FLOOD in its entirety: 
The first 301 words are a 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop prequel to the further 26 days of Blogflash 2012:


“I don’t like this dear…”
“Nor me…”
“When do we go back to land?”
“I don’t know sweetheart.”
“Should we navigate back to shore now, to the marina?”
“Well that was my first idea, but the instruments are playing up…”
“How do you mean?”
“I can’t get anything on screen, and the radio’s not doing anything, it’s just dead. No, stay here, I’m not sure we should go up on deck.”
“Why not? I’ve got a torch.”
“What time would you put us at? Or even what day? The sun’s been gone for days, and all it’s doing is raining…”
“I’ve lost track of the days…”

“It’s Thursday, sweetie. We made it to the boat ahead of the water and we’ve been on the ocean for three days…”
“In darkness.”
“So where’s the sun?”
“Maybe it decided to stay on the other side of the world…”
“That would explain a lot dear! Three days of darkness…that sounds biblical to me…”
“I don’t think we’ve hit the Armageddon…not yet sweetheart, well I don’t think so, I think there’d be more than just rain, you know fire and brimstone spring to mind…”
“But, three days of darkness…”
“It’s fine, it’ll pass.”
“But why, what’s happened, and why can’t we contact anyone?”
“We did, on Tuesday honey, but the Port Authorities just said stay away from the marina, and conserve fuel, then we lost contact.”
Rain hammered down on the cabin roof and the small boat rocked on the waves.
“So we’re just drifting?”
“We are now…have been for two days.”
“Where are we darling?”
“I just said the panel doesn’t work, I’m getting nothing…”
“Then I’m going up on deck…”
“Look! I see rays, through the rainclouds, rays!”
“My word! God bless the sunshine!”
“We’re going to live darling!”

“Didn’t God promise Noah he’d never flood the earth again?”
“He meant the entire world.”
“Well I can’t see nothing but blue from where I’m standing.”
The boat rocked gently on the huge millpond of an ocean.
“I think you have to blame the indigenous for this one…and we have to keep looking. There’s land, there’s definitely land.”
“Just not here.”
“So we keep sailing.” Crystal green waves splashed the hull. “And we follow that!”
The vessel altered course to follow the bow and its exquisite scarlet, apricot, saffron, emerald, cobalt, indigo and lavender colours arcing far across the horizon.

“I still think it’s biblical, forty days and nights…”
“Only it wasn’t forty days or nights, dear.”
“No it was more!”
“Typical old British Summer then.”
Water slapped the side of the boat.
“What d’you think happened to those in charge?”
“No idea…it was all a bit of a rush in the end wasn’t it?”
“You think they saw it coming?”
“No…or they’d never have done it.”
“Hmmm, bit more than a rain dance wasn’t it. Think they’d have known drought-ridden soil wouldn’t take that much…” Ominous swirling clouds darkened. “And here it comes again…will it ever stop?”

“I’m finding it hard to recall the last sunset we saw on land…”
“Cwtch in closer sweetheart, wasn’t that long ago.”
“Tell me, mmm you’re warm…and it’s getting so cold.”
Beams of sunlight threw a path across the endless expanse of ocean.
“I like being on watch this time of night… It was that evening on the beach, before we lost the beaches and panic set in.”
“Don’t go there, not tonight.”
“Okay, the beach was still clear of debris, just that branch, remember? We watched the sun turn orange then red…then it disappeared into the sea.”
“Just like we have…”

“I’m so bored.”
“Why don’t you go beneath deck and relax? You do look tired dear.”
“There’s nothing to do and the last time I sat watching the damned ocean I was in a deck chair…and we’re running out of supplies…”
“Our supplies are fine dear. Didn’t you take a look at the stuff we picked up the other day?”
“Oh, the box with the parachute? Yes, I s’pose we’ll last a bit longer…and the parachute does mean we’re not out here alone…”
“There you go then, go down below and take a nap. I’m going to catch some rays…”

“So, how’re you doing down there in the baby boat?”
“Just fine…reclining like a mermaid and dragging my hand through the water. Just keep me attached, don’t let me drift away…”
“There’s only you and me on this boat, only you and me on this whole damned ocean, I’m not letting you go anywhere!” Rippling waves lapped at the sides of the rowing boat and salty tears dripped from the taut, thick rope between both vessels. A light breeze fluttered across the deck. “Couldn’t, wouldn’t do this on my own, we started this journey together and we’ll end it the same.”

“No really, I can see something…”
“Where? All I can see is mist…”
“Over there…I told you we needed a dove!”
“A dove dear?”
“To send out and check for land.”
The wind whistled across the stern and the engine’s soft hum groaned, and coughed and spluttered then was gone.
“That’s that then.”
“We knew the fuel wouldn’t last…”
“Then let’s hope that’s land.”
The boat rocked, silently.
“Do we drop anchor or drift? Or lick your finger and stick it in the air?”
“I’m checking the wind…and that is definitely land…I’m positive! Oh for a dove!”

“Come now sweetheart, stop crying…it could’ve been worse…”
“I don’t see how!”
“I’m okay, you’re okay…”
“What’s your definition of ‘okay’? Look at these bruises and you’ve got a horrible cut on your head and I can’t get you to hospital to see if…”
“I’m fine!  Bruises will go, at least we’re still here.”
“But with no food, no fuel and they took tools too! That wasn’t land you saw in the distance…”
“Civilian pirates and no scruples. That’s what the world is now. Dog-eat-dog.”
“…and we’re the little dog.”
“Come on, please…don’t cry, please don’t cry…”

“I’m scared.”
“I know.”
“It’s just got really scary, when we saw the other boat I thought we’d be safe, you know…other people…”
“I know.”
“…but they weren’t, they didn’t want to help…they just…”
“I know, it wasn’t what we expected.”
“Not at all! And look at me, I’m shivering!”
“It’s foggy and cold, zip up your jacket.”
“And that makes me more scared; we can’t see anything out there…”
“Please don’t cry…”
Fog coiled around the gently rocking boat.
“Come back here darling, don’t leave me!”
“I’m not, but look; I hid some of the food…chocolate?”

 “How long does it take to drift anywhere?”
“How long does it take to drown a planet?”
“Do you know what I miss most?”
“Steak and chips?”
“Ha ha, that’s a man’s answer! You fed up with fish eh? No, I miss trees…”
“Hmmm, that worries me.”
“It does? Why?”
“Look around…no trees, the only vegetation is seaweed. What does that mean for the world? I meant it when I said the planet’s been drowned. No trees, no oxygen, no life.”
On the tranquil ocean only the light splash of rippling waves against the hull broke the imposing silence.

“What are you doing down here? Thought I’d lost you!”
“Yeah right…this boat is soooo big!”
“What you looking at? Oh…”
“At least they didn’t take these.”
Album pages slowly turned in the dim corner of the cabin and a framed photograph was held in shaking hands. Tears dripped and splashed onto the inset glass, soft sobs echoed and a heavy sniff, poorly disguised as a sigh, reverberated in the claustrophobic room.
A cloak of grief encompassed the reluctant sailors.
“Do you think we’ve lost them?”
A kiss on a wet cheek was all that could fill the wordless moment.

“Hold on! Hold on tight!”
“I am!”
The boat swayed violently and the squealing wind screamed across the fierce, churning waves.
“Go down below!”
The wind whipped words away. “…not leaving…”
“Then hold on to me…don’t you dare let go!”
Sea-spray soaked the deck and words had to be shouted to be heard above the crash of the ocean.
“I’m expecting a sea-serpent or the Kraken to rise out of this squall!”
“What was that sweetheart?”
“I’m waiting for a Leviathan or the Kraken!”
“Sorry dear, your literary references are going way over my head…much like this storm!”

Different World
“See it?”
“Yes, I see it, but it’s too choppy to reach…”
“We have to reach it!”
“I know, but how? I don’t want to slip overboard…”
“Is there no way you can reach it, even with the pole? What about the row boat?”
“Too choppy, too rough!”
“But we need it, it’ll contain water and we’re on our last bottle…” Waves slapped the hull and sent stinging spray across the deck. “Life didn’t used to be this difficult!”
“Things aren’t what they used to be…”
And the crate, swathed in parachute silk, floated just out of reach…

“Have you thought much about what’s below us?”
“I’m trying not to sweetheart.”
“I feel like a ghost…with bad hair…”
“Look at me, no look at me…in my eyes. We’re alive…barely right now, I know, but we’re alive. No, don’t sigh or shake your head. We’re not down there, we’re not amongst the ruins, we’re here!”
“I can’t even cry…look no tears left, not even salty ones. My hair’s straw, my lips chapped and sore, and we’ve both lost more than a few pounds…we’re ghosts lost at sea.”
“Listen to me!  We’re not dead…yet! We’re still among the living!”

Wild at Heart
“We live! We survive! We’re here!”
“Careful dear, I want to keep you here! Please not so close to the rails!”
“I’m on the edge, quite literally, I’m on the edge, right there, right now!” The boat rode the swell. “I’m right on the edge, see?”
“Yes, I got your meaning the first time you said it, come down, you’re going quite mad…and I’m giggling, so we’re both going bonkers!”
“Then let’s go slightly crazy together…on this foaming-at-the-mouth ocean! Join me, I’m King of the World!”
“Mentioning Titanic might be foolish…”
“Then let us be fools!”

“What the… Did you hear that? Darling? Did you…where are you?”
Clumping footfalls resounded up on deck and a huge bang echoed throughout the darkness.
“Oh hello dear…what are you doing out of bed?”
“Looking for you! What on earth are you doing?”
“They’re not fireworks. They’re flares…emergency flares!”
“But they’re pretty! Have you come to enjoy the party?”
“You woke me. Give me those, I mean it, now! Right now!”
“They’re mine! Watch this!”
“It’s the last one!”
The flare whooshed and erupted flooding the night sky with an eerie cherry-red glow…

The still cabin air could be sliced by the proverbial knife.
“I’m really mad! I hope you’re happy…no, don’t answer, that wasn’t an actual question. Don’t talk dear, this is my moment you had yours last night. I can’t believe you let off ALL the flares…have you really no idea what you’ve done…no, still not a question.”
“Maybe I just don’t care anymore.”
“Well you should! We had a sporting chance with those flares…you could at least look at me…”
“No, look out the porthole…just look, a buoy! If we can see buoys the water must be receding…”

“Hope runs eternal…”
“‘Springs eternal’ dear. Alexander Pope.”
“Who? Don’t sigh…”
“‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast; man never is, but always…blest. The soul, uneasy, and confined from home, rests and…’ can’t remember the word… ‘in a life to come.’”
“By who?”
“Alexander Pope, an eighteenth century poet. You’re right, hope springs eternal…if the water’s going down we have hope, at last!”
“Come here sweetheart, snuggle closer…”
“Oooh, hope is definitely springing eternal!”
“Give us a kiss!”
Indigo night enveloped the little boat bobbing and drifting on the water and unabashed moonlight streamed in, uninvited, through the tiny porthole.

On Holiday
“You know that feeling? You know the one where you finally see your holiday destination in the distance? That’s it…that’s the feeling. Sweetheart, look over there…this time I know it’s land, there’s nothing else that can be. We’re there, here…look!”
“Wooooah! Don’t drop me! Wow…it really is, it’s really there…land at last!”
“You okay? You cold? You’re shivering.”
“Not cold, just a bit scared…”
“Wipe that tear away, it’s finally over…”
“I know…I know, but I’m still scared at what we’re going to find…”
“It doesn’t matter what we find.”
“And look…right on the horizon…your dove dear! There’s your dove!”

“For the love of a dove! I can’t believe it! Honey, kiss me again!”
“Love you darling, I knew things would work out!”
“We’re cooking with gas now!”
“Oooh, I wish we were…bet you’d like that steak now!”
“Food…no more fish…”
“Now I’m drooling, I know that’s not attractive, but I am!”
“Sooo hungry. What are you looking so worried about now sweetheart?”
“Well, we don’t know how high the water rose, we don’t know what we’re going to find on land…”
“Well, that seagull on those rocks over there…that’ll do…”
“Tell me you wouldn’t eat your dove?”
“I would!”

In the woods
“You seeing much with those binoculars dear?”
“There’s a lot of debris…”
“Do you have any idea where we are?”
The boat rose and fell on the waves and an inconspicuous twisted branch narrowly missed the bow as it floated by.
“I think so, I’m looking for landmarks…we’ve definitely been out on the ocean, not inland. There are woods up there across the headland…”
“And in the sea too dear…look, flotsam and jetsam…”
“Aren’t they eels in Disney?”
“I’ll ignore that dear. So how do we get closer?”
“Well we’re still drifting, so we’re not out of the woods yet…”

“Look at the sky dear…”
“Beautiful blue isn’t it?”
“No, I mean up in the sky…”
“Later, will you help me with the anchor? I think we should drop anchor, there’s no point drifting anymore. If we wait long enough…the water will go down enough for us to actually be on land…”
“No, look! Listen!”
Gulls squawked and the ocean lapped, and a distant rotary hum broke the monotony.
“Is that..?”
“It is! It is! Look…up there, look!”
“You’re kidding me! Shout! Wave your arms, SCREAM!”
“Rescue…at last”

“I can barely hear you above the rotors dear…these headsets aren’t easy!”
“I got that! You don’t have to point…or shout!”
Below the scenery was breath-taking. The landscape, known and loved, was gone, vanquished by the ocean in an almost endless expanse of water. The wooded headland jutted out, a high point on the brand new coast, but the newly formed ocean spread wide leaving only small pockets of green; small islands in a sea of blue.
The helicopter’s rotors clacked, trees bent in broken submission, the little boat bobbed below and unspoken words fell as tears…

“Storms knocked out communications…”
“Like the lightning did on our boat, losing the radio?”
“Yes, but satellites are pretty much fine now the rain’s stopped and communications around the world are rebuilding via links from ships with satellite equipment.”
“So where’s the government dear?”
“The Major said that when ‘Rainburst’ trials started to deviate from plans they fled to the best military ships. They disappeared when the TV networks went down.”
“That figures, so where are they now?”
“Out on the ocean somewhere. The likes of us left to fend for ourselves…”
“So what of ‘Rainburst’?”
“Torpedoed…to stop the floods…”

“What’s wrong sweetheart?”
“Everything! This isn’t what I expected…”
“No, but we were out at sea…we couldn’t see what was going on here!”
“Careful where you step dear…mind that, that’s glass…” Fragments of glass splintered beneath planks of wood, razor-sharp sheets of corrugated iron threatened to serrate anything that passed close enough and crushed, fractured homes disintegrated beneath survivors feet. “…everything’s gone…trees down like matchsticks, homes lost…”
“We’ll be okay sweetie…”
“…and illness, we should get our jabs in the Red Cross tent…and Eeeewwww!”
“What else?”
“Frogs…all these frogs!”
“Well, at least it was good for the amphibians!”

“Why’re you sitting down here on your own sweetie?”
“I don’t know what’s left for us…for anyone…”
“Please don’t cry sweetheart.”
“I just don’t think I can keep up this façade, constantly smiling, I’d rather be back on the boat!”
“No you wouldn’t, we have food, water and shelter here…”
“Not enough water but too much water!”
“Got that right, but we’ve got to keep going. You don’t need to smile all the time, nobody expects us to be overjoyed, and life is going to be hard from now on.”
“Hold me darling, just hold me, please just hold me.”

The ocean retreated, military posts swelled and strengthened with every rediscovered survivor, and the reclamation effort thrived whilst encompassing feelings of both shock and joy.
“Would a rainbow be another promise?”
“For what dear?”
“Not to flood again…”
“God forbid!”
Golden skies threw diamond sparkles over the sea and a path of light across the sand.
“Come on then sweetheart…it’s time to get all hands on deck…off to work…”
“There’s a lot to do, isn’t there?”
“It’s a brave new world out there, and we’re part of it!”
Adam took Evi’s hand and they walked together across the vast shore…

All photographs on this page were taken by and manipulated by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission) 

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