, just an office. There was nothing to fear but the looming deadline and perhaps the oddities of Ross and Paul.

But then, her computer screen flickered. Assuming it was a glitch, Sophie attempted to save her work, but the screen went black before her eyes, only to light up again with a message typed in the center:

“Water remembers.”

Sophie stared, frozen, at the screen. The message vanished, replaced by her model, but now altered in ways she hadn’t inputted. The pathways of water flow twisted into impossible configurations, looping back on themselves in a labyrinthine design that defied logic.

Panic crept into her bones. This had to be a prank, a sick joke by Ross and Paul. Yet, when she tried to call them, her phone displayed no signal, the office landline dead.

Then, laughter echoed through the office, a sound both alien and familiar. It seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere, bouncing off the walls in a mocking serenade. Sophie rose, intent on leaving, but the office layout had inexplicably changed. Corridors twisted into strange angles, doors led to rooms that should not exist, and the laughter grew louder, more insistent.

In the heart of this maze, she stumbled upon an ancient-looking water pump, its design centuries old, yet pulsing with a malevolent life. The pump throbbed as if beating in time with her heart, and from it flowed not water, but shadows that swirled around her feet, whispering of forgotten floods and drowned secrets.

Sophie ran, the corridors blurring past her until she collided with Ross and Paul, standing as still as statues in the dim light. Their eyes glowed with an unholy light, their smiles too wide, too sharp.

“Water remembers, Sophie,” Ross said, his voice a serpentine hiss. “It remembers every secret, every lie. It knows the foundation upon which this city rests, the sacrifices made to tame its thirst.”

Paul stepped closer, the shadows swirling around him. “And now, it remembers you. You are part of the flow, part of the cycle. You cannot leave, for you have seen the truth.”

Sophie felt the cold grip of realization. This was no ordinary engineering firm; it was a custodian of ancient, dark secrets, with Ross and Paul as its keepers. She had been chosen not for her skills, but for her ability to see the unseen, to model not just water, but fate itself.

With a defiant scream, Sophie broke from their grasp, running towards what she hoped was the exit. The building moaned around her, the very structure seeming to resist her escape. But ahead, light beckoned—a door, a way out.

She burst into the night, gasping for air, the office behind her looking benign once more, its windows dark, the laughter and whispers silenced.

Sophie never returned to Caley Water, nor did she dare to delve into the history of Haymarket’s ancient waterways. She left Edinburgh, seeking solace in places where water flowed freely, untainted by memory or malice.

But sometimes, in the stillness of night, she would hear it—the distant sound of water laughing, and she knew, despite everything, that water does remember, and it was waiting.