Isobelle Carmody Award
for Creative Writing
Stuck here. Deserted. Has been for years. Mum says people don’t
flood in like the rain. No one dares come near this town. We’re the
only ones left.
The old lady Nora’s still here. She says the rain will stop any day
now; she’s said that since I was little. We have no contact with the
outside world. The signal is gone due to the heavy rain. No mail
from family has come. They must think we’re dead. Mum says we’ll
be out of here soon, hopefully. Hopefully.
My brother’s sick. He needs medical attention. Mum’s very
attentive to Tom, anything he needs she will find a way to get. She
has to walk up the hill to Nora’s. Since she’s on a hill, the water hasn’t
got her yet.
Mum is 47, I think. She seems to be okay. Mum says that we need
to look out for each other, and if we see a glimmer of hope, catch and
take it. She’s worried about Tom; she can see he is slowly leaving us.
He only has a few months left, she thinks.
Dad’s the one trying to fix the Internet tower to contact people.
It’s not like we don’t have enough supplies here to stay. But how long
can we last before there is no land left? Or before we go mad.
I’m starting to see people, swimming in the flooded pool. They
keep going under. I run to help them, but they’re gone. I’m just waiting
for a miracle. A miracle that can save the town, our home, me.
Mum’s home from Nora’s. I’ve already started the fire. My hands
are covered with plump red blisters. Mum gives me a card. I’m not
sure what for. It says:
Happy 16th Birthday Emma!
Love, Mum and Dad.
I can’t believe it. I don’t even remember my own birthday. The
birthday about me. I’m scared. If I’m forgetting and seeing things,
how’re mum and dad coping?
Today I wake up with a large thump of rain: rain that never comes,
never goes, just stays. What is in this town for me, rain collector,
unplugging the rain containers? I need to go. I need to run.
I’ve thought about this for years, wanting to leave this nightmare.
I grab my clothes, not much but they will have to do. My favourite
thing of mum’s – the candle that she has never burnt. The old
picture of us – the landscape has changed a lot through the years.
The locket that I was given when I was five.
I go to put it around my neck and see my wrinkly hands, like my