Mike rushed inside and threw his umbrella, which had turned inside out due to the heavy winds, on the floor and started barring the doors and windows. Once that task was completed, he opened the tap in the first floor kitchen, connected a length of rubber hose and placed it inside the inflatable kiddie pool. The first thing that would happen during any flood is that the drinking water would get contaminated. Mike didn’t know how long the storm would last. The sudden out of season cloud bursts were very unpredictable and he did not want to get stranded with no drinking water.
He paused for a second and peered outside the window. He realised that this storm was a bad one. The water level in the streets was increasing at an alarming level. Mike smirked with elation as he had just finished sealing the exhausts of his cars with polythene sheets. He had provided an extra layer of sealing to the car’s interiors by running a length of polythene sheet along the inside perimeter of the doors. He was pretty sure all his neighbours’ cars would be damaged and his will be the only ones that would be in working condition after the flood subsided. He always kept reels of polythene sheets handy along with essential things that might be required during emergencies like cans of processed food, matches, flares, tools, knives, first aid kits, and even a canoe. Kurz gesagt, Mike was always planned for the bad and prepared for the worst.
A sudden thought struck him and he dashed towards the basement cellar. He grabbed a torch and a length of rope on the way. He cursed as he saw the hip-high water just outside the cellar door, which was a flight of stairs down. He did the math and realised that there would be at least six feet of water in the basement. He thought of turning back, but he had to go in and plug the drainage vent. He chastised himself for the oversight. His single error would have damaged most of his life’s work that was in storage.
Mike climbed down the stairs and used his shoulders to budge the door open. The moment the door opened, water came flooding out and filling the stairwell. He took solace in the fact that the basement cellar was tiny and wouldn’t be holding enough water to flood the ground floor, as long as he managed to plug the leak. He dove into the water and swam, pushing various objects that came floating by, towards the drainage vent. He grabbed a solid piece of wood that came floating by and wedged it in the vent. Within moments he observed that the water level inside the room was not increasing and breathed a sigh of relief.
Mike surveyed the havoc wreaked by the water with a miserable look in his eyes. Hot tears sprang from them and rolled down his haggard face as he saw the mementoes and souvenirs collected from people he met on his adventures floated about in the water. He had neat little labels on each item detailing the name, place and date. Now the writing in the labels were all smudged and was beyond recognition. He snatched a glass jar which had a name that he could decipher. He squinted his eyes and worked hard to understand the curves of his writing. A wan smile lit his lips as he made out the name ‘Marya.’
Marya was a vivacious young woman he had met few weeks ago. He had spent a pleasurable weekend in her company before parting. He opened the bottle and retrieved the onyx hair clasp he had taken from Marya to remember her by. Each single bottle had a similar trinket, but now he couldn’t tell which one was which.
Mike closed the cellar door and came to the ground floor. Despite his precautions, water had started to seep in. There was no saying how much water would enter the ground floor. He switched off the ‘Open 24 Hours’ sign of his Motel and climbed up to the first floor. He felt a bit sad for the damage of his souvenirs. He would now only remember them with vague recollections. Some, he might not even remember. That was the problem with human beings. They were so forgettable and necessitated a placard to keep memories about them alive. Oh well, he could always create new memories. There were a lot more Maryas to kill. First, he had to buy a whole new computer with the hacking package that had served him very well all these days.
This is a spiritual sequel to my earlier story Help. Please click here to read it and connect the dots.
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