A glorious morning. Clear blue sky, the water still, the grass fresh. It was exactly the sort of scene that had convinced them to buy the house.
But the spring colours and sun-kissed fields hid the tumult of the previous night. The storm had raged across the whole country for twenty four hours. The deluge of rain had centred on them.
They had prayed the water level would cease to rise. The river had burst its banks in the early evening. It hadn’t stopped there. It kept rising. It had swamped their garden wall, their flowerbeds and lawn disappearing under the brown waves that crept closer to their back door.
Personal belongings and expensive electronics were shifted upstairs in a hurry. Family heirlooms and sentimental trinkets were salvaged. The furniture was too big to move, heavy white goods were stranded. The cellar was abandoned.
The wall of emergency sand bags was breached around one in the morning. They tried to pump the water out, but it streamed in too quickly. They had to admit defeat and seek sanctuary on the upper floor, listening to the howling gale and the disconcerting slapping of water below until the storm finally subsided in the early hours of the morning.
It would be days before the river returned to normal levels. All that was left was to pick up the pieces and begin the clean up. No one had lost their life, their neighbours were all safe. Now they would have to band together and start cleaning and rebuilding.
She held her face up to the warm spring sunshine. A songbird shrilled a tuneful note through the clear, still air. She turned back towards her house, the marshy ground sucking at her shoes as she marched ahead.
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