The Nightmare

January 20, 2009
By Shelby Adams, Blue Mound, IL

“The Nightmare”

It all began when Ruby saw an advertisement for a cruise to South America. She immediately thought of her six children who begged her nearly every day to go on a family vacation.
Ruby thought to herself, “Maybe the kids were right. Let’s see how much this is going to set us back.” She scanned the flier for a price per person. “Four hundred-fifty dollars!”, she exclaimed, nearly out of breath from the sheer thought of a family vacation costing that much. Ruby’s husband August had a decent job, but 3,600 dollars was quite a hefty sum of money to spend in one week. Ruby thought about the clothes they could buy with the money. The bills! Oh, how many payments could be made with 3,600 dollars!

Days went by, and although Ruby had mentioned the cruise to her husband, he had agreed with her that it was too much money to spend. One week after Ruby saw the flier, a check for 4,000 dollars arrived in their mailbox. It was from a very wealthy member of their church congregation that wanted to bless their family of eight.
“August!”, she shrieked, “come here, come here!” As August ran down to her, he
thought something was wrong. Thankfully, when he arrived downstairs, he saw his twenty seven year old wife frantically skipping through the house like a little pixie.
“Babe, what is it?”, August asked, panting heavily because of his recent run down their two flights of stairs.
She replied, “Do you remember that cruise I told you about?” August nodded his head.
“Dr. Kain and Meredith felt compelled to bless us. This is a check for 4,000 dollars!” Both August and Ruby started jumping up and down screaming about this excellent news. Shortly after receiving this check, they both called the Doctor and his wife to thank them from the bottom of their hearts.

When the kids got home from school, Ruby and August told them about the cruise.
“Collin, Hannah, Joel, Leah, Aaden, and Alexis, we have something miraculous to tell you!”, Ruby exclaimed, her face radiating the happiness she felt inside. “We’re going on a cruise to South America! We leave a month from yesterday!” Oh, how the children screamed and cheered and danced; they were ecstatic.
In the next month, Ruby purchased passports for all eight of them. She bought them each a nice outfit to wear the first day of the cruise. She even went to Doctor Kain to get prescription motion sickness medication, just in case anyone needed it. Ruby had everything covered.
Finally, the day of the cruise came. The family boarded a humongous plane in Philadelphia that would take them to the Florida Keyes, where their cruise departs from. Little did they know that Hurricane Maria was heading straight to Florida. When they landed in Florida, they noticed the sky was dark and ominous looking. The palm trees were bowing. The wind was whistling past the plane. The pilot came over the intercom on the plane, “The National Weather Service has informed us that Hurricane Maria is slowly on its way. Be careful to keep safety first in your plans.” Ruby and August thought nothing of it. To them, it was just another storm; it would soon pass.
Later that day, the family of eight boarded the ginormous cruise ship. “If the cruise line isn’t afraid, we will be perfectly fine,” Ruby stated calmly, although her hands were shaking.
Many days went by, and although the ocean was rougher than usual, no one was alarmed until the last night of the cruise. You could feel the boat tipping with the huge waves. No one was out on the deck because of the constant downpour of rain.
Suddenly, the waves started crashing and the storm became very aggressive. Lightning shot out of the clouds. Thunder seemed to shake the entire boat. The cruise ship was in the hurricane. It seemed like there was nothing to be done to save them from destruction!
BZZZZ! Ruby shot up out of bed to the sound of her alarm clock. Her husband was already “up and at ‘em”. “August, I had the strangest dream last night.” As she said that, August looked out into the distance through the tiny window in their cruise ship cabin.
“Hmm. Looks like a storm’s coming.”

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