Noticing flashing lights illuminated the shallow spaces between the Venetian blinds, I assured myself that this was probably not a visitation from extra-terrestrials, nor a close encounter of the Richard Dreyfuss kind. Tentatively, after all who wishes to be considered the neighbourhood busy-body, I chanced a glance outside. No change from earlier; foul rain hammering down, bouncing off the pavement in angry fountains. Nevertheless, why was there a police car parked outside? Furthermore, why was an officer knocking on the front door of the house opposite? And why was there an ever increasing number of cars, wipers thrashing this way and that, snaking briskly up Greystone Road?
Up the stairs for a closer look, a better angle. Leaning from the bedroom window, searching for a better view, the reality struck. Coming round the corner, a stone's throw to my right, water surged like a heavy blanket, making a river of the road beneath me. Onlookers stared in amazement, impotent police officers busied themselves rousing the neighbourhood, and impatient traffic fled the scene. No time to panic. Think quick. Act quickly.
Shift the stereo, move the TV, lift the rugs and empty the drawers to save identity and memory. All in a minute, a job well done. Shit, what about the car? It's only a Mini! Opening the front door, soon to be pummelled by this creeping agony, I rush outside. Dark water surrounds the wheels, stroking the rubber and rushing on. Jump in, start the engine, wait for the other refugees to pass. And off I go, driving 100 yards and parking up where the river has not reached.
Out the car and running back to my house, water drenching my ankles and rain pounding my head. An officer appears as I enter the house. “Think it's time to get out of here”, he says. I wonder if this is wit or wisdom, or just a case of stating the bleedin' obvious. I tell him that I am on my way out as I go back in and shut the door behind me. I make a final check. Nothing more I can do. However, there is one thing. Picking up the phone and dialling the number, I impatiently wait for a response. “Hi, it's me, can I come round to yours, the house is about to be flooded?” The pause seemed to last an eternity. “Are you kidding, you can't be serious?” A couple of minutes later I fled the scene, leaving nature to deal its most dark and frightful hand.