Ivan the Terrible

Its September 11, 2004, sometime after 2pm. We’re rummaging in the kitchen, trying to rustle up a meal and reclaim some calm after the night that was past. The broadcaster on the radio announces that meteorological reports state the worst of the hurricane has passed and only residual bands of rain and wind remain.

Kitty, the cat I met at our house when I returned from vacation, is following me from room to room as I try to help my brother in law push water from the floor of the house with a broom. It is flowing through a crack in the wall to the left of the house where some land slippage has occurred.

I sigh. “The worst seems to be over. Now, if only this water would just STOP flowing through the house!”, I mutter under my breath, feeling exasperated and bewildered, tense and bone tired. We have not been able to sleep all night, nervously listening to reports of mayhem across the island on the radio and waiting for the storm to pass. I continue to push water from the bathroom, out the living room and off the veranda.

“What do you want to eat?”, my sister asks, walking towards me.

“Curry, I think. Easiest  and quickest to cook; we can move the furniture out of the living room to the veranda or somewhere else in the house in the meantime. It is still flooding in there”.

I turn and walk towards my bedroom with a lamp in my hand and Kitty at my heels. I enter the room and place the lamp on a desk. Suddenly, there is a horrifying rumbling sound that causes me to look upwards out the window, at a terrible blackness rushing towards me.

“Oh, God”.

The air is punched from my lungs and I’m falling.



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