JayeByrd By JayeByrd, 24th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

What happens when it rains, and rains, and rains? Disaster!


The river had risen slowly for several weeks, a spring rise that had never gone down. Then, heavier rains came, several days with no letup. Yesterday, when ten inches of rain fell upstream, the river began rising rapidly. Quickly cut off from the road, they had no time to grab anything except the children.

They carried Sammy and Cassie to the roof. Paul lashed them to the chimney so they wouldn't fall off. Wearing ponchos that didn't keep them dry, but did cut some of the wind, they prayed as they waited for someone to come; surely, someone would come.

The water was six feet deep in the house when the rescuers reached them.

Rescue and Ruin

The rescue crews tried to follow road maps. Checking off the houses as they came to them, they picked up the people stranded. If houses were empty, the people were listed as missing. Comparing lists later provided answers.

Paul saw the spotlight first, as it swung toward them, searching through the rain.

Getting from roof to boat was dangerous and frightening. As Paul, the last one on the roof, moved to get on the boat, the house broke loose from its foundation and overturned, floating away on the mighty rush of water. Nothing remained, not the house, not Paul.

The Armory

The National Guard used the Armory office as a command center for rescue efforts, coordinating the Guard with the Disaster Emergency Office. They set cots up in the main area. Sobbing women and children, and old folks, looking stunned, sat or lay on many of the cots. Volunteers served soup and sandwiches, with hot coffee for the adults, hot coca for the children.

When reaching the Armory, they put Mary in a smaller room, where she sat by a window with a metal security shutter.

The children drew with colored chalk; the colors looked strange against the green chalkboard--not yellow, blue, and red, but chartreuse, teal, and an ugly brown. It kept the children quiet; Mary didn't notice.

Mary sat and stared, unseeing. She looked at the heavy duty weapons cage with elaborate security; she looked at the locker room; she looked at the main area, not seeing the cots or the people.She didn't startle at a loud crash, when someone overturned a metal garbage can. Nothing registered. She stared at the window, not even seeing the security shutters.


Mary shivered. Cassie came and, laying her head on her mother's shoulder, leaned into Mary. She didn't notice; numbness enveloped her. She sat, staring, not seeing, not crying, not even comforting Cassie as the girl shed bitter, frightened tears.


Disaster, Flood, National Guard, Rescue, Search And Rescue, Survivors

Meet the author

author avatar JayeByrd
I'm well into my fourth career. I write Opinion pieces, usually political. I write eclectic poetry, short stories, and essays. I also edit and teach writing.

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author avatar A.M>CrewsAnita Crews
28th Jul 2014 (#)

I don't get the article written only this horrid song about ducks. Irritating!!

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author avatar A.M>CrewsAnita Crews
2nd Aug 2014 (#)

Finally got the article! It reminds me of my childhood in the Missouri river bottoms. You can't appreciate a flood until you have lived thru one.

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author avatar JayeByrd
2nd Aug 2014 (#)


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