Leaves and branches rushed past, a spade, buckets, a car, crates, tyres, a barrel. She clung to the rough, furrowed bark of the Eucalyptus, terrified that it might not hold on to its place for long.
She felt the torrential rain lashing her and the waters indiscriminately, feeding the swollen rivers. A desolate water land covered fields and low-lying areas. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught sight of a book floating past, opened upside-down, then another, then several specimens, as if the entire Amerold town library was being carried away by the flood. Her heart tightened. She had spent her youth in the library, growing up through its books. She used to wash her hands before opening them. She had become Miss Bell’s preferred reader, and she had even been allowed to stay on reading during lunchtime.
Scrunching up her eyes, she tried to make out the titles floating past, as if her life depended on it. The water kept rising. Brushing past, a raven flew to perch on the tree’s highest branch. She felt her hold loosening.
Feeling the bark for a better grip, she remembered the story of Noah’s Ark, the raven and the dove sent out to see if the flood waters subsided; and the book she’d read about ravens’ intelligence. She sensed the storm lessening. The bird was scanning the vast expanse; she was not alone. She sighed with relief and dug her nails into the tree bark.