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A man must deal with his guilt while a storm rages around him.


Submitted:Nov 6, 2008    Reads: 142    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


The waves began to rocket into the air, like explosions from a battlefield under the surface that violently rocked the ocean above. The wind began picking up as well. Black storm clouds saturated the blue skies above, casting on to the world the haunting hues of the night. I picked up the heavy trash bag and carried it inside the house, staggering in exhaustion up each of the steps of the long deck to the door and unlocked the front screen. Here the wind aided me, throwing the screen door wide open and slamming it repeatedly against the outer wall next to the window as if it were in a rage. I took the key ring from my pocket, and with my hands still shaking I took hold of the house key and unlocked the front door, and heaved in with the garbage sack over my shoulder. I took a few steps further, and then I sat the bag against a wall close to the door, and slammed the door against the beating wind. There was nothing I could do with it now. I would have to wait until the storm was over.

Fatigue still gripped me as I lurched my way toward the den and slumped myself down on the old sofa. I could feel my heart still pounding, its thunderous beating stealing the breath from my lungs as I lay almost comatose on the couch, and I prayed to the lord to at least give me rest. My eyes were closed, and remained this way for a countless time, but still the rest I begged for did not come to me. We had only gotten to half of the house, I thought to myself, my hands now caressing my closed eyes. Only half of the windows had been boarded; the side facing the ocean was untouched. Still, I wondered if this would make a difference. This was an elevated home, after all, and we had taken down most of the potted plants and put them in the house so the winds could not throw them about, and the limbs of the two palms outside could not reach the windows. I opened my eyes and stared for a moment at my rough hands, and quickly rubbed them clean against my old blue jeans.

The rain began to fall from the onyx colored sky to the house below, first gently like a summer shower, then suddenly stronger, like fists beating against the wall. I took note of the sound but made no effort to leave the couch as the sound grew stronger and more violent, until suddenly it was as if the sound of a buzz saw could be heard burrowing into the old walls. I picked myself up from the sofa and lugged myself to the sea side window. The ocean was havoc. The waves tossed each other over in a berserk panic, and hurled themselves skyward, as if they were trying to escape the turmoil that now strangled the sea. It was like watching the ocean tear itself apart, and I began to wonder what would become of the souls that lived inside the great blue deep. They were the ocean's children; had it chosen to forsake them, to destroy them? How could a parent do this to its own child?

My head began to turn slowly, involuntarily, to the bag that sat slumped over against the wall by the door, and my eyes forced it into my site. What would you have me do with it, I asked myself. I can do nothing now; the storm is starting to build up. It will only get worse. The wind will steer the car into a ditch. The thunder will rattle your bones and force you to your knees. The waters will pelt you mercilessly and eventually fill your lungs and kill you. I can do nothing now.

But you could have done something, I told myself. Suddenly, the thunder crashed from the sky, filling the atmosphere with the sounds of broken glass raining down from heaven, and the lights began to waver. The house began to shake with ever tremor the thunder called from the sky, and the rain followed it with deafening racket as it continued to assault the house. The ocean outside was in an uproar. It raged forward, its waves continuing to pounce higher and higher, to the beaches and up the shore line. The wind began howling like an animal and knocking against my windows and slamming the screen against my front door, as if it were preparing to barge in. We were protecting the house, I told myself. We were boarding the windows. He brought in everything the wind could have picked up. The thunder rattled the house violently, and the bag slumped slightly and finally fell to the ground.

The lights finally gave out, and darkness quickly poured into the room. The only illumination came from the terrifying lightning storm that filled the air outside with strange colors and fearful streaks across the sky, like bombs tearing through the night. The bag remained touched by the light that continued to shine through the door window, as if to force my attention to it. I could feel myself moving closer to the sack, and I tried to pull away in futility. The crashing waves had now reached my home, and the sea began pounding at the beams supporting my house. The ocean waters began to consume my truck parked under the home by the beams. We would have been safe in here. He would have been safe in here. I could hear the ladder that still leaned against the outer wall of the house scratching and banging, trying to get in. The noise soon stopped as the rising waters quickly sent it careening to the ground and swallowed it into the depths of the ocean.

It was not my fault. There was nothing I could do. He was trying to help. There was nothing I could do but watch him die after the accident. The water was now well past the beams that raised the house off of the ground below and was now poised to begin ingesting the home. The spotlight that shown on the sack was made brighter by the rampant lightning that barraged the once calm sky and it drew me closer to the bag until I was finally in front of it as it lay limp and lifeless on the wood floor. The thunder exploded outside. I began to kneel down. The wind screamed and forced its tremendous pressure onto the house. My hand moved; it took itself off of my thigh and rested itself upon the bag. With my other hand trembling, I slowly reached for the tie at the end of the sack and tried to break it, but my body jerked violently now and all of my energy was expelled through my mouth as I vomited on the floor beside my leg.

The roaring wind and the furious waves became one, and together they began strangling the small dwelling that quivered in the storm, hell bent on breaking it open and turning it to ruins. I wiped the spit and vomit from my mouth and stared at the bag for a moment. I could feel an empty pit in my stomach growing larger like a wound slowly being torn inside of me, and without thinking, my hands sprung from the floor to the bag and ripped open the tie. The front door suddenly burst open and fell to the side, making way for the frenzied waters and ferocious wind as they lacerated the home. The bag fell open, and my son's head tumbled out and into the waters that ravaged the floors. His skin was an ungodly shade of white that was only broken by the blood that seeped out of his mouth. His eyes gave me a dead stare.

There was nothing I could do. The waves smashed through the windows, and the wind tore through the house and began to throw my possessions about and shatter them against the wet walls. There was nothing I could do. The bag was sent rafting tumultuously threw the waters, and my son's body was slammed against every wall, every floating piece of furniture, and yet his face kept the same lifeless gawk. His eyes never left me as the current began pulling me under. Stop staring! There was nothing I could do! The thunder bellowed into the night, signaling a death sentence for me and my home, and a great wave began to form, propelled by the wind and barreling through the turbulent waters towards the house that was now almost completely submerged. I fought my way from under the water and met my son at the top. He was now pointing his dead eyes out to the sea. I turned to look through the busted windows and saw met with the site of the great wave growling at us as it loomed over head. For a moment, it seemed to stop just outside the house, allowing me to live the last moments of my life in terror as I marveled in a horrified awe at the incredible size of this tower descending upon us. Suddenly it turned downward, and with a finally hungry outcry it thundered down through the roof to the wooden floors and swallowed the house whole. There was nothing I could do.





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