Tsunami

Izzy skipped along the sand. She dashed into the water and was chased back out by waves tumbling to the shore. Her mother, Juna, smiled at the soaked and delighted Izzy.

Juna’s husband and son slumbered in a bungalow down the beach. As she watched her daughter, the water receded, exposing the ocean floor. Fish in the distance flopped on the sand.

Izzy shouted, “Look, mommy, the water is gone,” and hurried toward the horizon picking up shells.

“Wait, Izzy! Come back!” Juna cried.

Izzy couldn’t hear her mother over the roar of the ocean returning to the shore.

~~

I’m currently traveling in the Philippines. My guesthouse is located by the ocean in a very small city called Gubat. Since we arrived last week, we’ve experienced three earthquakes. Two days ago, one occurred on a small nearby island and registered at 6.5.

I was riding in a sidecar of a motorcycle taxi and it rattled so badly I barely felt the ground shake from the earthquake. On the other hand, my daughter was shopping and had to run from the grocery store. The overhead lights swayed and merchandise fell from the shelves.

Also, I lived in Asia when the horrific December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami hit. Thus, this story was born and is my contribution to Friday Fictioneers.

FF is a weekly writing challenge, hosted by the incredible Rochelle Wisoff- Fields, where we are to write a story inspired by a photo. This week’s photo was contributed by writer extraordinaire, Sandra Crook.

To read more stories for this week, visit HERE.

Gubat, Philippines

44 Comments Add yours

  1. draliman says:

    Poor little thing. I guess none of the family would have escaped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There were so many of these sad stories from that time. Thank you for reading and commenting. The wifi in Gubat (in general) is not so good, so sorry for not responding until now.

      Like

  2. Ann Coleman says:

    So sad, and yet so real!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very sad indeed. I heard a plethora of stories from those involved in the rescue effort and heard for myself directly from those affected during the time of rebuilding. Tsunamis are one of nature’s most terrible forces.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Ann. I’m sorry for not responding until now as wifi was not so good in Gubat. It’s quite rural. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. neilmacdon says:

    Foreground and background are well-balanced here

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Neil. I appreciate the encouraging comment.

      Like

  4. It’s amazing how quickly it can happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, and with very little warning. Thank you for commenting, Kelley.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. subroto says:

    You made this sound so real. I know a family that was holidaying when the tsunami hit and the children were swept away but they were fortunate that someone managed to grab them as they went past. But not everyone was that lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, there was a tremendous amount of loss. But, I’ve very glad that your friend’s children were saved. Thank you for commenting!

      Like

  6. gahlearner says:

    That was a horrible tragedy, and everyone was unaware. At least for the people in your story it would be over quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was indeed horrible. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. magarisa says:

    What a stark contrast between the happy, peaceful beginning and the horror at the end. Your beautiful writing brought this story to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sincerely appreciate the encouraging comment on my writing. =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. magarisa says:

        You’re welcome. 😊

        Like

  8. The tsunami in 2004 affected our country so much… I think almost every Swede know about someone lost to the sea. The story reminds me of that Britisch Schoolgirl who had learned in school about what happens after the water recess and managed to save a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s terrible how many Swedes were affected. I remember “Tilly” as my husband and I were involved in a project in Phuket afterwards. She was so brave!

      It’s horribly sad that as the water receded, people, not understanding what it all meant, walked toward the horizon instead of running away.

      Thank you for reading and commenting, Bjorn. =)

      Like

  9. Iain Kelly says:

    It’s hard to comprehend something so powerful and sudden and the enormous loss of life that such a power brought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, one of the world’s worst natural disasters. Since then, countries have cooperated and developed a much better warning system for the future. But it certainly doesn’t erase the loss of over 230,000 people.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Iain! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Dale says:

    I was reading this lovely story, feeling a sense of foreboding.
    Well done, Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale, for your encouraging comment on the writing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale says:

        You do write beautifully.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Brenda,

    The title clued us in to the change coming in the idyllic scene in the beginning. Very sad and touchingly well done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t do well in coming up with titles and, for this one, I wanted to soften the shock of the ending a bit. Thank you for your nice comment on the writing. =)

      Like

  12. Alice Audrey says:

    What a gut wrenching moment. I would probably go running out for her, even knowing it would do no good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many people did not know the signs, but now they do, thankfully. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Like

  13. granonine says:

    Oh, I wanted to reach out and pull that child to safety! Excellent description, and so it should be because you’ve seen it in person. Terrifying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Linda, for you nice comment on the writing. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  14. LucciaGray says:

    Great flash! So scary. Poor Izzie and reading your comments about your personal experience makes it even more realistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Luccia, for your encouragement on the writing of the story. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Abhijit Ray says:

    A tsunami will take both Izzy, June and their family a prisoner. Hope it is normal play of water going back and forth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Abhijit. The reader can interpret as they choose. =)

      Like

  16. Tannille says:

    A parent’s worst fear. Chilling.
    Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For sure, it gave me chills in writing it. Thank you for commenting, Tanille! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Sandra says:

    That image of the ocean receding in the way it did… I don’t think I’ll ever get it out of my mind. You captured that beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same for me. When I was in the Philippines a few days ago and the earthquake happened, that’s what I thought of as our guesthouse was a two minute walk from the ocean. My daughter and I had a conversation about what we’d do. Much was learned in 2004, unfortunately through great loss. Thank you for your comment!

      Like

  18. No mother ever wants to be in that position, watching the massive waves approaching towards her daughter. Gave me the shivers. I hope you are well where you are in the Phillipines. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would indeed be as a nightmare or worse. I am well, thank you for your wishes, and am back in Hong Kong.

      Like

  19. Oh my…please stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dawn, I am back in Hong Kong. It’s surreal that kids in the Philippines are required to carry an earthquake kit each day to school consisting of a small flashlight and water bottle, with a whistle.

      Like

      1. Wow…we take for granted our own lifestyles so much! Thanks for allowing me a peek inside.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Brenda, this really gave me a shudder… such sharp, horrible memories from that horrific tsunami. It is something that terrifies me, and your story really captures that.

    I’m late this week, and will be for several while. Apologies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem, Dawn. Thank you so much for commenting! =)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s