ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 4 February 2013

The "Overcoming Adversity" bloghop. My story for Andrew.

There are always so many amazing stories that emerge after natural disasters. Australia is no stranger to drought, fire, pestilence, flood...and even the odd earthquake and tornado of late. My Overcoming Adversity story features a flood, a tough cookie blase about yet another natural disasters and a panicked husband on the other side of the world...I hope you enjoy it.

Surrounded by the Enemy


Sunny’s heart pounded in time with the steady drumbeat on the roof. She had never heard rain like it. She was not given to fear but tonight the sounds unnerved her...just a little. The whispers of wet leaves blowing on the wind had become a roaring as the galvanized roof took a pummeling. If she allowed herself to turn fanciful, she could imagine a jack-booted army marching overhead.

Enough of that! Think about Matt. She wished she’d not been so abrupt when he’d rung earlier in the night and shouted down the phone at her.

‘Sunny, get out of that house--now!’

‘I’m not leaving my home for some itty-bitty water. I’ve been through worse, Matt. No matter how bad the rain is, we’ve never been flooded.’

‘Don’t be infantile. I might be thousands of kilometers away but it’s looking pretty grim according to the BBC. I can do the math. Our house will be under by metres before the night is over!’

‘Darling, you’re such a worry wart. I know it goes with the territory. Nice of you to be so concerned, but last time I looked, the river was way down. The weather reports never get it right. Always sensationalism. They get off on scaring people.’

‘You’re so stubborn. Does that go with the territory?’ Sunny thought it best not to answer that. Matt continued: ‘I’m sending Josh over.’

‘Don’t waste your time, darling. Josh’s already been. I told him I’m staying. I’m a big girl.’

‘I love you Sunny. I can’t live without you. Leave for me and the baby if you won’t do it for yourself.’

***

She hadn’t listened. Now it was too late. Her house was surrounded; the enemy was at the door.

Sunny pottered around the kitchen fixing a snack, singing on top of her voice--anything to keep her mind off the now raging water. She was afraid to go too near the windows in case they shattered. She could just make out palm trees straining in the gathering gloom, fronds swiping the sodden grass in long wet trails.

She sat down at the kitchen table, rubbed her stomach, whispered to the little soul inside. The water could always go down, couldn't it?

She shivered in the icy coolness. She pulled her parka over her jeans, leaving it unzipped. Baby, you’re so big…

Uneaten snack pushed aside, she huddled in her chair, alert to the river sounds. ‘Matt, my darling, I love you,’ she whispered, ‘I’m sorry.’

Crack! A eucalyptus tree speared her kitchen window--shattering shards of skittering glass pinged on the tiles. Rain poured in.

‘Help me God,’ she whispered, clutching her stomach.

The phone...again

‘Run!’ Josh shouted down the line. ‘Get the ladder and climb into the roof! I'm coming!’

The phone dropped from her freezing fingers. Water crashed through the kitchen door and sucked and swirled around her sopping feet.

Sunny was tough. She’d overcome adversity many times before—bushfires, cyclones, drought...and now...floods. She’d survive this. She had to—for Matt and their baby.

She began to climb as the first pain struck.



This bloghop is to help Andrew who has cerebal-palsy. Nick Wilford wants your 500 words of flash fiction on the theme, Overcoming Adversity. He will collate the stories and all proceeds will go towards Andrew's college fund. This is a great challenge. I hope you'll join me in posting a story between Feb 4-5th.

Click here to read more Overcoming Adversity stories...





44 comments:

  1. Great story Denise! I can't imagine having to go through something that horrific, though I empathize with those who have.
    Julie

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  2. An epic tale. Sends shivers down my heart.

    Mine won't be up until the 5th. I haven't had time to write it. Shame, shame on me.

    .....dhole

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  3. Woah, totally dramatic and it ends on such a cliffhanger! Yikes! Great work Denise. :)

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  4. Wow, Denise. This was a nail-biting and tense read - very well done. I just hope they both managed to get out safe!

    Thanks so much for taking part!

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  5. What a wonderful blog hop!

    Excellent story, it amazes me the destructive power of water and how quickly things go from calm to utter devastation.

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    1. After reading your submission I went back and re-wrote mine -- cut it to 500 words. Let me know what you think.

      Such a good cause, had to participate -- but for some reason I'm always the last to sign up!

      Have a great day!

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  6. Nice one, Denise. I felt her attempts to push away her fear, then admitting to it, being surrounded by it and then her determination to overcome.

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  7. How sad. I hope she makes it out okay!

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  8. Ahh, great alliteration/onomatopoeia: Shattering shards of glittering glass. I can hear/see/feel the storm and her fear with these five words. Brilliant writing. Every sentence contributes to the increasing tension of both outer and inner weather. Cliffhanger! She's gotta escape, right?! :)

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  9. Fellow hop participant making my way around to read all of the entries ...

    This is what we call raising the stakes in a story! Each turn creates more tension. Loved it! (Though I do hope she gets out--and has her baby in the arms of her husband aboard a crashing helicopter, of course. ;-)

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  10. A riveting story which had me on the edge of my seat... but she's definitely a survivor and escaped in one piece... am I correct?

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  11. Oh my goodness! I hope they made it to safety, I'm sure they did! What a suspenseful read.

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  12. What a place to end it! Goodness, if someone tells you to get out, do it.

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  13. What a wonderful contribution to Nick's blog hop! Kudo's!! :)

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  14. What happened to my comment? Got eaten up!

    I love the story Denise, and the story moved with the dialogue.

    Well done!

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  15. Had me hooked. Good story. I'm enjoying this blogfest.

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  16. Yikes! Being caught in the middle of a natural disaster can be so scary. I hope this story has a happy ending.

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  17. Loved the first part of this story I am hooked and want to know how it ends.

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  18. A very uplifting ending. I could identify with Sunny's stubborness... cause I'm stubborn. :)

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  19. This is such a great entry! Wow. My house has been struck my lightening three times. That's the worst 'natural disaster' I've ever experienced. I can't imagine what it must be like to go through even worse.

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  20. HI, Denise,

    GREAT TENSION and fantastic description.... I was totally on the edge of my seat, gripping the computer...

    Well done!

    How are you? It's been ages... LOL.

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    1. Glad you liked it Michael...I'm fine, just busy!

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  21. Great story, Denise, like the others have said, I do hope she makes it and the baby is OK. Perhaps she won't be so stubborn if something like this happens again, although somehow I doubt it.

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  22. Excellent piece. Very exciting but I was left wanting to know if she did make it. :)

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  23. Great story!!! I hope she made it out!

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  24. Holy cow. I'm always stunned by the people who choose to stay behind in hurricanes or flood warnings. What a scary situation, and then to start labor pains at the end? Gah. Great emotional story there. :)

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  25. Great story, Denise. Love the dialogue and looming danger. :)

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  26. Certainly a great story. Hope all is well with her my talented friend.

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  27. Great story, I want more! Nice cliffhanger ending...

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  28. WOW!! great story and brilliant cliff hanger, would love to know the outcome :)

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  29. Wow! I hope she makes it out before the baby does! Great story. That would be so scary.

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  30. Hi Denise .. after what's been going on in Oz I guess this happens all the time ... I do hope the story had a happy ending .. too many alternatives and thoughts ...

    Enjoyed the read - though floods and fire terrify me .. Hilary

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  31. Gripping story. I hope she makes it through!

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