In A Hurricane

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium

Submitted: January 22, 2018

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Submitted: January 22, 2018

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In A Hurricane

Three lads watched as the clouds rolled in, moving so fast they knew they would never be able to outrun them. And then there was the wind, blowing against them, getting stronger and stronger by the second.

So much for ‘the forecast’s always wrong’. Why the hell did I listen to you, Kev?”

Kevin Blakely looked sheepishly down at the ground. “Come on, Callum, you know as well as I do that nine times out of ten all the warnings they give out come to nothing.”

Look, you two, why don’t you save it until you can at least hear each other.” Liam pushed forward into the wind. “We can’t just stand here. We’re going to have to find some shelter to sit it out.”

Me Mam, she’s gonna kill me!” Callum pulled his mobile from his pocket, still not even one bar of signal.

The three hunched forward and headed in to the wind. It was hard going, stinging their faces, making their eyes stream. For a while they did not say a word, but then a rumble from behind and a flash of light made them acknowledge each other’s presence.

The woods?” Liam asked.

I don’t know, isn’t it supposed to be bad to stand under trees in a storm? Let alone in a hurricane.”

Well, what’s your answer then, Kevin? I don’t see any welcoming cottages on the horizon. In fact I don’t see any cottages at all!”

The wind gusted suddenly, so strong they found themselves unable to stand against it and were forced to step backwards. A small gorse bush whipped past them, only just missing Liam’s leg, followed by a hail of sticks and twigs.

Callum started heading off to the left, pulling his hood tightly around his face. Heading towards the woods, he was becoming a target for more and more pieces of broken bush and tree.

Where’re you goin’? Are you crazy?” Kevin struggled to keep up with him, and Liam tried to follow.

That’s rich, comin’ from you, Kev. You’ve got us into this.”

But the woods, isn’t that the worst place?”

Beats standing out in the middle of a field. And I’m not going to the woods but through it. The shelter. Remember?” Callum swore loudly as a sharp stick struck the side of his face, drawing blood.

It wasn’t far but it seemed to take ages to reach the slight shelter of the trees. Liam tripped on more gorse that made it’s way suddenly in front of his feet. Kevin reached an arm out, grabbed his friend hard and pulled him back upright.

The trees were tall, spindly, and offered very little respite from the force of the wind. It whistled past one, snaked round another, to hit with a full blast somewhere else. The branches lashed backwards and forwards, striking the lads in the arms, the face. The cracks and the groans were terrifying, drowning out the thunder. Behind them a loud snapping sound and a vibration that could be felt through the ground, as a tree toppled, no longer able to withstand the wind.

The three lads exchanged panicked glances. Some of the trees here were already leaning; it wouldn’t take much to bring them down. Without saying a word, they all put in renewed effort to keep moving. It wasn’t a big woods, but in some ways that made it even worse. There was a splitting, ripping sound, and a tree fell just in front of them.

No one voiced how near to disaster that had been, but all three changed direction to find a way past the branches that now snaked and spread in front of them. It was a huge tree, plainly seen as it lay there blocking the path.

And then they saw it, the stone wall of the shelter. The roof was made of rough corrugated iron, that even from a distance, could be heard fighting the nails that held it in place. It was small, only meant to shelter one or two people at most. Kevin, Callum and Liam squashed their way inside. The wind whistled and the roof rattled and they moved as far against the back wall as they could.

Minutes felt like hours. The wind picked up even more, and the iron roof lifted and strained, banging back onto the stones then being raised again. One nail gave up the fight, pulled out of place leaving a corner of the roof free to drag the rest of it harder. The rain lashed through the front of the shelter, a branch wedged itself against one wall, hitting Callum once more in the face before losing momentum.

Then silence, not a sound apart from the creaks of a few damaged branches settling in to their new positions. One bird started twittering. Another burst in to song. The storm, it seemed had finally passed, moving on to strike somewhere else.

Jeez, Callum. You look a mess.”

Thanks, Kevin. What’s me Mam gonna say about this? She’ll more than likely ground me for weeks.”

Liam smacked Callum on the back. “Well, mate, at least we survived.”

Choosing to walk round rather than through the woods the three lads made their way towards their respective homes, but before splitting up they made a promise. Next time they’d listen to the forecast.


© Copyright 2018 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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