A to Z 2017–H is for Hurricane

This is late, but it came together much faster than I expected. Of course, nobody will ever know, because I’m going to pre-date it so it looks like it posted Monday when it was supposed to. (Bwahaha… virtual time travel, y’all…)

The story didn’t go where I expected (that happens a lot!) but the ending made me smile. It’s good when your own writing can make you smile.


H is for Hurricane

“And then it all came down around my ears, near enough. I swear I thought I was a dead man. Sure enough felt like I should be. But glory and damnation, God musta had other plans for me this side of eternity because here I still am. Alive as ever I was. It’s a miracle from the Almighty.”

Dan Cherry left his camera rolling, even as he rolled his eyes. It was utterly predictable. There would be a natural disaster and some Podunk yahoo would claim it was a miracle from heaven that they were still alive, rather than dumb luck and random chance. Meanwhile, some other Podunk yahoo would probably be hollering about how it was the Judgement of The Almighty that brought on the natural disaster in the first place.

You’d think these Podunk yahoos would get their stories straight. Everything was either an act of God or a matter of faith.

What ever happened to logic?

“Thank you, Mr. Chestnut.” Dan re-centered his viewfinder on Marian Neely, Channel 9 reporter. “Bob, there are so many like this family who have lost everything in this storm. Central Bank is accepting donations to help cover expenses for the emergency shelter set up here at the First Baptist Church gymnasium. Back to you.”

She held her pose with a suitably concerned facial expression for another moment before nodding to Dan. “We’re out. We won’t have another live until the 11 O’clock, although they want us to stay here and talk to more victims.” That would be no problem, there were over 800 people here. “Want to see if we can find some dinner?”

“You go,” Dan said. “I’m going to get more footage for the B Roll.”

Marian nodded. “Suit yourself. Meet by the door around 8?” She didn’t wait for an answer, just turned and left.

Dan decided to get more shots of the church itself. The evening sunset with the remnants of the hurricane still streaking the sky would make for a spectacular backdrop.

Outside the church, the sky was every bit as vibrant as Dan had hoped. “Oh yeah,” he said, knowing nobody would hear. “This is going to be great stuff.”

Though this was normally a busy neighborhood, most were following the recommendation to stay indoors. Debris of all kinds still littered the streets, and emergency officials were still searching through some neighborhoods where every house had been decimated.

“You seem like a nice enough man, Mr. Chestnut. But why would a god decide to save you, but allow so many more to lose so much.” Dan’s continued to scan the horizon with his camera as he talked to nobody. “Over 60 dead, last I heard. Doesn’t much sound like a god of mira— what the heck is that??”

Dan’s camera was aimed at a dark spot that grew larger by the second.

Before he knew what was happening, he was knocked to the ground by whatever it was as it hurtled out of the sky.

Dan opened his eyes and found that he was lying on a cot inside First Baptist’s gym. When he tried to sit up, the throbbing in his skull changed his mind.

“What happened? Was I hit by debris?”

“Thank God you’re alright,” Marian hugged him gently. “This woman,” she pointed at the next cot over, “Celina Smith is what hit you.”

“I fell right outta the sky! Thought I’d never get down after bein’ blown by that wind.” She smiled and showed the gaps in her teeth. “But, thank the Lawd, He had me right in His hand.”

Dan looked at Marian who shrugged. “I was rolling. Do we have that footage?”

Marian shook her head. “Your camera is kind of a mess. Channel 9 has another crew on the way.”

Celina Smith patted his arm. “I’m so sorry about your equipment, but I much appreciate you breaking my fall.”

“Did anyone see this?” asked Dan. “Do we have proof of what happened?”

“‘Fraid not, my friend.” Marian’s laugh was genuine. “You’ll have to take this one on faith.”



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