It was raining as if the end of time had come. For a full day now, dark clouds and water had been all that people had seen outside and it didn’t seem to be ending any time soon. Every single person in the city had decided to stay home and not go out unless it was strictly necessary. Buying food was not considered essential, or going around looking for someone who was lost or anything like that. The truth was that everyone was scared of going out of their homes, fearing the rain would take them.
It seemed like a dumb fear to have but that was what people thought because it had already happened. In every building, where people now were obliged to talk to their neighbors in order to pass the time and in case of an emergency, they begun to realize that some of the inhabitants of the city had recently disappeared. Since the rain had started, no one had seen anything of them. The police wasn’t doing anything, or the fire department or anyone else.
Those who were not with their families, were considered lost. No one bothered in having any other thought than the one of death. It was as if, with the rain, a strange wave of negativity had fallen upon the people of the city. Every fear they had, every single worry about life and concern about their well being was now very active in their brain, being the number one thing when they thought about anything, whether it was getting out of their homes or their loved ones.
Yet, there were always exceptions. By the third day of the downpour, a man called Jim, from one of the tallest building in the city, attempted to do something no one had done yet: he was going to grab his kayak, the one he used when camping, and navigate the flooded streets to the nearest supermarket. His family and him had rationed food but they realize it wouldn’t last that much. They needed baby food as well as dog food and clean water.
So Jim had the idea of navigating the dangerous waters towards the nearest supermarket and probably just steal whatever he needed. He didn’t thought it would matter if someone committed a crime because no one was really there to ensure it wasn’t being done. The police was not as daring as him and would never notice. And it was to have food for his family, not to steal a bank so he was decided to do it.
He got to the second floor of his building and threw the kayak through a window. It fell softly into the water in the other side. The storm made the water feel very unstable but once Jim jumped into his transport, he felt safer than when he stayed at home, fearing of everything that might happen if they never got out of there.
As he took out the paddle to start moving around, he realized the rain was strong but more in the amount of water that fell and not so much in the intensity of the storm as it was. There was no lighting or an awful lot of movement in the water. He was very wet, probably about to catch a cold, but he felt strangely at ease as he cruised through the street adjacent to his building. The worries that had plagued him inside his apartment seemed to be far away. He couldn’t appreciate the rain as something beautiful, even if it was that destructive.
He did a sharp turned thanks to a lamppost and continued for two blocks until he reached the supermarket. There he realized he hadn’t thought about everything: the water level covered the entrance of the market and it was likely to be flooded inside, so every food, except maybe the one in cans, would already be spoiled. He grabbed another lamppost tight and thought for a moment about what to do.
He could continue rowing along the street until he came about a “dry” supermarket but that was not a very likely ting, seeing how much the water level had risen in just three days. The best plan was to enter the flooded supermarket and try to dive around to find some of the food that hadn’t been spoiled yet by the storm. So he pulled out a string of one of his pockets, which he used to tie his bike on the top of his car, and used it to tie down the kayak to the lamppost.
Once it was safe to leave, he took off his wet clothes and jumped out of the kayak. The water was cold but he was already wet so it didn’t really matter. Not losing time, he swam towards the entrance of the supermarket and dove in just right in front of the door. Of course, it was closed and apparently damaged, as it was one of those automatic doors. He went up to the surface and tried to think what to use to break the glass.
There was nothing around to use so he dove in again and tried to pull the door open but it wouldn’t budge. He tried once and twice until he had to go up to have some air and then try again. After resurfacing for the third time, he realized he was just losing time and that he had to go back home before nightfall. It was well known already that the storm was always worse at night.
So he dove down again but this time to the pavement, looking for something. He found a cane, just by a small yellow car. Someone must have dropped it when the rain started it. Jim grabbed it and used it as a spear to attack the glasses of the door. At his second try, the glass shattered and he cleaned his path with the cane, in order to cut himself.
The first thing he did inside the supermarket was grabbing a basket to put everything on it. He came back to the surface in order to remember how the distribution was, to find everything faster. He remembered it vaguely because he had always being one of those people that don’t really like going to the supermarket. His wife was always the one to go with the children. Jim preferred to stay home watching a game on TV or reading the news on his computer.
He decided to swim along every aisle and try to be fast; grabbing whatever he thought was essential. As predicted, the fruits and vegetables were floating in the water, probably rotten already. The air did smell a bit weird. He grabbed all the baby food he could find and also every canned food he could see around there. There were tomatoes and beans and also full meals like ravioli inside.
Jim felt like a treasure hunter filling his basket with the best things the bottom of the river could offer. Once his basket was too heavy, even underwater, he decided it was best to go back to the kayak and maybe come back the next day if they needed more. No one seemed to be interested in coming out of their houses so they really didn’t need to worry about facing any competition when grabbing food from the supermarket.
Once outside, he had trouble putting the full basket inside the kayak. He dropped a few cans into the water but most things were still there. Because of the weight now, he had to be extra careful when moving around. He untied the kayak from the lamppost and started paddling as soon as he was able. He didn’t put on any clothes or put away the rope he had used. Jim knew the first thing was getting him safe with every single thing he had gotten.
He reached the street in which he had to turn and had to it carefully in order for the kayak not to turn around. If that happened, he would loose everything and all of his efforts would have been in vain. He had to be very patient but he was able to turn and head home in no time. Once he got to the window, he decided tie his kayak to the nearest lamppost and just jumped out of the kayak with the basket on his hands.
His family had a really nice dinner that night and his wife decided to go with him the next day, to find more food and maybe even some other things they could use, as electricity had already failed and now they had to live their nights in the dark. The children were calm and saw it all as an adventure but Jim’s worries came back to him. He feared the future more than anything now. He didn’t know how to live to avoid a catastrophe.