Ahead of the Storm

Day 5
What on earth am I doing here? Granted, I grew up in the midst of as much flat blue as this, but it is not the view that’s the problem. It’s the clouds gathering in our wake. It’s the fact that I saw lightning strikes to the east last night. It’s the fact that the last safe place we had is the tallest thing around. We don’t really speak to one another much. We burn and peel and those of us with salt sores... well, we ooze. The raft seems to be sturdy, which is a blessing. We’ll see how long it lasts. Joanna is good with knots, she says. She better be; knots are all we have left.

Day 6
I didn’t really want to leave, you know. I didn’t want to leave them. But I didn’t want to die there, on a collection of wood and plastic tethered to what was once – before the water rose – the tallest building in the city (or so my grandfather told me). We had to go. What if there are others like us out there? What if there is dry land left? What if there was something we could do?

Day 9
I think we can conclude that the people we left behind haven’t made it. We barely have. The storm is pushing us along before it, and there’s just no way they can have outlasted it. I’ve seen lightning strike an exposed metal strut before, and it’s not a pretty sight. I have to conclude that the last of my family are dead. At least it will have gone quicker for my sister than it might have. She had salt foot.

You can find the complete version of Ahead of the Storm in issue 67 of TBD.

Susanna Krawczyk