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The Silent Wait This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

There is nothing you can do but wait. When you have the information, but cannot do anything about it, all you can do is wait it out patiently. As the storm begins to amplify its strength, you can only sit there and watch. You begin to hear the wind whistling, blowing anything it’s in path. Next, you hear the rain come down. The rain beats against the house, falling from the sky diagonally due to the wind. You watch through the windows, the words echoing from the news reporters to stay away from windows, but it is like you’re hypnotized and cannot move. You stare out the window, watching the storm destroy the life you’re so familiar with around you. The minute you turn our eyes to the clock to see the time, you hear a snap. Your head instinctively whips back to the window. The tree across the street had been uprooted. The tree where you spent your childhood summer days, lounging in its shadows, is now gone. As you stare in horror, a small giggle escapes your mouth-it’s so odd, almost like a nightmare, but it’s not it’s your reality. You squint your eyes, trying to see further, and make out shapes despite the rain. As far as you can see, nothing else looks unchanged-for now.


You look back at the clock and it reads 9:32 PM in big red numbers. If it was a normal school night, you would be studying or getting ready for bed-but not tonight. Who could sleep through such a storm? Who could sleep when such destruction would be taking place? You back away from the window, remembering the advice of the new reporter once again- to always have a flashlight handy. The light blinks once, as if taunting you about its authority over your life. They estimated power could be out seven to ten days, but the fact didn’t scare you. Instead you just accepted it and didn’t mind, you were more worried about what would happen to those around you. You grab the mechanical flashlight off of the living room table. You had won it in Girl Scouts after selling some ridiculous amount of cookie boxes; it was the one, if not only, prize that ever came in handy. You begin to push the button on its side, getting ready to store the power and light for you knew it would come in handy now. As you make your way back to the window, you notice the stillness of the house around you. The storm seemed to silence everyone and everything; it was the only sound within the house. Faintly in the background, you could make out your Mother watching the news in her bedroom through her shut door.

As you get back to the window, you stare out again watching the storm unfold. Your useless phone sits beside you, it seemed no one was texting one another, everyone was too preoccupied with the storm’s arrival. Almost at once, you look outside and see a sudden spark of orange. You immediately interpret as fire and suddenly the light snaps off. You are left in a darkened room, your eyes still on the orange light outside the window. You faintly hear the rest of your family groan their disappointments about the electricity. Suddenly, the wind picks up and you lose sight of the orange fire, perhaps the rain or wind put it out, either way you were left in the dark. The flashlight in your hand is your only source of light and you begin to push the button faster, storing the light energy for later. You look back out the window and can barely make out the familiar shapes outside of the houses in the neighborhood you lived in since you were born. In the distance you see the shape of chairs blowing down the street, probably damaged beyond repair now.

A small frown begins to tug on the edge of your lips; you know that Hurricane Sandy has won the silent battle. Now with the electricity off, there is still nothing to do but wait. You have to wait for the storm to pass on, but for now all you can do it sit back and watch. You sit on the floor beside the window, hypnotized by the beauty and destruction such a powerful storm could have, that your eyes stay glued to the window to watch the hurricane rage on. At least you are safe inside, but due to the severity of the storm some people would not be. You recall you heard on the news earlier during the day, the storm had claimed the lives of thirteen people. You cannot help but feel lucky as you sit there, flashlight in hand, and watch in silent amazement at the severity the storm had caused in less than an hour.



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