Ivan - The Terrible
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Chapter 1

“Ivan is coming!!! Ivan is coming!!!” Everyone was shouting to anyone who would listen, “Ivan is coming!!!”

I quickly ran to see what all the commotion was about. I wanted to know who this Ivan was. You could see the fear on everyone’s faces. Even the animals looked scared. One thing was clear; He was bad news.

“Leroy?” I could hear my mother as she yelled for me across the fence. “Leroy! Boy get here now!!!”

“Yes mama!”

“Have you not heard that Ivan is coming?”

“Yes mama, but surely Inspector Thomas will stop him; considering he is the strongest man in the village.”

She then looked at me with a coy smile. “Leroy, surely you don’t believe that Ivan is a person?”

“He’s not?” I asked puzzlingly.

“No love, it’s a hurricane.”

A hurricane? I had never experienced a hurricane before. Mom sometimes speaks of Hurricane Gilbert, but it occurred such a long time ago when she herself was a child. She was only two years older than I am. She recalls the experience with such sorrow. She usually speaks of her home being flooded and how Mary-Beth, her pet goat had succumbed to the waters. It seems it was a terrible time then.

“Leroy, bring the hammer from the bottom drawer for me.”

“Sure mom.”

I was always impressed at how my mom could do anything. She was just like ‘Superwoman’, except for the costume. Since my father’s death, mom takes charge of everything. I never knew my dad. He passed away when I was only two years old. Mom tries to keep him alive with photographs and videos. He died while on duty trying to apprehend a mugger. He is known as a hero in the village. Someday, I’ll be just like him.

“Leroy, where is the hammer?”

“Coming mom!”

Chapter 2

“Mom, can I go outside? It has been over two hours and still no rain. The sky is blue, mom. Look! There is Old Man Green and Mas Dogood ‘round the domino table! Could I go mom? Please, please, pretty please???”

“Leroy, this is a time of emergency. You cannot watch what those two ‘old fools’ are doing. We have to make sure that we are prepared. Just when one thinks all is peace and tranquil, there is sudden destruction. As a matter of fact, now that all the windows have been boarded shut, we should remove all the tinned food-supplies from the grocery bags. Did you put the flashlight on the table next to the candles like I told you?”

“Yes mom,” I replied sulkily.

“Wow! What was that?” It was as though a bucket of water was dumped on the roof.

Again with a smile, my mom replied, “sudden destruction, sudden destruction.”

I knew at this point it was pointless to continue peeking through the spaces between the planks that were barring the windows. After-all, I could see nothing. I could hear the waters however, like bullets piercing through our zinced roofing. It was not the best in the village, but it sure wasn’t the worst. I helped my mom to place pots and plastic containers at different locations of the house. I could see the concern increasing on her face as she made her way throughout our tiny one bedroom abode. For a split second, it was as though she was once again that little eight year old child. I had never seen this side of my mom before.

“Don’t worry, mom. I will buy you the Prime Minister’s house.”

I had recently visited Vale Royale, the home of our Prime Minister, on a fieldtrip sponsored by the Boys Scout Association along with the Police Officers Club. Since then, I was sure that was where I wanted to live.

“Thanks baby,” she replied, smiling as she shook her head, “lets go and listen to the radio.”

Chapter 3

A whole day had passed. Suddenly, the lights began flickering, and then it failed. It was only at this point that I realized the seriousness of the situation. The reporter on the radio had just informed its audience that Ivan had dropped from a category five to a category four hurricane. I did not quite know at the time he was referring to its strength, but I could tell that it was good news.

The winds seem to be increasing and the rains plummeted even more. I felt like a mouse on Noah’s Ark. I could hear things banging against the doors and windows. I also heard glass smashing outside. I knew however, that as long as mom was near I would be safe.

Just as suddenly as the rains had started, there was complete silence. Mom opened the door to sneak a peek outside. I stood behind her and forced a peek where I could. I could tell that all our banana trees had fallen over and a section of the ackee tree was now hanging from our roof.

‘Wow!’ I thought. ‘This guy is amazing!’

Mom quickly locked the door, but not before I was able to see the utter devastation on her face. She then went and sat on our bed, where she cranked the radio up a notch more.

“We are now beginning to experience the first stages of hurricane Iv…”

‘What!’ I thought. ‘Surely this was over.’

No sooner had this thought cross my mind, there it was again roaring like a half-starved lion. Ivan was not letting up. Mom of course, just held me close. I guess I was now her ‘superman’.

I could not tell the exact moment I fell asleep, but I slept like a baby.

‘Mmm…Chicken? Chicken for breakfast?’

“Mom…”

I staggered in to the kitchen. Mom was busily emptying the pots and plastic containers and resetting them to collect more rain water. The entire house however, reeked of baked chicken.

“Mom, will it be chicken for breakfast?” I queried.

“Yes Leroy. We must use up the chicken from the freezer before it spoils. Now that we have no electricity, it’s as though the fridge serves little purpose.”

Chapter 4

I slept and awoke, slept and awoke, slept and awoke yet again to find it was still pouring. The seconds slowly turned into minutes; and the minutes slowly turned into hours. Just when I thought the hours were turning into days, it was all over. Or was it?

There was such silence; you could hear a pin drop. Everything was still.

“Oh dear, this must be the eye of the hurricane!” exclaimed mom, as she frantically peered into the darkened room.

Within a few minutes, less than quarter of an hour I am sure, as if with a vengeance, it was as though Ivan turned around. This time however, it had more strength and willpower than before. This time it was obvious to me that the one thing we feared most was about to become our reality. I could hear the roof squeaking in anguish as Ivan made his way. It was obvious the latter part of Ivan would be worse than the first. The roof creaked uncontrollably as the winds howled outside. I could hear what sounded like rivers of water gushing beneath our cellar.

The cellar used to be my home away from home. That was where the ‘Association of Indestructible Spies’ meetings were held. All the children in and around the village would attend. I guess you could say that membership was endorsed by the parents as it was a safer alternative to playing down by the river. I am guessing that all our gears and equipment have probably been washed to sea by now. I guess no-one thought they were a priority.

Chapter 5

Ivan had finally moved away and the rains were now slowing down. It started with a drizzle… then a trickle…and now a drip. There was almost silence. Mas Dogood’s voice however, could be heard calling to Miss Stella across the way. One by one, the voices began increasing. Mas Charles could now be heard, and so could Miss Zelda and Brother Peabot.

As I listened closely, I could hear the lock on the front door turning. I ran to secure a place by my mom’s side. It was unbelievable! The waters had risen to the third step of our four-stepped stairwell. Now I understood why everyone was shouting; no-one could get across the body of water that divided the village, or so I thought. Mas Dogood had somehow managed to crawl across from his water-soaked hut to Miss Zelda’s on an ackee tree the hurricane had totally uprooted.

Just looking around, it was obvious. The damage was colossal.


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