Morning everyone! I want to start today by thanking all the peeps that checked out my blog yesterday and commented on my new “do”, it was much appreciated and I was happy to see that my blog is starting to reach some of my friends in the real world as well as the blogosphere! I got some sweet feedback and even some helpful advice, thanks again to everyone who visited and commented.
It’s been a pretty good week for writing and I notice my followers increase when I write more frequently. Sorry, I have been absent so much, it has been pretty busy around the Smyth house lately but things are settling down for the moment. I appreciate your patience. With that being said, welcome to another edition of Flash Fiction Friday, I hope you enjoy what gets conjured up from my imagination this morning.
A Call To Action
The phone rang, waking Jerri’s one-year-old daughter Sasha. She made her way down the hall, propping Sasha on her hip after lifting her from her crib, snatched the phone off the wall in the hall and plunked Sasha unceremoniously into her high chair all at the same time. “Hello?”
“This is the city of La Port’s Office of Emergency Management with an emergency message regarding Hurricane Steven, do not hang up. Based on current predictions and forecasts, the following actions are in effect for the citizens of La Port: City officials have declared a state of emergency and a MANDATORY evacuation…”
Jerri dropped the phone and turned on the local weather, eyes widening as she realized the storm was almost upon them. No time to get to her sister’s house in Austin, she would have to make preparations to go to the city shelter. The roads were already congested, according to the news crawl under the weather map on tv, what was she going to do? She needed to think a minute.
Calling her husband Bill while giving Sasha a snack on the tray of her high chair, Cheerios keeping her little fingers busy while Jerri waited for Bill to pick up the phone, her mind was a mad jumble trying to think of what all she could grab before dashing off to safety. “Hello?” Bill answered finally on the fourth ring, “Listen, Honey, I know you’re probably in panic mode, but this thing isn’t as bad as they are saying.” “BILL! I just got a MANDATORY evacuation notice and we can’t get out of here! I’m freaking out a little, and I need some help. I am taking Sasha and going to the shelter, grab your stuff and meet me there, I only have room for mine and the baby’s stuff in my car! I don’t care what you think, I am not gonna be stuck in this house alone while the roof gets blown off!” “Ok, calm down Jerri, I’ll come home for lunch and assess the situation. If I feel we need to get out, we will all go together.” Jerri relaxed slightly and blew out a sigh, “Ok Honey, sorry I got so upset. It’s just that they are serious this time and I think we should listen. I’ll go ahead and get everything ready, see you when you get here, love ya!”
Three days later they emerged from the shelter, grabbing their child and what precious little they managed to take in the rush to leave their doublewide mobile home, Bill still not believing it was serious and Jerri trying her best to convince him otherwise. Wading through water up to their butts, they looked up and down the streets at the devastation left by the storm. Cars were overturned, trees uprooted and roofs no longer existed on most of the buildings. Making their way to Bill’s truck, thank God it was lifted, maybe there was a chance they could still get into it and drive back to the house.
People were literally passing them by in canoes and other watercraft, looking to get back into their own homes or looking for anyone needing to be rescued. The area was a complete mess and Jerri wasn’t holding on to much hope they would find their house in tact. They plodded toward Bill’s jacked up Chevy Avalanche and luckily, the doors were above water. They made the decision to throw their belongings in and lock it up, then turned to see what they could do to help their neighbors. Bill was six foot two, so he grabbed Sasha and Jerri’s free hand. In the other hand, Jerri had her bag, she wasn’t going anywhere without the security of her essentials, phone, wallet, smokes, diapers and wipes, a bottle of formula, and Sasha’s beloved pacifier.
They spotted the Clarks, Doug, and Betsy, rowing by and asked them what they could do to help. “Nothing right now” Doug replied, “No one can get in their houses with all this water. Do y’all need a ride somewhere?” “Nah,” Bill said, “We haven’t been back to our place yet, did you see it on your way over here?” Doug looked at Jerri and back to Bill, “I’m so sorry guys…” Jerri knew then they were probably homeless. She figured when the water receded they would see what was left and try to pick up the pieces after that. Bill was in total shock, never believing the storm could really do all this damage. He looked at Jerri and Sasha and thought, “I was supposed to protect them and I didn’t even believe the forecast was right” as he trudged through the dirty, disgusting water and watched his fellow neighbors trying to help each other get out of their submerged homes. “Note to self,” he thought, “sometimes the weathermen actually get it right.”
Seeing their friend and neighbor Tina, who was struggling to wade through the water with her six-year- old and her bag held high above her head, Bill hollered for her to stop and he would lend a hand. Reaching her side, he snatched the bag and handed Sasha to Jerri while he told Tina’s son Jade to get on his back. He piggy-backed him to the bed of his pick up and told him to wait there and watch the bag while he went back for Tina. It felt good to do something productive and soon they were all safely secured in the vehicle, warm and safe, if not dry. As he looked around at his shivering, depressed family and friends he said, “Where to?” It took them a moment to realize he was trying to be funny and they all burst out laughing at the nature of their somewhat comical situation.