Saturday, June 3, 2017

My Story for the Penprint's Flash Fiction Dash

  Hello! In the Writing Tag post I had mentioned that I'd be participating in The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash by Rosalie Valentine. 
  I had a hard time cutting out parts to make the story short enough (and it's still a little longer than its supposed to be) but it was a lot of fun! 

  First she sent me a prompt, which was the picture above. (I added the words for this post.) Then I had this write a short story inspired by the picture. I wrote about a six year-old Dutch girl during the flood in 1953. Here's my story, hope you enjoy!

Anika Rojkkers’ Experience of 1953

Saturday, January 31st, 1953; Schouwen-Duiveland, Holland:

  "Bye!" six year-old Anika Rojkkers said to her two friends when it was time to go home. Her and her Mama had gone to the market to pick up a few things, but a storm was coming, and Mama said they must go home.
 "Papa, Papa, look what we bought!" she shouted when they reached their small house in town. "Little cakes!"
  "But you shall not eat them," Papa joked with a serious look, "for I shall eat them all!" He stole the bag and made loud eating noises as she tried to take it back, laughing.
  "Aha!" Mama laughed, taking the bag. "Too late!" She reached into the bag, and took out a small cake, which she passed to Anika.
  The family merrily ate the cakes, and after a little while retired to bed, completely unaware of what would happen that night...

Saturday, January 31st, 1953, Late Night:

  "Wake up Anika, quick! " Mama rushed as she shook her little daughter. Anika quickly sat up. She saw Papa breaking a hole through the ceiling. She heard a loud noise, like thunder. "Quick!" Mama said in a hurry. "We must head to the roof!" Papa lifted Anika up through the hole, and then he and Mama climbed through after her.
  "There has been a flood," Papa told her. They looked around. Their neighbors were on their roofs too. The water was up to the second story windows. The trees looked like bushes, for you could only see their tops.
  Suddenly, the noise grew very loud, and a cold mist began to cover them. All of a sudden she could see a huge wave and-
  She screamed as the wave splashed over the roof and began to carry her away. Mama yelled and Papa jumped in, but they were quickly separated. The water was rushing so fast, she could hardly hear anything. Suddenly she was heading towards some brick thing on top of a building, and crashing into it, fell into deep unconsciousness.

 Sunday, February 1st, 1953

  Anika opened her eyes, blinking a few times and looking around. It was light now. She was freezing, and on the roof of some building, leaning against a chimney. She saw an older lady a few feet away.
  “Oh, you’re awake!” The lady said, wobbling over to her. “I’ve been wondering if you’d be okay, you hit your head pretty bad last night.” Anika reached up and felt her forehead. She could feel a large, open wound. “I tried to wash it with some of the water,” the lady told her. “Well, you can call me Beth,” she added. “What’s your name? You must be terribly frightened. All alone up here, with a strange old lady like me, and water up to the rooftops.”
  “Anika,” the girl quietly replied, until suddenly they felt the wind pick up, and the water began to move.
  “Grab onto me!” Beth told her, holding her tightly. They weren’t sure what to expect. The water began to flow over the roof, knocking them down to their knees. Suddenly, they felt the ground they were on begin to shake, and the roof started to float away. Beth held tightly to Anika, and they tried hard to stay on the floating roof.
  After few moments of floating, the water suddenly began to flow the other direction, back towards the village. Reaching a bunch of treetops towards the edge of the village, the roof came to a rough stop, crushing one of Beth’s legs as it did. She let out a sharp cry; her leg was wedged between the roof and tree trunk.
   Anika sat, not knowing what to do.  After a while Beth, not being able to get up, fell asleep. Anika looked around at the enormous expanse of water. She saw roofs, sticks, and a few dead animals  floating by. She began to cry. What was she to do? She was all alone, except for an old lady, who couldn’t move. She didn’t know how to swim. She felt helpless.  
  Then, suddenly she remembered something. She was not alone. God was there! She began to pray, “Dear God, please help me. Please keep me safe, and Beth too. Please help me to find Mama and Papa. Amen.”
  Immediately  after praying she saw a boat come by. “Help!” she called out. The couple on the boat, after seeing her, began to steer in her direction. Once they came closer, they saw Beth too. They climbed up onto the roof and the man was able to pull her out. They helped her and Anika into the boat, and then the lady said in a gentle voice, “I am Elisabeth Hopts,” “And this is my husband Jack. We are taking you a hospital out of town.”

  The four rode on for a while, picking up a few other passengers on their way. After a while, the water began to move again, this time faster. It splashed on board, and suddenly Anika was thrown overboard again by a wave. The current quickly drove her away, farther and farther. After a few minutes, she was thrown against some hard wall. She grabbed on, and was able to climb to the top. There she stayed the whole night, cold, tired and scared.

Monday, February 2nd

  Anika looked around. It had been a hard night. “Will I ever see my parents again?” she wondered. The water began to move once more. She tried to hold onto the wall, but it was no use. She was pulled away, and, grabbing a large floating stick, drifted again.
  Suddenly she thought she heard her name. “Anika!” Yes! She did hear it. She looked around as fast as she could. “Mama! Papa!” she screamed. “Anika!” There they were- Mama and Papa- up on top of the dike she was passing. They both jumped off andbegan to swim towards her, and eventually cut off the path where the stick was heading. They all made their way back to where they had been sitting, and hugged her, crying. “Anika!” Mama said, “We thought we would never see you again!” That night was again cold, wet, and hungry, but at least they were all together.

Tuesday, February 3rd

  The next morning help came. A boat came, filled with food, clean water, bandages and more. They quickly were helped inside, and taken a few towns over, to a large building being used as a hospital. The nurses helped to clean their wounds, and they spent the night there.

  Thursday, February 5th

  “How good it felt to be on dry land once again!” Anika thought to herself, smiling. She and her parents were now at her Aunt Maria’s house, which the flood had not hit. They found out that it had been caused by the dikes bursting during the storm on Saturday night. Since the radio didn’t broadcast during at nights, their aunt found out on Sunday morning. “I was so scared for you!” she said. “I was praying that God would keep you all safe, and He did!”
  “Yes He did!” Mama and Papa agreed. Aunt Maria went into the kitchen for a moment, and came out a few seconds later holding a cake. “To celebrate” she said. “That God has kept you all safe, and brought you back together!”
  The family enjoyed the cake, and sat around the table for a few hours, laughing, smiling, and happy to be back together again. For many years following the flood, each year on February 5th they would bake a cake just like that one and celebrate that they were all together.

NOTE: This is a fictional story based on the flood in 1953, where 1,836 deaths in the Netherlands were recorded.

  Do you like to write short stories?  What have you been up to this week?


10 comments:

  1. Salamanca T. RiverJune 4, 2017 at 2:52 PM

    Nice story!

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  2. Great story :)

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  3. I've never heard of this flood but it doesn't surprise me given the location and all the dikes. My college had a flood in the 70s when a dam broke at 1:30am. Even though they didn't rebuild the dam, to this day, no students are housed on the lowest floor of the dorm where so many died that night.

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    1. I've never heard of it either... I actually looked up if they had ever had a flood, which I thought they probably did because of the dikes. When I saw that there was in 1953 I thought it'd be perfect to write about because the pic reminds me of that time!

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