“It’s filling up, the whole house is going to explode!” my little sister shouted at the top of her lungs. My father was taking his sweet time getting out of our, light blue with a white stripe, 1954 Chevy Bel Air with a power glide transmission. He strode over to the front of our house and felt along the edge of the door. He knocked on the door at about eight inches above the porch floor, then at a foot, then at eighteen inches and then two feet.
“It’s up to here”, my father said with his hand about twenty inches above the threshold.
“How can a house hold that much water”, my mother who was now just inches behind my father said, looking around the edge of my father but making sure to keep him between her and the house.
“She’s a well build house”, my father responded with more then just a little pride, “and we built her strong and tight. We will need something to bust a hole in the side. That door will never open against all that weight.” I left the three of them standing around the front door and walked around to the back yard. The back door opens out. I climbed the two steps to the back porch and walked up to the back door. Water was leaking at the bottom and up both edges to about twenty inches high. I pulled and twisted on the doorknob. It was locked. I pulled and twisted once more, just to make sure. The door blew open, almost taking my hand with it. A wall of water knocked me flat and then carried me across the back yard, all the way to the fence seventy feet away. And then, as quickly as it had come the water was gone. I walked the seventy feet, across wet grass, back to where I had been standing only seconds before and went into the house, through the kitchen and down the hall and into the bathroom. I turned off the water running into the bathtub and pulled the plug so the tub could drain. I walked farther down the hall and into our front room and opened the front door.
“Welcome home”, I said to my mom, dad, and sister. All three of them gave me the wide-eyed stare I have become accustomed to. I walked to the smallest bedroom, the one at the end of the hall. My bed was still dry on top, there was some water wicking into the mattress and the box springs were still dripping onto the water logged carpet but the top of the mattress was dry. I kicked off my wet shoes, pulled my wet socks off and lay down on my back on top of my bed in my wet and muddy clothes. It was good to be home. I slept through hours of shop vac vacuuming and loads of tumble-drying. By the time I woke up most of the crying and accusing was over. I got out of my wrinkled clothes, took a quick shower (I never take a bath) and walked down the hall to the kitchen. My mother was cleaning up a few things in the kitchen sink.
“About time you woke up”, she said as soon as she saw me. “You’ve managed to miss most of the clean-up work.”
“Good morning Mother”, I gave her a quick hug from behind her, my arms just reach around her waist. I went out the back door letting the wooden screen door slam just a little. Heroes do not do clean-up work.