SMOOTH SOUNDS

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A HURRICANE SURVIVOR

We had all heard the news, there would be a hurricane, a category 5, but, we have had so many warnings, storms, and, hurricanes that it seemed business as usual... It was about 3 a. m., when we heard the sirens of warning going off. We hurried to switch on the all band radio, that we might know what was coming down. Suddenly, the roof tore off the house, followed by a wave the size of the Empire State building. It crashed on me, but, before it did, I grabbed onto the dining room table. I had always noticed that in floods and so forth, that flat pieces of wood are floating, and, I have always thought that this is what I would go for in an emergency.
Well, you know the weight of the water was tremendous. I was flattened like a pancake, but, it was over in a flash; then, just tons of water. I rose to the top to see what I could see. There was everything imaginable floating, and, I wasn't far from that table. The water was so high that there were no treetops or buildings, just water and tons of debris. I was cold and was hurting in my rib and chest area. I struggled to stay afloat, I had to get to that table. I used my legs and one arm to propel me through the mighty water. I made little progress, but, finally, I was at the table. I felt around to see if the legs were still attached, thinking that would be something to hold onto while I figured out whether to attempt to get on the table or just float with it. There was a leg, so I wrapped my legs around that. I was going to try and feel around to see why my ribs and chest hurt so bad. I heard screaming, and, I heard crying off in the distance. It was dark here, and, I couldn't see much. I tried to figure out where the human sounds were coming from, but, I could not, as there was still the roar of the storm in the air. I knew that if people were suffering that I needed to help them... Forgetting about my own pain, I grabbed the leg of the table with my left arm, put my legs straight out behind me and started kicking, that I might speed up the floating table. I was having a hard time breathing, and, as I said, it was cold. Not freezing, but, cold. Still, I could not give up without attempting to save or help whom I could. I did not know how much time had lapsed since the arrival of the storm, but, I was hoping that it was getting close to daybreak.
I paddled on, trying to see, hear, and, sense if someone was near, or, if there was danger ahead. So far, I had encountered neither. I heard a muffled cry, it seemed to be getting closer. I tried to figure out where it was coming from, when, something hit the table. I asked if there was someone there, all I got was a cry. It was a baby, like a toddler. I was afraid to let go of the table, but, had to get the child. Letting go, I forced myself to swim to the front of the table and there she was. Wide eyed, crying and freezing. I grabbed her and made my way back to the table leg, my security. The child's skin was very cold. I lay her on the table's top, right next to where I was holding the leg. I had a t-shirt and a top on over that, so, I thought that if I could get the top off, wring it out, I could provide a bit more cover for the child. Again, I was afraid to let go, so, I wrapped a leg around the leg of the table, and, quickly removed the top. I wringed and wringed and wringed, hoping that it would dry some, quickly on the baby. As I wrapped her up in it, she looked deeply in my eyes and smiled. I felt so warm for that instant, and, so grateful for life.... I rubbed her small body, her legs, hands, arms, and head, trying to get the heat flowing. I could not see if her color was normal or not, so, I just kept massaging lightly and moving over the entirety of her body. We were floating along and I was not aware of anything else, for the child had consumed my thoughts. I hadn't even felt my own pain since I found her. We had been this way for a while, and, I could see the colors in the sky; yay! sunrise was happening. I was excited, yet, I was leery, as I knew not what to expect to see in the bright of day....

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