In A Hurricane

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


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.


Submitted: January 22, 2018

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Vance Currie

Hi Hully. I'm still busy on my other project but I just popped in to see what's new. I wonder if you will ever run out of ideas for stories. This one is entertaining because it is so often true. Not often in such an extreme way, but many is the day that I have relied on a weather forecast only for it to turn out the opposite. Your description of the windstorm is frighteningly real. ~ Joe

Mon, January 22nd, 2018 7:10pm

Author
Reply

Great to hear from you, Joe. I've missed you.
Anyway, thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Will I run out of ideas? I hope not, but it's certainly a possibility.

Mon, January 22nd, 2018 11:23am

Sue Harris

Oh my, Hully, what a storm. You really brought to life the ravages storms can wreak.. your descriptions are just stunning, the boys' reasoning so believable... and all because for once, the weather forcaster's got it right. Another excellent story.

Mon, January 22nd, 2018 7:31pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Sue. Glad you liked it. I actually wrote it last week when we expecting another storm that didn't prove to be quite as bad as expected.

Mon, January 22nd, 2018 11:56am

Mike S.

A fine 'big blow' tale, Hull!

Mon, January 22nd, 2018 7:32pm

Author
Reply

Written last week, Mike, when the storm was forecast but was not quite so bad.....there's another one heading our way tomorrow night. Thanks for reading!

Mon, January 22nd, 2018 11:58am

Lionel Walfish

What a storm, Hully! Great descriptive passages. You sure have a way with words!!!!!

Mon, January 22nd, 2018 8:59pm

Author
Reply

Now, Lionel, you are embarrassing me! But seriously, I'm really glad you liked the story. Written last week when we had a second storm forecast two days following an earlier one. It was meant to be bad, but for us at least, it was tamer than the first. And there's yet another on ti's way for tomorrow night!

Mon, January 22nd, 2018 1:06pm

Jeff Bezaire

This was a fun story, Hully. That was one hell of a storm! Quite the harrowing feat to make it to the shelter - a decision that could've proven fatal. An intense adventure! I can't say I blame the boys, either - the meteorologist is usually wrong about the forecast these days, so I'd've gone out, too.

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 1:00am

Author
Reply

Well, for the last month or so we've been hit by so many storms of varying strengths, they are kind of on my mind. Another one is forecast to come in late tonight.
They were kind of stuck, really. Couldn't stay in the field or the trees, but that shelter was really risky too.
Thanks so much for giving this a read.

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 4:48am

jaylisbeth

What a storm, indeed, Hully. You really brought to life the imagery here... Very well done.

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 1:46pm

Author
Reply

And we are expecting yet another tonight! Thanks for reading!

Tue, January 23rd, 2018 10:46am

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