I shall never forget the sound that first time.

We sat cramped together in the dark shelter at the end of the garden, with only a flickering gas lamp providing a dull orange glow.

Rufus, only a pup, huddled on my lap, cowering and whining. Mother huddled next to me, protective arms wrapped around me. Father standing at the entrance, holding the wooden panels down as the irresistible force of nature tried to rip them away.

The wind screamed and howled through the night. It was like nothing I had heard before. It sounded alien, unlike anything known on this earth.

I cannot remember exactly how long it went on for, only that it did stop in the end.

Father managed to push the doors open. Some debris had landed on top of them. The debris was the bricks that had once formed our house, now reduced to rubble.

The tall trees that had stood imperious for decades, that I had climbed and swung from since I was a child, now lay cracked and broken.

As we staggered out, stretching our stiff limbs, the air was calm and still. The sky was lit in a brilliant pink-orange, gentle clouds drifted slowly.

The small shelter that had kept us safe became our home while the rebuilding took place. A new secure low-lying bungalow took the place of the old farmhouse.

Every year we leave the bungalow and return to our haven for two months when the hurricanes return to the British Isles. Rufus still huddles on my lap, Mother still holds me close. Father left us last year.

Every year the storms last longer. Every year the sound gets louder. One year they may never stop at all.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Haven curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

30 thoughts on “HAVEN

  1. Quite a zing at the end. We aren’t in Kansas any more, Toto/Rufus, as I thought at the beginning of the story… But then, one of “our” hurricanes did visit the British Isles this year, didn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful writing. It evoked memories first of my own childhood and the visits to the storm cellar during tornado warnings, which were frequent in the spring and early summer. Now I live on the coast of Texas where we do get hurricanes, but we don’t have storm shelters.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s