The Forgotten Kids
My name is Samuel Casey, and I used to live in Goldcrest Valley. A lot of people lived in that valley, actually. It was shaped like a bathtub, and mountains were like walls secluding us from the rest of the world. There were only a few roads leading out of that valley. At one end of the valley, there was a huge lake. My family and I lived on the other end, though.
I remember when I was about ten; my Dad told me that since he had lived in Goldcrest, there had been two floods. They only reached around his ankles, and were more tedious than dangerous. In history class last year Mr. Monty, the social studies teacher, told the class that in 1958 the valley experienced a huge flash flood. The water reached the roofs of houses.
On the day that the worst flood in Goldcrest history hit, you would never have guessed it. It was summer. To be honest, it had been a pretty bad summer so far. It had rained for at least two weeks. When I woke up that day, I was ecstatic to see that the sun was shining. I quickly got dressed and crept down the stairs. My Dad worked the night shifts at the Airport and was sound asleep.
I grabbed an apple and sat down at the kitchen table as my sister Nora, badgered my Mom about something. “Please can I go? It’s just me and my girlfriends at the beach, what’s wrong with that?” She whined. “Fine, but don’t you get a scratch on the new car.” My Mom huffed and handed over the car keys. The beach sounded fun and it was a twenty minute drive from home. “Can I come too?” I asked before Nora had left.
This was one of the best tricks in the book. Always ask while a parent is around. Nora chuckled. “Not a chance.” I looked over at my Mother with my best disappointed face. “Just take your brother with you, Nora.” She said. I smiled evilly at Nora. “Whatever, just don’t hang around us.” Nora scoffed and turned on her heels. I threw my apple in the garbage and ran after her.
Dad had just bought a new car for Nora since she passed her driver’s test. Nora and I shared nothing but the same light brown hair. I was fortunate to not only be the youngest, but also the only boy in the family. Nora was the second oldest at 17. My oldest sister Brianne was 19 and had moved out because she was in college.
Tammy was 16 and we are only 9 months apart. On that day she was still sleeping when I left with Nora. You snooze you lose. I thought as we pulled out of the driveway. I leaned my head against the cool window and silently waited for the beach. I perked up as the car finally stopped. “There they are.” Nora said vacantly. Three girls saw us and smiled. “Get out.” Nora demanded. I frowned. “We’re going to the movies, I’ll come back to get you after. You have your phone right?” Nora rolled her eyes. I nodded and reluctantly got out.
One of the girls instantly took my place. I stretched and looked around. There were a fair amount of people at the beach, but it wasn’t packed. There weren’t any houses around, just a few stands for ice-cream and hotdogs. I shrugged and crossed the parking lot to the sand. The beach seemed to go forever. Cars sometimes crossed the sand for a shortcut to the highway, that’s how big it was. I heard someone call it ‘Sandy Road’ once.
I took a running start toward the water, but stopped right before I hit it. I touched it and shivered. The water was cold, but refreshing since it was so hot outside. I took off my t-shirt and hid my phone inside it. I didn’t mind that my friends weren’t there because I really just wanted to cool off. I swam far enough out so that I couldn’t touch the ground and just floated for a while.
It was a good thing I was floating on my back, because I watched as grey clouds got closer and closer. The beach was soon covered by the clouds, but no one left thinking that they would soon pass by. Without warning, it started raining. I noticed that the lake was getting a little rougher so I started to swim back to shore.
Suddenly, the light rain switched. As I finally got to shore, it felt like buckets of water were being poured on my head continuously. I could hear everybody running towards their cars or squealing in the rain. While I was picking my things up at the shore, I noticed that the shore was no longer the shore. Water was pooling around my ankles, and rising quickly. I slipped my shirt back on and as I did, my phone fell into the water.
I clambered to pick it up and tried turning it on but it was well and truly dead. The water was now at my knees and I started panicking. This was definitely a flash flood, and it had already reached my knees within five minutes. I ran as fast as I could but was disoriented. The rain was blurring my vision, and when I eventually made it to the parking lot, it was empty.
I backed up, searching for a house or store in the distance that I could hide in. Instead I fell over the concrete divide separating the parking lot and the beach. I didn’t fall into sand, I fell into water. When I finally surfaced, I couldn’t see the concrete wall. I was just surrounded by water.
Well, I didn’t really know if anything else was around at that point. All I could see was the rain. The water was pushing me forwards, and I had no control over it. Suddenly, I crashed into a stop sign. I clung onto it and tried to scope out my surroundings. I definitely couldn’t touch the ground now.
I could feel the water rising, and I knew that the stop sign wouldn’t be very helpful for much longer. When I squinted, I could see a telephone pole in the distance. After a few deep breathes I launched myself off of the stop sign and started swimming towards the pole. Before the current could take me away, I grabbed a metal pole sticking out of telephone pole.
Then I pulled myself forward and hugged the pole tightly. I rested my head on the pole and tried to process what had just happened, what was still happening. I gulped knowing that Nora was still out there, and then realized that the water was probably going to reach the whole valley. I wished I could have warned them.
I was pulled out of my thoughts when I heard screaming getting closer. It was a girl’s voice, and I thought for a moment it might be Nora. I knew it wasn’t Nora as the girl got closer. “Help me!” She screamed to no one in particular as she was pushed along. She passed me and I reached out and grabbed the back of her shirt. I don’t know why, I just felt obligated.
“Thank you.” She said breathlessly as I pulled her toward me.