Sunday, November 25, 2012


A short bit of fiction inspired by the writing prompt this week at Sunday Scribblings.


Where was it? Frantically, Belinda searched every nook and cranny hoping in near desperation that she would find it. Through mountains of chaos the ordered and obvious were no more. They had been, in just a few short hours, replaced with upheaval and disarray.

With tears steadily streaming down her smudged face, Belinda moved from room to room sorting through the disheveled pieces of her once well kept home. The mud and debris significantly impeded her progress, but did very little to slow her resolve to find her prized possession. It was here and she was determined that no amount of destruction would keep her from finding it.

Belinda could hardly believe she was now standing in her living room. Two feet to the right lay what was left of her washing machine while another couple of feet away was a mix of broken figurines from the curio and silverware from the kitchen cabinets. Nothing was where it should be. Still she looked.

Daylight now faded and the shadows grew long across her battered home. Belinda felt both emotionally and physically exhausted.

Flashes of red and blue light peeked their way through the front windows and Belinda knew it was the local Sheriff making his way up the street painfully having to order the residents of Carlyle street to vacate their properties.

She only had a few more moments before the inevitable knock on the door would come. One last scan across what used to be the dining room revealed something in the corner that caught her eye. "Could it be?" she thought. Hearing the rap of knuckles on the front door, Belinda quickly dashed to the other side of the room. She grasped at the dark green album that held her greatest treasures; the photographs of her late husband and both of her grown children. It was a little stained on the outside cover from the water, but the pages inside were in nearly perfect condition.

The Sheriff called out, "Hello, anyone in here?"

Belinda replied, "I'm in here."

"I hate to have to do this, but I'm afraid you're going to have to leave immediately." the officer pleaded.  "It's just not safe to be in here any longer."

Through tears and a wee bit of a smile, Belinda replied, "That's ok, I've got all I need with me now."


Josie Two Shoes said...

Beautifully written story! Belinda had it right, posessions are replaceable but memories are held dear and sometimes photographs is all we have to remember by. I've known folks who lost their family photos for various reasons, and it really was a painful loss. I think we all were relieved when Belinda found the item she was seeking, floods leave so much carnage in their wake.

Jeff B said...

Thanks Josie. I've never had to endure a flood, but I can only imagine that something like photos would be be far more valuable than jewelry, or other such things.

Lady In Read said...

I have never been through a flood but do live in an earthquake region and I think I am going to keep all such possessions (which make memories) and like you said, more precious than jewels with an earthquake kit (which is on our to-do list for a long time now)

oldegg said...

No matter what you do take, inevitably there will be something precious that is overlooked. The pain of losing such a memento is overwhelming until you realise that you are all safe.

Akelamalu said...

I've never been a victim of a flood or any other devastation, thank goodness, but I know that family photographs would be the one thing I would wish to save, everything else could be replaced.

Jeff B said...

That's a good idea Lady.

I would imagine that to be true Oldegg.

Glad you've never had to experience anything like this Akelamalu. Hopefully it stays that way.

Marsha said...

A timely reminder to all of us to safeguard our treasures. I'm assembling emergency kits, and plan to digitize the really old family photos. The rest of it is just...stuff.

Jeff B said...

Great idea Marsha

Travis Cody said...

Great story.

I think that everyone's disaster plan should include a list of those few possessions that should be saved in the event of an evacuation. You'd really think about that list if you had to keep it to just those things you could carry in a single small pack.

zanzinece said...

That’s cool, totally true for the Jersey Shore residents, like an American Red Cross piece I read yesterday about widow Pam Magee finding her wedding picture hanging intact, the water line just 3” below it! Great comments from everyone here, too : )

Mel said...

Yaknow--we had a horrible flood we lived through a few years back. The folks around here are still doing clean up. It'll be years still--some of it will never be returned to 'normal'. So I read this in gratitude for those who were able to find just one slice of their 'normal', even if it was one photo or letter or keepsake from their lives.

So the truism in this--shone brightly for me.

Jeni said...

Jeff -you've definitely missed your calling! You turn a good phrase and write so well -makes a person feel they are there with your character. Have you ever submitted any of these short stories for publication? You really should try that from time to time, at least.