Flash Flood

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Mac slicked with rain, I wade my way through the ankle high rush of water streaming through my legs. It is hard going and the continual downpour only serves to blur my already misted glasses. I dart into a bus shelter and take a moment to ring out my sodden hair. My fringe lies plastered to my forehead and every now and then a bead of water will break free and roll under my glasses, stinging my eyes. I glance absentmindedly around, surprised that the flimsy looking construction hasn't been swept along in the current's wake. Water pours through every available gap, hiding the concrete path in a layer of brown liquid. A loud creak issues from one side of the shelter and sensing it might be wise to move, I brace myself and head back into the flood. As I push determinedly up the submerged road my fingers are gripped tightly around a small waterproof bag. Inside lies my prized possession. My Nikon D40. Streams of snot trickle from my red and irritated nose. My legs are starting to ache from the relenting flow of water but still I struggle on. I spot a railing on my left and make a beeline for it, using my last reserve of strength and energy to power me on. I reach it just in time as a stronger wave picks up. The bus shelter I previously inhabited makes a loud groan and breaks apart, its three sides separating. Gripping onto the railing with a deathlike grip, I utilize my free hand and fumble hastily for my camera. By the time I have managed to wrestle my camera out of its bag and raise it to my eye, the shelter has drifted out of sight. Cursing I go to return it to the bag when I notice something in the water up ahead. I wipe at my glasses frantically, trying to improve my already poor vision. The mysterious dark shape floats nearer and my eyes widen in surprise as I register its identity. Its a person. I pull myself up the pavement, using the railing as support, desperate to catch a glimpse of the stranger's face. I recognize it with a sharp intake of breath, the bottom of my stomach feeling like it has fallen out. Drifting towards me, bobbing unconsciously up and down in the freezing waters is none other then Bono. To my surprise it isn't fear or concern for the man that fills my body but instead a deep hatred. I hate Bono with his pompous self righteous attitude and false image. We get it man, you give a lot to charity. Well done you. This immediate reaction is replaced quickly with a sudden guilt. A man, famous or not is in mortal peril and all I can think about is how overrated U2 are as a band. Even as I say this though I am reaching for my camera. What an image this would make and its not like the bus shelter, I actually have enough time to take it. I raise the camera to my eye and lift my finger, ready to catch the image. But I can't. My finger hovers shakily over the button. If I take the shot Bono could be pulled under by the current or became impaled on the side of a car or a tree. Maybe if I take the shot quickly and then jump to his aid. No. There isn't enough time for both and he is getting closer now. Resignedly, I force myself to lower the camera and trundle towards the approaching Bono. My foot snags on something under the water and I stagger forwards on to my knees. Seeing an opportunity to exploit my weakness, the current rushes against me and before I know it I am being dragged along in the fast flowing stream. As I am sucked under the surface, my lungs fill with water. I splutter and cough, flailing wildly with my arms and legs. The panic abates for a moment and my head is suddenly clear. The last thought that crosses my mind is that I am drowning and I would have survived if I had just taken that photo.

© [Daniel Ashby] and [Ashby Tales], [2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Daniel Ashby] and [Ashby Tales] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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