Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Here comes the hurricane!

Published:Sunday | November 9, 2014 | 11:00 AM

Catherine Fagan (age 10), Contributor

Anna was sitting on the steps of the 20th-century house with her sister playing 'Guess Who?' The house was fashionable but plain, and had enough of everything. It blended in with the rest of the countryside, yet it was so different. It was wonderful and had such happiness inside. Suddenly, their aunt called them into the house.

Auntie looked sick with worry. The vein in her forehead was clearly visible. She was sweating even though the fans were on, and her eyes seemed to bulge out of her head. She looked like she would faint at any minute.

"Children, children! Hurricane Sandy! It's coming very, very, soon."

The girls' mouths then fell open.

"No, Auntie, there is no Hurricane Sandy coming. You're just watching some expired cable or something which the TV accidentally kept a long time ago," said Anna. "At least, I hope so."

"No! Take this $5,000 and buy all the food, water and bandages we can get! Now!" The girls hesitated, but ventured to the shop anyway.

"What's that about Hurricane Sandy? There's no such thing," said Anna.

"You wish! Auntie would never lie or give us this much money. I can see it! You're afraid!" laughed Lisa.

"Maybe, little sister, but can we get to the shop before the line gets long?"

The girls had bought all they could; tuna, milk, Band-Aids, sausages, water and juice. By the time they got home, Auntie was screaming,

"It's in 10 minutes! It's in 10 minutes!"

The girls stared in surprise.

The air was stiff and hot. It was so silent, it would drive you mad. It began to rain heavily. Auntie looked pale and began to pack everything important in a biscuit tin and batten down. The girls tried to help but Auntie apparently didn't need it. By the time they were done, the winds began to blow.

The girls were really frightened now. Lisa felt more frightened than when she got her appendix out. It was like taking your stomach out while you were wide awake. Scared? No? Think again! The girls were hauled into the living room by a soaking, sweaty aunt. Then suddenly, a leak sprang out from the roof.

Water all over

Leaks sprung everywhere. The girls rushed into the kitchen to get pots, pans, kettles, teacups, bowls and even sponges to soak up the water. Auntie, in the meantime, was trying to find places to empty the water. She eyed a window.

"It would be risky, but I will do it," she muttered to herself. Carefully, she threw every droplet outside. It wasn't easy. The raindrops stung her so much, she put the sponges on her arm to soothe them.

Then the window blew open. Auntie quickly tried to shut it. She struggled and finally did it. The girls, however, got the hammer and tried to batten down the windows even more, as their aunt had done a very sloppy job.

The girls then went to their room, bringing kettles to stop the leaks. Little by little, the window blew open. All their dolls started flying around! The dolls flew everywhere. The girls tried to bat them around with their kettles.

"Help me! I wish we had a brother who would bat these for us!" cried Lisa.

"Don't worry; I think I've got them covered! I used to bat when I was in second grade," said Anna.

"Thanks for the help, sister!" The girls continued to bat them around when Lisa got kicked by Lottie, her newest doll. "Ouch! That's it! How about that? Go in the drawer!" Lisa was a kicking machine by that time.

Then the kettles flew outside. It suddenly calmed down.

"I think we're in the eye, but it won't last long. Let's go get them quickly!" said Anna.

The girls hurriedly put on their raincoats and rushed outside. They grabbed all the kettles they could when the rain suddenly whipped them.

"The eye has passed! How can we get inside?!" screamed Anna.

Locked out

"Let's go to the door! Quickly!" cried Lisa.

The girls tried to get in but the door was locked, for they had locked it so that nothing else would go outside. Anna's coat was too wet to take out the key. The girls had no choice. They had to go in through their bedroom window. Anna heaved Lisa up, and Lisa got her ladder which her father had got her for her sixth birthday to help Anna up. Lisa held it extra still so Anna would not fall off. The girls were relieved and began to stop the leaks in the bedroom.

Auntie, however, was ensuring that all the important documents and certificates were safe. She wiped off the biscuit tin thoroughly and put it back. She then packed all the glass materials in the cupboard. She was panicking and afraid to hold the cups because she was trembling too much.

A few minutes later, the hurricane had passed. Everyone was exhausted from all the excitement and went to bed. The girls talked to each other.

"That was dreadful. I'm so glad it is done," said Lisa.

"Me, too. Goodnight," said Anna. The two girls went to sleep.

The next morning, there was a sight to be seen! The sweetsop tree's branches had fallen, there were bricks and zinc everywhere and many clothes lines had fallen down. Two houses had their roofs half blown off and a mango tree was in the middle of the road. Everyone had their broom and was trying to make the place tidy. The girls' yard was flooded out and muddy water was oozing in between their toes. The girls watched everything as if it were a horror movie. Everything was ruined.

The girls got all the pots and threw the water on the sidewalk, which was very muddy. They believed that it would tidy it up.

Then, out of nowhere, the Jamaica Public Service Company came to fix the electricity lines. The National Water Commission came as well to fix all the water problems. Even TVJ came to report the aftermath. Two hours later, everything was back to normal. And do you know what they did next? They sat on the waterlogged steps and continued their 'Guess Who?' game.