Monday, November 23, 2009

Flood

I see my first naked woman the day the flood waters recede. Golden brown skin and round in all the right places, she reclines against one of the many tree branches littering mammaw's yard, among the jetsam memories washed from houses near and far. Her smile invites me in, but all I see is further devastation in her eyes.

Cool pizza and quickly warming chocolate milk, our dinner on the parquet floor of the middle school gym, an island in the streams flowing where roads once traipsed through the country side. Lights flicker and we are reminded of the severity of our situation and thankful for a dry patch of ground. Our ark arrives shortly, a family friend in his four wheel drive truck, now heading slowly for our home on the hill. Our faces press against the chilled glass of the window, staring back at the souls left to mercy.

Bathtubs fill to the brim, in case the power to the well house goes out. Ironic, as all the water we would ever need is falling from the sky, raindrops thundering miniature explosions in the murky puddles littering the saturated ground. Through the picture window we watch the river grow fangs and begin to gorge on the landscape.

Sweet and sour smells assail our sense, burning our eyes with pungent aroma, as we survey the damage to the peaceful hollow that nestles mammaw's house. An eerie calm settles across the land, water receding into the bowels of the earth once more, leaving behind wreckage of so many lives scattered here and there, clinging to trees, or whatever dam that would stop its free flow on the raging flood waters.

There she lays, bare before me, washed out of someone's night time fantasies. She whispers with longing, to take her with me. Carefully, I pry her from her resting place, then crumple the page between my fingers, tossing her in with the other refuse. Her promises are empty, and should I give her my heart, she will wreak more havoc than the flood on whence she came.

Flood.

61 comments:

Nancy said...

So she was a picture??

Great writing, Brian.

Brian Miller said...

nancy - yes, she was a centerfold...

smiles4u said...

I kept thinking she has to be a picture because really is a naked woman just going to lounging there in your mammaw's yard? But, I guess one never knows. :) I can only imagine the devastation you all felt, since I have never been in a flood. Such great creative writing Brian!

AngelMay said...

"raindrops thundering miniature explosions "

Nice imagery.

Baino said...

Timely post when England and Ireland are flooding at the moment. I guess if you have little better to do, reading Playboy for the 'articles' isn't a bad use of a boy's time. Beautifully written as usual. I do feel for those cleaning up afterwards!

otin said...

OMG! I could tell you some flood stories from Hurricane Floyd here in NC that would rival any horror movie!

I will tell you about the 200 dead hogs that I had to bury, one day, when you have an empty stomach! LOL!

Centerfolds always seem to have a way of finding us!

Daniel said...

Powerful images and word pictures. I was there, for a moment.

...mmm... said...

One of the pieces that will surely wash up when floods come and then leave is other peeps little secrets and such, some not so tasteful. what a thing to wash up in mama's garden though! I'm sure she woudl have been more embarrassed that you or that boy, if not you.

Wings said...

Quite a deep piece here, Brian. Very nice.

Poetikat said...

You're such a tease! That was brilliant!

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. You are an amazing writer Brian!

Pastor Sharon said...

Wow, I have missed coming to this blog. Your words draw in every reader who comes to visit.
What an incredible story. Interesting, thought-provoking, never knew exactly if she had washed ashore with the wreckage and had no clue she would be a centerfold.
Great work here.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Wow. You paint quite a picture. Wonderful post as always, Brian. I hope you're feeling much better!
Smiles!!

Kay said...

always captivating! easy flow

An Open Heart said...

How's the face? We got an A on the essay!

Centerfold made me think of J.Giles band.....

Jill said...

"and should I give her my heart, she will wreak more havoc than the flood on whence she came"

This is absolutely PROFOUND in its truth and the devastation she can and does produce.

Betsy said...

Loved the imagery...as always! :)

Beth said...

Now that J.Geils Band song is on my brain.

Great story. I always love your descriptives!

tattytiara said...

That was a unique taste for someone like me who lives in drought and not flood country. Very nicely done.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What a prescient young man - knowing a come hither stare could be just as devastating as a torrent of water. Great work . . . again!!!

Smart Mouth Broad said...

You do have a way with words, my friend. So glad to know that Mammaw didn't have nekkid women lying around the yard. :-)

Vodka Logic said...

Very nice. I am new to your blog are these based on true experiences?
xx

willow said...

What a flood of memories and one you'll never forget. Nice piece of writing, Brian.

Ronda Laveen said...

Ah...choices. Wet and wild or dry. And safe.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow you wrote that AND have poison ivy really bad! You are GOOD! That was terrific.

Hope you're feeling better.

jj

Alix said...

Brian, you will be so proud of me. I got it. I knew she was a centerfold.

By the way... paragraph three? My favorite.

Eternally Distracted said...

Lovely Jubbly Mister :0)

Protege said...

Wow, that first sentence is incredible...
You must have written fantastic letters to your wife once upon a time.
And you probably still do.
;)

Lorraine said...

Oh Brian, an award-winning piece...

Vodka Mom said...

That was quite incredible. Your way with words continues to astound me.



and I am loving it.

Candie Bracci said...

Really deep as usual.I told you you could turn anything into..gold!Nice work!;)

Grumpy Old Ken said...

All seems very clever to me! Will be back.

The Retired One said...

Naked, indeed. The same way the landscape looks after all the water finally drains away.
Wonderful descriptive writing, Brian. You never cease to amaze me.
P.S. and stop scratching. (smile)

Mama Zen said...

This is so vivid! Excellent writing.

Shadow said...

you are a superb writer. your images bring pictures to my mind... what a great read brian!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Every word drips off the post. amazing writing.

Brian Miller said...

vodka logic, almost all my posts are true stories...if one is not, i'll usually let you know.

otin, there has got to be a story in those 200 hogs...cant wait.

healing nicely on the poison oak...feeling more like sand paper today...thanks for the warm wishes all.

Cabo said...

Stoic, enthralling, and completely implausible for my own self. Good thing I didn't find her first. ;)

Meeko Fabulous said...

As always, your writing is captivating. Your use of detail always puts me right in the moment as if I were living it too.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

It's great to be back Brian - you always keep me entertained!

Ms Hen said...

wow...nice.. very creative...

TechnoBabe said...

Where do I begin to tell you how much this writing stirred me and hubby. I read it and then read it to him. And he is a sort of writer and he just went "WOW" when I finished reading it. Man Brian, this is awesome writing. I have never personally be in a flood but I experienced it to the max while reading this post, and the woman's body as seen through the writer's eyes is outstanding. You get the big giant gold star for this one!

Kimi @ SoManyKidsSoLittleTime said...

Wow. This is fantastic.

Monkey Man said...

The golden brown skin and smile had me thinking this was not your typical dead body scaring children story. I liked this. Very descriptive.

Leah said...

Brian, I think out of all your wonderful writing, this is my new favorite piece.

It's incredibly imagistic. I'm right there.

Matthew said...

You are incredibly gifted. This struck a chord with me in so many different ways and for that, I'm grateful to you.

Jessie said...

you painted this memory so vivid -- encore!!!

smiles,

Nessa said...

Always such wonderful imagery and surprising turns.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. Turkey Butt

lakeviewer said...

Wow! This is both mysterious and starkly real, a child's version of a calamity, and a picture that floats by to test his sense of reality. Great story.

blueviolet said...

What horrible devastation. The imagery is terrific, but the sadness overwhelms all.

buffalodick said...

Good prose, and floods are bad.. I'm so old, I held the bow line for Noah when he landed...

Lisa (aka LadyWanderlust) said...

Thanks for stopping by my 'hood. Thought I'd come and visit you a spell. How poetic you words are. It was as if I were there. Is this a true story or something that came to you?

Keep up the writing! :) Have a great Thanksgiving to you and the family. Lisa

Anonymous said...

Wow. Another amazing piece. :-)

only a movie said...

Hey wait - that was me. Not signed in or some such nonsense.
So I get to say again: Amazing, Brian!

Alan Burnett said...

Nicely done Brian. As always you lead us along and then show us that we are no where we thought we were.

Tall Kay said...

You totally had me stumped! I love when a story does that! You should enter this in a writing contest, ya know? Brilliant!

rxBambi said...

You have so much talent, I hope you get paid for these.
I have to admit at the beginning I thought she was a drowned woman... I'm glad she was just a picture.
Great story, really. The imagery is amazing (as usual)

The Things We Carried said...

powerfully told, wisely left behind

Liza said...

"Cool pizza and quickly warming chocolate milk"
I really like that, and how you put this story together.
Thanks for sharing Brian.

Pat said...

You sure do have a way with words. I like how you wove the story from beginning to end.

kys said...

*Sighing* I could never write like that.