Summary: Summary: A flood is headed to Elwood City. While the children don’t know what to make of it, the adults have a good idea of what’s about to go down…yet even they will be wrong. First story for my new Disasters series. Can also be found here on ff.net.
“Mom says she and Dad took the day off to put sandbags around the house,” Arthur said over lunch. The room was buzzing because the announcement that came just before the kindergartners began lunch—schools would close at noon, just long enough for students to get fed and organized to their buses.
Buster, who was happy he lived in a complex with workers to do that for him, nodded to Arthur, “At least we don’t have much homework. As long as the power stays on we’ll have a new episode of Bionic Bunny tonight.”
“The power is the least of our worries,” Brain said grimly as he picked at his peas. He looked up with a fierce expression, “Arthur, your parents are smart planners.”
“Oh it wasn’t their idea,” Ladonna jumped in, “I told my parents to spread the word. Muffy said her people had Bailey hire some people or call in the gardeners or somethin’. Anybody who can is preparin’, but I ain’t worried. Louisiana was low country. This is higher ground here. We’ll be fine.”
“Anywhere can flood, darling, even Elwood City,” Mrs. MacGrady said. She was walking around with her hands covered in food prep gloves. There were extra fries and she was giving them out to anyone who wanted them. Buster eagerly took an extra portion. Mrs. MacGrady liked his enthusiasm and gave him another one before looking back up to see Ladonna’s response.
“But this is higher ground,” Ladonna argued.
Mrs. MacGrady shook her head, “Even Everest could flood if it kept raining and raining. I’ve seen it happen here before, ten years ago I think. You all weren’t born yet, but you should ask your older siblings if you have them,” she said, her eyes falling on Francine.
Francine shook her head, “Catherine doesn’t remember anything that doesn’t have something to do with her directly.”
“Well, she’d remember this. It was scary. The power went out at noon. It was summer, so the kids were already home, mad about their cartoons shutting off. They were trapped inside by the rain, rain just like this. It’s May this time, not quite time to let schools out, but it’s the same setup. Rain for days. Day One was fine. Day Two was okay. By Day Three, people were evacuated. Houses were flooded. Some fancy cabins fell directly into a river about twenty miles from here. An old lady died because she was too stubborn to leave. Never found her. She probably got swept out to sea.”
Mrs. MacGrady moved on, but her words lingered. This was Day One and things were fine. Day Two was going to be okay because they didn’t have school, which meant no homework assignments. Day Three was beyond what these young kids could think about, but Brain’s grim expression told them she was right: Things were not going to be okay.