11 Apocalypse

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Stephen Whiteside
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11 Apocalypse

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:26 am

11 Apocalypse

© Stephen Whiteside 20.10.2011

Horatio and Magnifico stood still as statues, their ears on high alert like antennae. It should be remembered that both rats and mice have excellent hearing. There was no doubt about it. A distant roar was rapidly becoming closer. They glanced at each other briefly, and instantly read each other’s thoughts.

Horatio scuttled along the tunnel to its entrance, then nosed his way out through the leaf litter to the clear air. He then advanced a short distance down towards the water, until his view was clear.

He froze briefly at the sight before him. Then, Quick! Run for your life!

He sprinted back up the bank, past the tunnel, and kept on going. Luckily, Magnifico had followed him to the entrance, and was soon right on his heels.

What Horatio had seen was a massive wall of water thundering down the narrow valley. It overflowed on either side, who knows how far in each direction?

Horatio and Magnifico scrambled up the embankment, but Horatio knew this would not be high enough to keep them out of trouble. Nowhere near. He had never seen anything like it. Never heard anything like it. The roar was all around them now, like the end of the world.

The embankment was starting to level off now. Still the roar, louder and louder. It would be upon them any moment. Where to run? What to do?

Horatio spied a broad log lying on the ground. It was the fallen limb of a large tree that grew near the creek.

Quick, onto this!

It was a small thing for Horatio to leap up onto the broadly curved length of wood. Not so for Magnifico. Time and again he launched himself off the ground, only to fall well short.

Horatio, his eyes darting around in startled terror, did not notice at first. He began to brace himself for the inevitable impact. Suddenly it struck him. Where was Magnifico? Where was his little buddy? He spun back and forth in panic. He wasn’t about to lose his only friend. Already, he felt Magnifico Mouse was the best friend he had ever had - and he had only known him for a few hours!

The roar was almost deafening now, but above it all he was sure he could hear a high-pitched squeaking. He looked down to see Magnifico jumping up and down, landing each time well short of the top of the log.

Horatio crept down the curve of the log as far as he dared. Digging his remaining claws as deep into the softly yielding bark as possible, he gingerly raised his right forepaw and stretched down. In an instant, he felt the firm grip of the terrified mouse. Waiting for Magnifico’s next leap, he yanked with all his might.

Exactly what happened next, neither of them was ever sure about. Partly propelled, it seemed, by the racing flood water, Magnifico landed on top of Horatio. The log was lifted off the ground, and spun in circles. It also began to spin on its axis, so that Horatio and Magnifico were forced to race like hamsters on a wheel to avoid being plunged into the raging torrent.

Never had any circus trick been more demanding. Rats and mice both have excellent balance, but here they were being tested to the absolute limits. They had no opportunity to take in their surroundings, as they concentrated simply on staying out of the water.

Who knew how long it lasted? Ten minutes? Half an hour? An hour or more? Time meant nothing as the two rodents fought desperately for their lives. Gradually, the movement of the log slowed, until eventually they were able to stand still, making only minor adjustments to their footing now and then. They had done it! Or so it seemed.

Still panting, and wide-eyed with terror, they began to survey the scene around them. Devastation spread on either side, as far as the eye could see. No land seemed to have escaped the deluge. It was water, water, water on every hand. Scarcely could they believe what they had seen. It was a scene from their worst nightmare. Chaos and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

Whole trees had been uprooted, and were now riding the flood not far away. Logs. Branches. Twigs and leaves. Debris of all sizes and shapes surrounded them. Then they began to pick out something even more disturbing. There were corpses in the water. Dead animals and birds, that had not been as lucky - or as skillful, perhaps - as Horatio and Magnifico. Big animals and small, strange and familiar, young and old. They were all there.

Horatio and Magnifico looked at each other in disbelief. They were not as badly off as they had at first imagined. They were still alive. Somehow. And while there’s life there’s hope.

They began to take stock. Their log was pretty precarious, but it would do for now. Soon, they would need to find a better home, but the situation was not urgent. Actually, it was pretty urgent, but it was not super-super-urgent.

They could relax. Ever so slightly.

Something caught Horatio’s attention out of the corner of his eye. He turned his head slowly, and froze. There, lying stretched out at full length on the far end of the log, lay a long green snake.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer

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Maureen K Clifford
Posts: 7671
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast

Re: 11 Apocalypse

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:25 am

Aaaaaargh :o - OMG - somebody help :shock:
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -

I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

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