Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Once in a Blue Moon (01/06/11)
TITLE: South-East Deluge
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Recently manicured lawns quickly turned to swirling pools of murky liquid. The drains on each side of the road overflowed and soon transformed the avenue into a rapid flowing river. A car tyre and an empty garbage bin swept past the gate in the rapid flow. An assortment of debris joined the race down the newly formed waterway.
Dad had to shout to be heard. “Look at that!” He pointed to a neighbour’s roof across the road where hail ricochet in all directions.
“Dad,” Jeremy yelled. “The water’s coming up to the steps.”
Jerry rushed to the front door and opened it cautiously. He took a quick look before slamming it shut against a blast of chilly air. “Take the kids upstairs, Kylie—just in case.”
Before Kylie could respond Jeremy grabbed his sister’s hand. “Come on, Lizzie,” he encouraged.” We can see the backyard from my bedroom window.”
When the children were out of sight Kylie followed her husband into the kitchen. “Just in case what, Jerry?”
He shrugged. “I’m not sure. When I was Jeremy’s age, my grandfather told me that there was a storm like this when he was a boy.” He shrugged again. “I thought it was just a story. We’ll just have to pray that it’ll stop soon.” He gave his wife a reassuring hug. “I’ll try to prevent the water from coming under the doors. You keep the children upstairs.”
Kylie nodded and joined Jeremy and Lizzie on the first floor.
Jerry searched the kitchen for anything that would help keep the water out. He paused to think and remembered the bags of potting mix that he had placed on the back veranda the day before. He braced himself before he glided open the sliding door and stepped out into the wind and rain. With the bags of soil pressed tightly against the bottom of the external doors, Jerry re-joined his family.
“Daddy, my cubbyhouse is floating.” Lizzie jumped up and down in the excitement.
Mum drew Jeremy’s attention to the corner of the garden.
“Oops. Sorry, Mum.”
“Well on this occasion leaving the back gate open will be forgiven,” Dad concluded. “It’s probably helped keep the water away from the house.”
They watched water gush through the opened gate and out into the vacant property beyond their fence. The hail ceased but the rain continued for almost an hour before it stopped as suddenly as it began. An eerie silence emerged from the racket and no one had noticed that Kylie had left the room and return again with a battery operated radio.
The announcer’s voice boomed into the room. “Reports of flash flooding have come in from all areas of the South-East region. Thankfully the deluge has eased and the sky is clearing. Unfortunately, the news from the north of the state is not so optimistic. Rain continues to inundate homes and businesses from the east coast to the western border with no letup in sight.”
At Lizzie’s shriek, Dad turned down the radio’s sound. “What is it?”
“I think my bike is gone.”
Dad held her close. “It’s okay, Princess. We can buy a new bicycle. For now we need to pray for those people who live further north where it’s still raining. They could lose everything.”
Lizzie nodded her head slowly but her lower lip quivered and she blinked excessively. Jeremy turned up the volume up again.
“Four people drowned on the north coast when the car they were travelling in was washed off a bridge by a surge of water. A six-year-old girl remains missing after she was swept from her father’s arms. Meanwhile, the clean-up has begun in the south-east region of the state.”
Authors Note: Please keep the people of our northern regions in your prayers. Whole towns are underwater leaving many thousands of residents’ homeless and livelihoods destroyed. As I told one neighbour recently, we may have suffered damage and loss but the people in the northern areas of our state have had their lives changed forever.
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