The rain lasted for hours, and everyone was happy.
The rain lasted for days, and everyone grew less happy.
Mrs. Gillian, by the creek bed, was the first to feel it. She watched, helpless, as the creek grew from barely a trickle to a stream to a flow to a flood. She watched as it left the banks and crept towards her house. She watched from the back seat as her son drove her from the house she and her husband had built so many years ago. She hoped she’d see it again, that there would be something left.
Soon, the whole town felt what Mrs. Gillian had felt, as there seemed to be no end to the rain. The weather forecasters began their reports with apologies, as if they were to blame for the rains and the flood. It would have been easier if they were to blame, because there’d be a way to stop it.
As it was, though, there was nothing to do but fill sandbags in an effort to divert the worst of it away from the most vulnerable.
And in the end, even the most stalwart of us realized that there was nothing to do but wait. Wait, and see what was left at the end.