Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Floods receding

“We’re back where we started. They always do that with diversions.”
“We don’t need to go to the centre of the village. For god’s sake, we’ve got a machine that can help us. Programme it to miss out Widdicombe.”
Brett fiddles with the sat nav. It commands them to turn around if possible but as they start driving away from the road block it picks up their route and takes them behind the church and into open countryside.  
The road is narrow. “I hope we don’t meet anybody coming the other way,” says Jenny clutching the sides of her seat.      
There are the remains of fields on either side. They feel as if they are crossing a sea via a narrow causeway. Water laps at the sides of the road. They have to slow down for a couple with a dog. The dog-walkers stare at them for being audacious enough to come this way.
“Oh no.  I can’t look.” Jenny shades her eyes. A dustcart is coming towards them.
Brett pulls into a passing place wondering whether there is a ditch between him and the flooded field.  It would be a squeeze even in better conditions. Not being able to see, though, is scary.
The dustcart driver doesn’t seem to care and rushes through, missing them by centimetres.  Jenny breathes again. He drives on.  
At one point the flood has crossed the road. “Careful,” says Jenny, grabbing his arm.
The water is actually not all that deep. You can still see most of the hay bales, in the fields on either side. They’re probably ruined.  Even so Brett thinks of Noah and some sort of promise being made about there never being floods like that again. He would appreciate the Bible being right though as usual doubts it.  
They come at last to a main road. It rises away from the flooded fields and Brett notices the muddy edges.
“See, it’s okay,” he says to Jenny. “The floods are receding.”      

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