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 responses to “HAVEN”

    1. Thank you Liz, very kind 🙂


  1. What a story. I feel fortunate to live where I do every time I read a story like this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The way the climate seems to be changing, one day perhaps nowhere will avoid natural disasters. Thanks Janet.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. 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

    1. It did, although nowhere near as strong or as big as the ones you get over there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 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

    1. Thank you – hope you were left unharmed by those hurricanes for another year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Property loss only in a storage shed. I pray you never have to experience the raging power of a bad hurricane there.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A nice take on the prompt, Iain, especially the sting at the end!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Helen

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 😊 you’re very welcome, Iain

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A great post, Iain. I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The last paragraph makes it a very effective piece. Guess the sub story is the storms that the parents weathered.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Another great, ominous story. Love the way you end it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jane, very kind


  8. So very well painted, Iain…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Having been in Hurricane Irma in 9/11, and being one of the least hit, we lost power for several days. But Jacksonville lived what you wrote.

    And the winds, they DO howl.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. Glad you survived unscathed!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That was so poignant, so touching. It made my eyes glisten.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, very kind. I’m glad it provoked a reaction 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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