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The Water is Rising: Part II
He slammed down on the pedal as best as he could with his stubby legs, and the car lurched forward. It was unfortunate that he had no driving experience whatsoever except in a Pokérace where the Go Karts had Pokémon painted on them and they were “racing” to see which “Pokémon” was fastest. But fortunately, he knew about the incoming tsunami before other villagers. He was the first one out on the streets in the cold winter morning. Apparently his town didn’t have the luxury of being forewarned. But even if they had, hardly anyone had TVs.
The boy managed to avoid everything except for a few cars and a bike as he sped down the rough pavement. No traffic here, he thought, since everyone was still sleeping. He better find some high ground fast, because the screams were getting louder and shriller. Let’s see what they’re saying on the radio.
He tuned into his local news channel, Fukushima Local. His eyes averted, he didn’t see the stray chicken crossing the road. There was a thud, and then a splatter of mystery liquid. Damn! Why did the chicken have to cross the road? Unfortunately, the chicken seemed to have gotten stuck somehow inside the car or damaged something, since the car slowed to a stop. Great. Just great. I mean, it would have been nice to eat the chicken, but it screws up my best form of transportation.
He got out of the car, and his mouth slowly opened in amazement. There it was. The best hotel/motel in town. The three story building stared him in the face, proudly proclaiming that it was the FUKU HIMA HOTEL. Unfortunately, the S seemed to have disappeared, but that was the least of his worries. The water was coming quickly, and he had to get to higher ground.
Sprinting inside, past surprised people eating rice noodles and fish balls, he jumped up the stairs. He was hardly out of breath after reaching the third story, but he probably wasn’t safe yet in this short building. He jogged down the dimly lit hallway to his left, searching for a maintenance room where he could climb to the roof, but ended up just finding the bathroom.
Come on, where is it? He ran down the other hallway, and was rewarded by stumbling upon a trolley.
“Hey! Kid, watch where you’re going!” the angry janitor screeched.
“Sorry. Where’s the maintenance room?”
“How should I know, you little prick? I’ve never seen you before. Maybe you don’t live here!”
“Well, no one lives here. They’re just staying here.”
Furious, the woman whacked the dirty wall with her mop. “Shut up! Get out of here!”
The boy sidestepped the frothing lady, continuing his search. He didn’t have to look far. The next door proclaimed that it was the Maintenance Room. Gleefully, the boy turned the handle. It was locked.
Aw, come on! The boy tried again, and again. It didn’t work. He kicked the door furiously, stubbing his toe. Now what?
Now the tsunami hit.
The impact of thousands of tons of rushing water rocked the whole building. It lifted it off its foundation, carrying it like a canoe in a wild river. The boy cried out and looked around. I need some cover. He took unsteady steps continuing down the hallway. I need some form of shelter. The building lurched and he could hear screams below. Quickly. He stumbled upon the next room, which happened to be a lounge for higher paying clients. Someone was remiss enough to not close the door. Finally. A turn in my luck.
He pulled the door open, and fell to the ground as there was another jolt to the building. We must have hit something. He got to his feet again and stared incredulously. The door had closed from the impact. Are you serious? I’m stuck in a stupid hallway in a building that’s being washed away? He heard panicked voices, and footsteps ascending the stairs. My rescuers? The hotel manager appeared, a bald and fat man, leading a pack of terrified people.
“Out of the way, boy! We have to get on the roof!”
“Yeah, I noticed that.”
The boy sullenly stepped aside. The manager fumbled with the keys and unlocked the janitor’s room. The stench of ammonia and Clorox made the boy gag.
“Quick! We have no time to lose!”
The herd of people crowded into the room as the manager climbed up the ladder. Huffing, he cried, “Quickly now!”
The boy jumped onto the ladder, cutting the other people who seemed immobile from shock. He just only had time to reach the roof when all hell broke loose below.