Sixth writing prompt – 11 December 2020
The gauntlet was thrown down by www.janeishly.com. The challenge to pick a word from her teabag of the day courtesy of her tea Advent calendar and to write for a whole 15 minutes to see what you produce. I duly took up the challenge and am now presenting you with 5 minutes of unedited, undiluted insert epithet here in the comments. Please note: these are random musings and no facts have been verified!
Oh yes, I’ve experienced stormy.
As a kid, I grew up in Morecambe, a seaside town in Lancashire that used to have two piers. One pier was my favourite as it had a roller-skating rink at the end and me and my friends would be down there whizzing round and round to the funky sounds of “Boys, boys, boys” (that one really seems to have stuck in my mind 😊) every weekend. But that’s not what I want to write about in my storm post.
Imagine a sky as black as night. An oncoming tide rushing headlong over the promenade and descending upon the unsuspecting occupants of the houses and hotels below. Picture, if you will, the sheer force of a wind that won’t allow you to stay upright and think of little old me standing at my bedroom window peering out and watching as cars were swept along the road as though they were Dinky toys. The house I was living in was above a shop my parents ran. It had a wonderful cavern of cellars beneath it. Wonderful that is until you hear a strange gurgling sound. At high tide, the cellar would occasionally flood,. So with this magnificent beast of a storm brewing, down we all went to peer into the murky depths. We were used to seeing a trickle of water appear along the floor. This time we saw a virtual torrent spewing between the cracks with such force it jettisoned 3 foot into the air (showing my age again there, for metric-minded people, that’s around 1 metre). I remember my parents shrieking with horror at the damage wreaked upon the goods stored in the cellar and the mad dance of my dad weaving his way through the hip-deep water to try to reach the stand-up cabinet that held chilled produce. He was lucky he wasn’t electrocuted as the plug started to disappear below the sea.
The whole thing was scary and exhilarating at the same time. I stood on the top of the steps leading up to our front door and wondered what we would do if the tide went any higher. Fortunately for us, it didn’t. The hoteliers who lived in the basement of their hotels weren’t so lucky -a very sad day for them.
My school was eerily empty the next day. Only about 5 people in my class turned up and we wondered what on earth had happened to everybody. The mystery was explained sometime later. One of the piers had been completely swept away by the storm and the kids were all on the beach collecting the money that had escaped from the slot machines. People gathered there for days. Some ingenious souls even took along metal detectors.
One thing that amazed me about the whole soggy event was the queue of cars stretching as far as the eye could see the next day. It seems the whole world is interested in rubber-necking at the aftermath of a catastrophe and as they gawped at the ruins, I gawped at them gawping.