Lights Under Water
Story and Photo Illustration By Joan Foxcroft
The street lights were on and men in black thick coats roamed the streets trying to suck up all the rain that had fallen the night before.
There was water up to the doors of houses and apartments, and once all the water touched the sea, the sea water would crash in and you would never see another human being in that city.
As the city residents slept, Kalani, a young boy who also roamed the streets, found himself lost at the edge of the sea. There was no sight of water coming from the faint light of the city.
Kalani got up from the cold wet sand and walked over to a stranded tree. There was a hollow in the tree, but no owl. Instead there was a large red button that said do not press.
Kalani was quite a weak fellow and did not like doing dangerous things. If he had not been forced to suck up water on the city streets, he would have spent his time moping around in his lonely apartment.
Kalani stepped back, a wave rolled in, it was bigger than Kalani but not a tsunami. Kalani ran and dove into the wave, but when the wave crashed onto the sand Kalani could not feel the ground.
The water started to rise and the button inside the tree had been pressed. Kalani struggled to get out of the water.
When he did, he ran over to the tree and fiddled with the button to see if the water would go back to sea. But it only made things worse!
Finally, the water went back to sea and Kalani ran to the distant lights. As he approached, he heard a large sound coming from behind him.
It was a wave bigger than a tsunami. No matter how fast and far Kalani ran, it was always gaining on him.
The next morning, people woke up to fish swimming around their windows. The wave had crashed the night before and the city was now filled with water. Only the highest buildings were peeking out above the waves.
Kalani did not know how to swim and could hardly breathe. He was round and plump, but could run like a champion. Kalani tried to keep his head out of the water, but he was pushed around by the strong waves.
Kalani managed to get to the window of an empty hotel room and climbed inside. As he was catching his breaths, the hotel started to fall down … until it hit a nearby building with a crash! Kalani fell out of the window and started to sink.
He did not have the strength to pull himself up. He kept falling, his eyes started to close and his heart stopped beating. The waves and water went still, all the city’s lights went out and Kalani’s back hit the hard-sandy street with a small thud.
It was dead silent, everything was stiff and slow. People on the rooftops of apartments and hotel rooms looked down at all the people swarming out of the hotel that had just crashed.
No one noticed Kalani laying still on the ground, except one person. She was a girl. A girl with long hair and freckles over her face. Her name was Bertha and she was not someone that would be described as pretty.
Bertha peered down at Kalani helplessly. She was stuck in a penthouse apartment with her rugged step mom, step dad and step sister.
When Bertha was 8, her mom died of heart Cancer. Bertha and her mom were very close and when her mom died, she was so sad she did not notice her dad falling down the stairs and having a heart attack.
Shortly after Bertha’s mom died, her dad had married someone else. As they were packing their stuff from her house, her dad yelled for help.
When 8-year-old Bertha heard her dad, she sprang from her bed and flew down the stairs. But it was too late her dad had already stopped breathing and his heart stopped.
In the afternoon, her step mom had already found a rich man and was going to marry him in a week.
When they got married, they had a kid named Kendra. Her hair was gold and her face was smooth as silk. her mom and dad were the ones called pretty in the house unlike Bertha, the joke of the house.
Bertha kept on staring down at Kalani helplessly, she thought that when everyone went to sleep, she could sneak out and help Kalani but then he would still be dead.
It had been an hour since that tragic hotel crash and Bertha knew he would never survive an hour holding his breath, he was gone forever.
Kalani’s eyes opened, his face was above water and his body was floating on top.
The waves were hitting the strong buildings harder than before, Kalani started to get pushed around by the waves again.
He was feeling stronger now knowing that he had just survived the longest period underwater. A larger wave from the distance rolled in, it came closer and closer and Kalani tried to dive into it, but this wave was too strong.
Kalani was picked up by the wave and he was carried closer and closer to the apartment that Bertha lived in, until the wave crashed upon the apartment.
Kalani’s back hit the hard brick wall, the waves turned him around, the grit on the hard wall scratched up on his face.
He was moving so fast his face started to gush out with blood. Little by little the blood poured out from more than just his face.
As his belly and legs scratched on the wall, his whole body was bleeding. His body started to weaken. All the water crashed down and Kalani started to fall to the hard pavement.
His back was badly damaged and his life was being sucked out of him.
Everyone poured out of houses and trampled over Kalani, his hard breathing kept going as he tried to stay alive. As the sun came out, Kalani’s life had been taken.
Bertha was the first and only one to notice Kalani.
When the night came, she made sure everyone was sleeping and creeped down to the street.
She picked up Kalani and started out to her secret place, a beach where there was one stranded tree with a button that said do not press.
She cackled as she threw Kalani into the sea.
“MOOHAHA!!” Bertha screamed.
Her eyes turned a deep brown and her hair went black, just like her mother’s.