Ese Walter asked me last year to re-publish this. Well here it is… Do Enjoy
With a crack they burst open and the rain, slow at first, fell, plummeted to the dry ground. Japheth was the storyteller in our family and he would start his account with that opening. He was the eldest and closest to our mum. Tonight he had just told us – for the umpteenth time – the story of Cain and Abel. I stared at my wife, she was asleep.
The huge wooden vessel ploughed on through the darkness, creaking and moaning as it went. It was no cruise ship. The incessant purring of the cats was getting to me. So I decided to stay up tonight or is it morning? Since the flood began there was always a seamless blend of hours. It was tough determining whether it was morning or night.
After a century on earth I was seeing something new. Nothing like this had ever happened, it was the reason most people had considered my dad as a nut who had lost some screws in his head. Never before had it rained on the earth. The cold was frightening & the howling wind tore through the road viciously whipping up trees and sending them clashing against houses.
I remembered the clouds. They were harbingers of the doom to come, huddled together, their shadowy curves mocking the landscape, and the mob that gathered outside the ark. They stopped stoning us. As the ark door closed I could hear Kara ask her mum what is that?
Storm Clouds – I had never seen such formations in my entire life. It was terribly frightening as they gathered over the city and enveloped us in darkness. The gently bruised sky crackled with wicked fingers of intense light as the first prickles of the long awaited rain stung the already scattered crowd. There was always so much activity on our cruise ship.
The pungent odor of very ripe animals quartered closely filled the air. I was awake thinking about it all. I walked through the ark looking at the animals. Most were sleeping – Ham calls it hibernation. I could hear the cats yowling and the monkeys chattering as they disputed over a section of rafter.
I hate cats: Big cats, small cats, cats with spots, cats with manes, cats that prowl in the darkness or cats that slink up trees. Have a look at their eyes. Have you ever had a cat look into your eyes, it seems to look into the depth of your soul. There is no hiding!
So you could imagine my anger and disdain when Japheth told me to go supervise the cats. Noah had laughed at me as he said “son do not worry the Lord has given them appetite for grass” then he retreated to arguably the most private area available. That was my dad. This was his normal practice – Flood or no flood.
“Nothing compares to the constant melancholic thirst of the child to find his true parents.” That was my father’s incessant refrain. He would kneel before no one in particular and converse with the heavens. He always made it clear that he was uncomfortable in this world. There was no respite for the just.
Even at night he would stroll out of the house and climb to the top of the oak tree and sing. He loved to usher in the nights alone. I loved my dad but he had his peculiar brand of eccentricity or was it faith?
I still remember the day we thought he was really mad. He had entered frantically into the kitchen area. I was busy stirring the fire where large yams wrapped in leaves lay cooking in the cools. We were startled by the look of fear etched on his face. My mother looked at him with curiosity and a bit of nervousness. We had never seen him so intense before. We thought he had been attacked in the fields. Finally he spoke, his voice deep and brooding. “The Most High spoke to me today and we must build an ark.”
That was hundred years ago. Methuselah was dead. As his name had hinted, the day he breathed his last was the day the clouds gathered. Days before there had been no signs of rain yet we had worked tirelessly, our wives providing a constant stream of the best meals. It was a massive project and thankfully Ham was on hand to provide us with comic relief. We had to endure the incessant barrage of mockery and jeering thrown at us.
Each day they mocked us. We knew they would. The insults were driving me to the brink and even my wife was complaining. Ham was reluctant to share the message but Japheth believed my father. He too had a bond with God that I admired. As the crowd grew in number, Noah would speak to them. Noah had climbed on a rock and gazed at the crowd. It was Noah’s peculiar connection to God that had granted us so much wealth. The wealth we were now using to construct an ark. I watched him as he started to speak. Despite the rancour being directed at him, he spoke gently.
That was when she walked up to me clutching a hibiscus. In a haze of black and brown cloaks and the noise of many conversations a figure in a purple coat discretely made her way to the front. She had green eyes and auburn hair. She was barely in her teens and she smiled at me extending the flower to me. I had reached out to receive her gift when a hoarse voice yelled from within the multitude. Kara, get away from that man. I recognized the voice it belonged to Rugio’s wife. Rugio was my friend. She spat at me. We were once all friends.
“But mummy I like him. There are angels surrounding him.” She dragged Kara from me despite the child’s plea. “No dear you don’t like lunatics like them. Your daddy says they are all crazy.” That was the day the animals started coming. I knew it was the angels Kara saw that led them. That was the last time I saw little Kara.
Back in the present, I could feel the loving stare of my wife on my back. She had awoken. Mother was with Cain’s wife. Through one of the windows we could look out the ark. The firmament still looked angry with dark and rolling clouds, while the wind lashed out upon the ground. With a menacing sound, the winds pelted the ark as if being poured from a bucket. The rain had stopped but it was evident we could not go out yet.
“This is divine.” Noah’s voice thundered above the din of the wailing winds. He was speaking to us.
Yahweh’s Resolve must be fulfilled. It is sad, that they did not listen. He fought back tears. We found grace in the Lord’s eyes. No matter how we looked at it, he was the most affected. He had friends turn on him. His own brothers mocked him and threatened to sabotage the work. As he resisted the urge to cry, he held on to me and whispered. “Soon it will all be over.”
Thanks for READING.