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The Flood

A woman wades around her flooding house having to choose what belongings to escape with.

The Flood

I waded around my house panicking in the rapidly rising water that was pouring in from the flooding river. It had happened much sooner than predicted. My teeth were chattering with cold and I couldn’t get my mind to think logically.

What could I save? The local radio had sent out an emergency message, “The rescue service will pick you up in a dingy. You can only take two small items with you. Wait on the top floor of your house.”

I had already rushed to the desk and put my passport in my coat pocket and Jacques had fished out the file with all our birth certificates and legal documents. But what about Samantha’s paintings, Jacques’ fathers paintings, photos of my parents, my CD collection, our first photo album, from the time we first met to the birth of our first baby. But there were so many photo albums. Which were the most important?

Attachments to material possessions are only a burden I reminded myself. But I wanted to keep photos of my dead parents for my grandchildren to see and photos of my children as babies and their graduations, photos to conserve the memory of our family through generations.

I had put most of our photos on disc but I didn’t have time to look for it.

Sniffing, shivering, soaked to the skin and sobbing I grabbed a few albums from the shelves and shuffled through them, messing them up; my emotions guiding my movements any logical thoughts frozen by fear. Jacques was shouting

“Come on Diane, come on we’ll be under water soon. Get a warm coat and your wellies!”

My hands shaking I turned the pages to see which album had the important photos of my father looking hopeful in his youth.

“Get a warm waterproof coat,” yelled Jacques.

As I waded through the increasingly muddy water, pulling on my raincoat and searching for my wellies, unable to move fast, as if I was in a film changed to slow motion, I passed my bedroom and noticed my jewellery box. I had never sought to wear expensive jewellery but every necklace; every pair of earrings had the story of who bought them for me and how I felt about then.

My clothes! The dress I wore for my daughter’s wedding, my favourite hand embroidered, Mexican dress how could I leave those behind?

In the end, I told myself, all that is important is saving my own life and that of my husband. What is the use of a saved painting if I am clutching it dead?

I dragged myself through the ever increasing depth of water realising that more possessions would just weigh me down.

I climbed into the dingy, supported by helping hands, noticing my neighbours looking wistfully back at their houses. I shivered and linked arms with my husband looking back at my house and giving thanks that we were safe and in a dry boat.

“Where ever we are together we are home” I said squeezing Jacques hands.

Then I found something in my raincoat pocket. I grinned a secret smile of delight; it was my new digital camera. Some attachments can be allowed after all.

We climbed out of the dingy into the hovering space capsule that took us to the mother ship, where we would wait and watch for the rising oceans to recede again.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © 13 August 2011 The Desert; 14 August 2011 Solitude; 15 August 2011 the Gift; 16 August Do not regard me by my age; 17 august 2011 Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night; Hey Diddle Diddle, 17 Aug. 2011; The Dance 16th Aug. 2011; Mother, 19th Aug. 2011; the Mirror, 20th Aug. 2011; whosshing, 22nd Aug.2011; The Blue and White striped Cup, 24th Aug. 2011; The Broken Fall, 30th aug. 2011; Adolescent Blues, 31 Aug. 2011; Taste,The Swan, 08.01.12 09.09.2011;Take Five Oh , 10.09.2011;Chamelian, 11.08.2011;the Coral 13.09.2o11; If only 29.09.2011, Dodging puddles 29.09.11; Mothers Monologue, 3.10.11; Oh, oh, oh, let me weep, 05.10.11, Water, 06.10.11; the flood, 6 Oct.11; Who am I?, 8 Oct. 11; Destiny, 9 Oct.11; Five a.m. Blues, 10.10.11; Three Wishes, 11.10.11; I'm a stone, 14.10.11; Meditation on an Amethyst, 15.10.11; Inheritance,17.10.11; Shorn Child, 20.10.11, Nightmare, 28.10.11; Gathering of the Clan. 27.10.11; That would cause a stir; 26.10.11, At A Crossroads, 28.10.11; Rowan, 29.10.11; My Pumpkin Pie, 31.10.11; A Set back, 14.11.11; Finding peace, 10.11.11; Liquid Lunch, 9.11.11; Out of Body, 8.11.11; Zen 19.11.11;I know why,24.11.11; the Fox, 27.11.11: the Dark, 06.12.11;Be Brave my Love, 9.12.11, The Poet, 17.01.11, New horizons, 11.01.12; New beginnings, 16.01.12; Subconscious Reality,30.01.12; Ruby Lola 03.02.12; Rock a by baby, 09.02.12; Paris, 10.02.12; Valentine chocolate, 13.02.12; the smell of baking bread, 14.02.12; My Father, 15.02.12

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