Christine H Chen
Liliane looks up through the window. The sky is dark and angry. Drops of water like her mummy's tears stream down the glass. Rain comes down hard, pelts the trailer's roof like a flock of mad birds. Thunder drums, wind rumbles, trees fold like old rag dolls.
The sky disappears, a flash of lightning, a big bang. Startled, she turns around. Daddy slumps onto the bed. She cranes her head: where's Mummy? There, she is, hidden behind the kitchen shelves, next to the bed.
"Should have seen it coming," Mummy mumbles and shoves a shiny black thing in her pocket, steadying herself on her good leg.
Water seeps from the door, slithers like a snake, swells into a mini lake in the middle of the room. Liliane picks up Dolly Bear, so he won't get wet. A river is growing from the floor. Daddy will be so angry when he wakes up. Her chest tightens. She peeps through the shelves. He's still sleeping, head turned away, an arm hanging on the side of the bed. Should have woken up by now. Rivulets travel between her toes, water oozes from the window frame. She screams for Mummy who's shoving clothes in a gym bag.
"Go back to the kitchen!" Mummy orders.
Liliane wants to know what is happening. Her mummy snatches Dolly Bear and pushes him in the bag with the rest of the T-shirts, a mug with a Smiley face, a half-emptied box of Cheerios that pops open, the little "O's" rolling all over.
"Oh no!" Liliane says. She wants to rescue the "O's," they crush under her feet like the meeting of bones with Daddy's baseball bat.
"Hurry!" Mummy says. She shoulders the bag, scoops her up in her other arm. The floor is swaying. Liliane's feet dangle above the water. Mummy forces the door open. Water rushes in, wind howling. They wade into a sea of debris, pieces of broken homes.
She holds on tightly to her mummy and turns to watch their trailer tilt into the river. Her fear starts to melt away.
"Help is coming," her mummy says. Even if they can't see anything, only sheets of waterfall.
Christine H. Chen was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Madagascar before moving to the US where she lives in the Greater Boston Area. Prior to embracing her creative life, she was a research chemist in oncology. Her fiction has appeared in Tiny Molecules and New Narratives: Reclaiming Asian Identity Through Story. She is a 2020 winner in the Boston in 100 Words contest.