I’ve been invited to write the ending to a “pass it on” story to which several other bloggers have contributed. You can read the first several parts here. And now to wrap up this fascinating adventure!
The motor coughed, belched out black smoke, and then grudgingly chugged into a steady rhythm. What a relief! He had to get back to his own family, as well as the rest who had gathered in that strange house, occupied by a number of unusual folks. As Dan steered his boat in the direction of the house, he thought about the old couple who seemed so sure they’d seen all this before. He thought about the “seven dwarves” who had welcomed in the stragglers from the flood. He considered the Gandalf clone who had rescued them, and that man’s strange philosophy about going nowhere until fate intervened. Then, the missing boys; the houses that were being destroyed; how everyone would find shelter.
Even though the rain was still thick and the wind raging, Dan thought he saw something in the water besides trees and rooftops. Yes! There it was again! A flash of light—-SOS! Someone was signaling for help. He headed in that direction, and soon found the two lost boys clinging to the trunk of the tree. They’d been using a cell phone to signal. They told Dan about sliding off the veranda roof into the water, thinking it would be fun to let the water carry them wherever it would. Now, they were just happy to be in a boat! They huddled together, seeking warmth and talking about having a peanut butter sandwich.
Dan was listening to the small motor, hoping it wasn’t running out of gas. So far, so good. He was hungry too, but mostly wanted the warm hugs from his wife and kids.
Atop the hill where Misty’s house was sheltering way more people than there was room for, Dan caught sight of a bonfire. Where in the world did they find wood dry enough to get a fire started? Well, in any case it was a welcome signal, and he took the boat carefully through the debris that rushed past the boat. He pulled up to the landing, moored the boat, and helped the two weary boys find their footing. Fighting the wind and rain, the three of them trudged up the muddy yard and tumbled into the house. Cheers erupted, and what seemed like the whole town rushed them and hugged, back-slapped and handed them towels and hot drinks.
Susan and the kids finally got through the crowd, clinging to him as if they were afraid he would leave again.
That night, people traded stories, talked about how they got up the hill and away from the flood waters, wondered what had happened to the motley crew at the old house on Clearwater Lake, and discussed how to go about recovering and getting back to normal. Many of them assured Misty that they would help clean up the mess in her house and restore her pantry and refrigerator.
One by one, they started to drift off to sleep wherever they sat or stretched out. They kept warm because there were so many of them. As Dan’s eyes began to close, he held Susan in one arm, his kids in the other, and fell asleep. He dreamed, strangely enough, of the biblical story of Noah and the Ark 🙂