Surviving The Storm

By Agnes S

The little broken cabin in the forest wakes up at night, the shattered lights carefully decorated with fireflies, glowing in the dark, welcoming all the forest animals to stay under the old roof, hardly used in years. It reaches out into the forest, grabbing the life, enticing them towards it, longing for the company of other creatures.

The radiator started crackling, aware of the presence of others, happily warming the cabin on cold nights of snow. It always was happy when the little animals sat with it, as it was too secluded from the outer world for others to enjoy the years upon years of stories the cabin had to tell.

The stairs croaked out a tune as little bunnies hopped up them, it’s voice rusted and hardly used. It still sang merrily though, happy to have the tiny little critters accompany its song.

The refrigerator and freezer, leaking, would sing along with the stairs as the water dripped and dropped on the cold stone floor. Mice scampered through the water, making splices and splashes as they attempted to hydrate themselves.

The windows opened and shut along with the howling winter storm, tapping out the rhythms of the song, banging against the hard, wooden frame that managed to last through the years. Little grasshoppers strummed on their wings on the frame, adding their own little songs to the cabin, mixing with the other sounds.

Upstairs, the sheets on the bed billowed, creating a deep gusty sound, laughing throatily and merrily at the orchestra. Little squirrels found comfort under the covers, snuggling into the goose feather mattress, sighing and yawning contently, their breaths adding a tempo to the cabin.

In the attic, the radiator creaked, coughing out the lyrics to the song. It hissed when dust got too close, shooing it away with hot sparks bursting out, scorching the floor beside; already rotted through time. Bats fluttered their wings, awaiting a careless bug to approach, their wings adding even more noise to the house.

So the house and its residents sang, somehow harmonizing together. The sounds screamed above the sounds of the storm, covering up the chaos of the snow and ice. It beckoned for more to come, more to join in the merry tune, and soon it seemed the whole forest was singing along with the cabin, creating such a racket.

The house sang through the days, it’s music lasting through the winter, the sounds lulling the animals into an almost comatose state of utter bliss.

The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and before long, the snow was gone. The trees began sprouting green buds, still damp from the snow. The plant life around the cabin flourished as well, the moss drying off and stretching further over the large boulders. Daisies and clovers popped through the forest floor, adding more color to the otherwise green scenery. The cabin itself still stayed the same, the wood rotted and filled with ants, the moss clothing half of it, the holes barely patched up in the dilapidated ceiling, barely living.

The animals that once resided in the cabin sprung out again, happy to finally be able to sprint around the forest, dashing through the trees, hopping up and down, their energy bottled up and over the top. They stampeded away from the cabin, leaving it all by it’s lonesome again. The cabin’s floorboards gave one last sigh. The windows crashed shut one last time. Even the once lively radiator seemed to be sad, the heat fading from it in a long, loud whistle.

The cabin overlooked the forest, watching its friends hop about, climbing the trees, feeling the sun, dancing through the grass. How it longed to be apart of them, to jump through the daisies with the rabbits, to dance between the trees with the deer, to scale the trees with the squirrel. But it was not to be for the cabin, and it sat there amidst the daisies and clovers, the wood dampened and rotted, it’s only companion the occasional ant come to find food.

The only thing it could do now was watch the animals in their merriment, spinning and twirling through the forest, a whirlwind of happiness. They were here, then there, they were everywhere, yet to the cabin, they were nowhere. Always running around the cabin, but never in, as if taunting it.

So the cabin’s windows were kept closed, except a tiny crack. Everything in the cabin was sleeping. The radiator, realizing that no one was there anymore, shut down. The lights remained cracked, the fireflies no longer there to light them. The refrigerator continued dripping, although there no longer was any mice there to sip lightly at the water.

The cabin seemed to be asleep, barely noticed, faded far into the background of the lush forest. The floorboards and stairs no longer sang out there stories, as no one was there to chorus them. And for weeks, the house remained silent, sleeping, peaceful.

But then it came, the wind picking up as it got closer and closer, whirling around and around, a spinning tube of death. The twister spun it’s way through the forest, mercilessly picking up the animals and trees, tearing them out by the roots, the bears roared at the wind, but it raged on, sweeping all that dared get close. The house woke up, sensing the danger, the shutters screaming, the rusted pots and pans shrieking, everything running about, in a frenzy.

In the cellar, everything was calm and peaceful still, not realizing the danger the hurricane brought with it. Upstairs, everything was a lost cause, certain destruction approaching. The windows began to scream out their last notes, the refrigerator’s water still dripping, everything moving at a much faster pace. The cabin was harmonized once again, but it was a chorus of chaos, everyone singing the same shrill notes of panic.

It was swept up, the door first, completely ripped off it’s rusty hinges. Next the walls, the floorboards crashing down with it. The beds and chairs and bureaus all followed the floorboards into the cyclone, letting go of the earthen floor. The refrigerator and radiator held on, but to no avail. They were swept up as well.

The hurricane continued rampaging through the forest, until there was nothing left except the cellar, that against all odds stayed safe. The things so carefully stowed away in it were unharmed, save for a few papers that were half soaked with water. The forest was left barren, save for the strongest of trees and quite a few stumps.

The grass and flowers looked patchy, growing in thick patches here and there. What remained of the once beautiful forest tried to recover from the suddenness of it all, there for only a split second before disappearing once again after taking what it needed. On the far side of the forest, it had dumped all that it had taken, a large hoard of rubbish and dirt, a gigantic mountain of useless materials that would never be used again.

The windows stared at the refrigerator, which in turn stared at the broken radiator. The radiator had a long, but deadly crack running through it, fatal. It no longer gave those long, hissing sounds it’d always had. The windows were shattered as well, but not to the point of no repair. The refrigerator would never be used again, along with the radiator.

The oak bed was split in two, the floorboards littered everywhere. Only the cellar and the windows remained, the cellar completely oblivious to the entire event. The windows were in terrible shape, but could still be repaired with a few nails and some wood. There was no one there to repair it, though, no one to patch up what remained of the house.

The window stared up at the sky, watching the tiny spot of a helicopter zip about, watching the damage the hurricane had caused. From below, the cellar could also see the helicopter, and prayed silently it would save the rest of the house, fix it up.

The helicopter didn’t care. It stared intently at the massacre for a while, before flying away once again, the propellers spinning around and around. The cellar and the windows gave up hope, and remained as they were on the ground. There was no way they’d be fixed now, so far from the rest of the world they were a lost cause.

A few deer that had survived hopped into the destroyed forest again, nibbling at the remainder of the greenery. A few badgers and moles, underground from the entire event peeked out again, going to carefully inspect the rubbish pile. Little bugs came out again, crawling over the items, burrowing into the wood. The cellar and the window both stared quite amused by the little critters.

A soft wind swayed through the trees, running around the windows, picking them up and making it sing. Instead of the once steady beat it had always rasped out, the windows began croaking out a different tune, the rhythms inconsistent.

Creak, creak, SLAM! SLAM! Creeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaak. Creak, slam, creak. The windows’ curtains billowed with it, whistling the new tune. The animals, hypnotized by the strange new song, all gathered around the pile of trash, gazing cautiously at the window. They breathed in sync to the song, and all was good with the world again.

A cricket hopped through the tall green grass, already overgrown from lack of attention. The rest of the cricket’s orchestra had already disappeared through the grass, hopping gracefully through the trees. But the cricket could sense something else in the woods, something wonderful even.

She quickly sped through the tall weeds and shrubs, as if knowing where the cellar door was hidden under a large clump of dandelions. She could still hear the chirrup chirrups of her fellow orchestra members, but she turned heedless to their cries and continued through the greenery to her target.

She found the door easily enough, almost falling through one of the holes. Delicately circling the area, she finally mustered the courage to leap into the cellar, landing on the floor fully intact.

The cricket was amazed by the cellar, everything still there after so many years. The papers had all but disintegrated into an orderly pile of ash on the floor. Several old glasses were covered with mold, and filled with water.

Despite the large fluffy green rug of moss on the floor, the cellar had outsurvived all conditions, it’s somewhat plain decor remaining. It was what it did, survive through the most severe circumstances. A lone survivor, waiting in the shrubs and greenery, waiting to someday be found again.

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