A short piece I wrote for #FlashFactory
Susan grabbed her daughter’s hand and began to lead her across the street. Stepping over broken branches and trash, the two of them inched their way towards their home. As the little girl shuffled her tiny feet and struggled to keep up with her mother, she could feel her mother’s hand trembling as it led her.
The howling wind and the torrential downpour from the day before had driven away the usual sounds of cars roaring, children laughing and dogs barking, leaving Susan with only the crackle of twigs beneath her feet and the sound of her heart thumping against her chest.
With the storm picking up and the town ordering evacuations, Susan grabbed her daughter and loaded the car. As she pulled out of the driveway amidst heavy rain, she knew it was going to be bad, but she never imagined she would find her house in ruins.
“Is there anything left?” the daughter’s tiny voice asked.
Susan crouched down in the ruins and fought to hold back the tears. She looked over at her daughter and saw tears streaming down her face. Screams and curses filled Susan’s head, but she dared not utter any of it.
“I…I don’t know,” Susan responded, surveying the area.
Broken furniture, splintered wood with exposed nails and shards of glass were everywhere. The roof had collapsed leaving a half set of stairs as the tallest structure around. The refrigerator had tipped on its side and the door lay open against the ground.
Susan approached the refrigerator and picked the door up, closing it. Attached to the front of the door with a butterfly magnet, a sheet of paper with a colorful drawing looked to be the only thing still intact. Susan grabbed it and held it up for her daughter.
The daughter smiled at the brightly colored image of a house with a rainbow beaming above it.
“Will our house ever look like that again?” the daughter asked, sniffling and wiping her nose with her sleeve.
Susan smiled and rubbed her daughter’s head.
“There’s always hope.”