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Fiction in response to Affordable and Clean Energy
July 2018

The Difference it Makes

By Grace Muresan
CC Image Courtesy of  Eric Rosenbaum

I left the lights on while we were away. Not a big deal, we thought.

Jamie left the tap running while he brushed his teeth. It doesn’t matter, we figured.


Mom forgot to turn off the gas. The house didn’t burn down, so we were fine, we guessed.

But we were wrong.

When dad came home his shoulders were droopy and his head hung low. He had a bad day. An envelope that made me instinctively nervous just by the looks of it was in his hand.

The news Jamie and I had already guessed was released at dinner. “Kids, I lost my job.”

“Can’t you just get a new one?” Jamie asked promptly, just as any six-year-old would.

Silence was his only answer and he got the hint, going back to scraping the vegetables off his plate.

Later when we went to our rooms to sleep the truth dawned on me. No job means no money. No money means no money for lighting, water, gas, heating, mortgage, food even, and all the things that were so normal to us that we simply took them for granted, and shunned them down, didn’t think twice about reality.

Things that so many don’t have but need, things that we carelessly waste.


Quietly I crept around the house, turning off light and dripping faucets and everything else wasting precious electricity. I wasn’t going to waste any longer.


A month later, the utilities bill came in. Dad smiled when he saw it, a relieved smile.


The difference it makes!

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