Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Entry #58

After the Flood
by Stephanie Lazzara

She came home late that afternoon in July. The front door stuck oddly to the old oak floors so she had to squeeze her body sideways to get through. The sound of water dripping was heavy and so steady her pulse quickened. She heard the cats cries from the basement and ran through the foyer, into the living room, her feet slipping on the soggy green rug. Water rushed and pulsed through the walls, the flowered wallpaper and blue paint bubbled and bulged below the burst pipe. Sections of ceiling hung down in spots, delicately dangling by threads of plaster and paint. She crouched and put her hands over her head as she crawled to the kitchen, water falling faster than rain. The cats cried out to her louder, their desperate moans almost unearthly. Her hands shook frantically as she tried to push open the basement door. Water followed her down the steps as she waded through half sunken boxes of old family photos, her dead mother's clothes. Cartons of her wooden childhood toys floated to the surface and she pushed them away with one hand. She called out the cats' names because she couldn't see them in the dark. There was no answer. The water was cold and deep and her legs were numb, unable to move fast enough. Her hands searched surfaces for familiar softness of fur as she scanned the room, her body heavy with the weight of water, fearing she was too late.

(Stephanie Lazzara was previously a modern dance choeographer and performer and she is now focusing on motherhood and writing. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and son.)


Bernita said...

If you killed those cats, I'll hate you.

Beth said...

Bernita's a hoot.

Have you been through this? It reads very "real" to me. Nice writing.

The Wandering Author said...

This does feel very real, but wondering if those poor, crying cats drowned is going to haunt my sleep tonight. Although - why weren't they huddled at the top of the stairs, waiting to escape the moment the door opened? I've never known a cat who wouldn't have done that. Water pouring down them or not, a cat would know the steps were their best shot at safety. My mind is leading me in places I really don't want to go...

Esther Avila said...

of course they didn't die - cats have nine lives.

though - interesting how no one hated us for making young children suffer (my story too) or die. Bernita, I'm a cat lover too. :) I gasped when I realized the cats were drowning.

Good job Stephanie

Anonymous said...

Very unique take! Nice choices in the description. Well executed.

High marks for pacing and storytelling.