Mark Sweeney – Tsunami
By Mark Sweeney
Derek splashed around in the water, unable to breathe. He’d have to drown sooner or later. He tried swimming to the surface, but it was as if the surface kept getting higher and higher. He was going to drown. He was going to die.
Derek’s head jolted right up, covered in sweat. He didn’t see water anymore. He just saw his poster on the wall of his bedroom. It had all just been a bad dream, he thought to himself. All of the talks about enormous floods on the news were getting to him. He looked over at his clock on the dresser to his right. “5 a.m.,” he said quietly to himself followed by a long sigh. His mom, dad and sister were probably still asleep. He knew he wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep after the nightmare he’d just had. He got up out of bed and threw on a blue and navy striped t-shirt and some jeans. He slowly tiptoed down the hallway trying not to wake anyone up. As he passed his parents room he heard his dad snoring softly. He tried not to laugh but couldn’t help himself and covered his mouth with his hand and let out a very quiet giggle and thankfully it didn’t wake anyone up. He tiptoed downstairs and turned on the TV. After a few hours he heard his little sister coming down the stairs. “Morning,” said Derek. “Morning,” she replied. Then she walked out to the kitchen and Derek heard her pouring cornflakes into a bowl which was when Derek realised how hungry he was so he decided to get something to eat.
After he ate Derek went outside to practise his soccer skills, which was when he saw it.
An enormous wave of water was around half a mile from Derek’s house coming in from the sea. The biggest wave he’d ever seen. He saw all of his neighbours outside staring at the enormous wave of water. This was when it hit him. This is no giant wave; he thought to himself, it’s a tsunami. He ran into his house as fast as he could. “Mom, dad, come outside, quickly!” he yelled. After around 5 minutes his mom and dad were running into the street outside to look at the tsunami. “It’s a tsunami!” his dad yelled. At that moment Derek saw families running. The tsunami would eventually hit and demolish everything. “Follow me. Quickly,” his dad yelled over the screams and sounds of feet thundering. Soon Derek’s family were running for their lives. The tsunami was coming quickly. Derek had seen pictures of tsunamis and he saw them on the TV sometimes but this one was much bigger than the ones he saw. They had been running for two minutes when the tsunami hit the top of someone’s home. It was about 200 meters from Derek and his family. Soon a big flood of water half the size of the houses was coming rapidly towards the family. Soon water was up to Derek’s knees, nearly tripping him up. Running in the water was slow and drained Derek’s energy, but he didn’t stop because he did not want to see the inside of a tsunami. Derek turned around for a split second and saw it. A wave the size of the house was coming for him and his family. In 5 seconds the wave was inches from Derek. At that split second the water consumed Derek’s family.
Derek woke up on a balcony, his body aching all over. He was completely soaked. He stood up stiffly and stared in amazement at what was below him. There was water nearly up to the balcony. It then hit him that he was with his family before he got knocked unconscious by the wave of water from the tsunami. A million questions raced through his mind at once. Where were his family? Were they OK? Where was he? How could he find his family? Derek took a long deep breath. He needed to find his family but, how? He opened the door behind him and walked into the house. This house was surprisingly not as damaged as some of the houses he had seen. He looked around the house which he was very curious about. He realised that this house had 3 floors and that the second floor was partially flooded and the first was entirely flooded. I need to get outside, Derek thought to himself. Then he realised he could probably jump out the window with the amount of water the tsunami left behind. He decided to take his chances. He climbed out carefully and slid down the drainpipes onto a car that had been toppled over by the wave. “If I didn’t die, then my family mightn’t have,” Derek said to himself. He jumped into the water and started to swim. It was a good thing he was a strong swimmer because in no time he was checking streets for his family. On the fourth street he swam through, he saw a girl holding on to a street light. As he got closer he realised it was his sister. He swam forward as fast as he could. His sister jumped into the water and swam to him. After a long discussion the two tried finding their parents. After 2 hours the two children were exhausted and hadn’t seen any sign of their parents. It was getting dark, and Derek wondered if his parents were even alive. It saddened him to think that his parents could possibly be dead.
Suddenly, he spotted a flashlight in the distance. “Look!” he said to his sister. They both stood up and ran over to where the light was coming from. A man and a woman were there. The children ran over to them. “Hello!” the children said. “Hello, are you two OK?” Derek could now see that they were both firemen. “Yes, we’re fine. But we’ve lost our parents. We were caught in the tsunami. Have you by any chance seen them?” said Derek. “Could you please describe your parents? We’ve come across a lot of mothers and fathers who were caught in the tsunami,” the woman answered.
For the next 3 minutes, the children described their parents. “We have come across them. They are back at the fire station waiting for you. Follow us, the fire station isn’t too far from here. The children’s faces lit up and joy overcame them. After half an hour of walking, the children got to the fire station and were reunited with their family. Their mom told them how their house had been destroyed in the tsunami so they’ll need to move into a new one.
Mark Sweeney, 5th Class, Brierhill N.S., Castlegar, Galway