Fear snakes off the mother’s soaked skin, nipping her daughter to tears. She ignores the pouring rain like she ignored the stuffy reporter on TV. After all, the warnings didn’t matter, right? Floods aren’t dangerous.
The floor devolves into a puddle of debris as a million things shatter. She sits under the archway, exposed as ever. Her husband’s gone, he might never return. Kissing her daughter’s head and praying isn’t enough. Someone needs to hold her as the water rises, rises.
Years pass. Months. Days. Minutes. The rain becomes a deceitful drumbeat.
Standing’s impossible on shaky legs so she sits. Around her, soggy newspapers catch cigarette butts like fishing nets. There’s too much noise—waves swooshing where they shouldn’t be, moving the entire world.
Strength returns, she dumps her guts into the sea. Then she wades into the living room. Her eyes adjust to the destruction, and after slicing her foot, she’s walking on a red carpet. No cameras, though. No spotlight. No TV but still a remote, so she clicks the button, hoping the stuffy reporter returns.
Hoping her husband returns.
Hoping her daughter returns.
Bryce Beal is a 20 year old author hailing from Baltimore, MD.