WEP’S June Challenge, The Flood No One Thought Would Come, A Creative Non-Fiction Story by Pat Garcia
The man worked hard. He and his three sons hammered and pitched each wooden plank together. Sure, people thought he was crazy, but that didn’t disturb him. He closed his ears to what others said. If he were honest, and he was, he didn’t give a hoot. He hadn’t made it so far in life by seeking the approval of others.
The other day his sons had informed him that the neighbors thought he was insane. He had laughed and told his sons to get to work before he fired them. After all, he was not only their father but their employer. No one would give them the amount of money for the kind of work they did for him. They had no choice.
The father gazed down at the oldest son, looking up at the sun, and the old man thought about the discussion they had had the night before. His sons thought he was a daydreamer and had invited a lawyer to his house without his permission. Their excuse for not telling him had him laughing. They wanted to rattle his brain.
After talking with him, the lawyer said that declaring their father as insane wouldn’t work. Besides, the majority of the judges knew him too well as that no-nonsense man that spoke what he thought.
The sons’ wives were outraged, shouting they had become the laughing stock of the whole town, maybe the whole world. They were sick and tired of people pointing fingers at them. So, what, the old man said when they had tried to explain what it meant to them not to be among the popular crowd they considered their friends. Come to my house for tea, my wife would enjoy your company, he’d answered back.
The temperature had risen to forty degrees Celsius. The oldest son went to get a water bottle. As he passed his brothers, their accusatory looks felt like knives in his back. He had promised that he would speak with their father alone, once more.
He grabbed a bottle of water and went in the direction of his father. His father had turned to sit, his head hung down in his bosom. Oh my, the oldest son thought. The old man has died from the heat. He almost screamed help, but his father moved his head with a strange gaze and looked upward into the sun.
“Were you taking a little nap, father?” He asked.
“No, I was listening. I got further instructions,” the old man said.
The oldest son shook his head. “Father, there is no God who talks to people. You’re making us think you’re crazy.”
“No, I’m not crazy, my son,” said the old man. “You are.”
“So, what did he tell you this time?” The eldest son asked sarcastically.
“The animals will come on the boat tomorrow. He’ll bring them here. We have to put the feed and everything else in the ship tonight. “
“Father, I want you to stop this foolishness right now,” the oldest son screamed.
The old man stood. “You and your brothers get to work. We have a lot to do before the animals come and get your wives prepared to leave, and don’t forget to bring the food rations I told you to gather.”
By the afternoon of the following day, the boat was ready to be filled. Suddenly noises from the forest neared. The animals were there, and they stood in pairs and walked peacefully into the ship. Some went on the first level, others to the second level, and the birds flew up to the third level.
“Come, Woman,” said the old man to his wife.
The three sons gazed at their wives and shrugged. The middle son said, “Let’s pacify him. He’ll never believe the foolishness he’s put us all through until we go into the boat and sit with him for an hour or two. . “In fact, if we do that,” the son rationed, “it’ll be easy to get him qualified as incompetent and incapable of conducting his own affairs.” He chuckled. “This ark is our proof.”
All three brothers and their wives followed the old man and his wife into the ark.
As soon as they were inside this big belly of an ark, they heard the mighty roar of wind; a loud bang shut the door. Locked inside, with shock on their faces, they turned to look at their father.
“How did you do that? Open that door right now!” the oldest son yelled.
“I didn’t do anything. If you want to open the door, do it yourself. I’m going up on the third deck to have my dinner with my wife.”
As their father took to the stairs, the pitter-patter sounds of rain hit against the ship’s broad side.
“What’s that noise?” Asked the youngest son.
His father stopped midway and turned. “That’s the rain, my son, that you all thought wouldn’t come.
The old man, Noah, stayed in the ark for three hundred and sixty-four days, and the greatest flood that ever was and ever will be swept across the face of the earth.
Thank you for reading. Have a lovely June/July. I’ll see you in August.