Allysa Broeker Smokey Mountain Nightmare Gazing at the stars outside the sun roof of my husband’s silver sports car seemed to be the only way to control the excitement building inside me. My imagination ran wildly thru visions of scenic mountains draped in clouds of fog. The grey rocky cliffs surrounded by colorful spring flowers almost parallel the beauty of the cool crystal water flowing over a fall like the most rapid of rain spraying a chilly mist on all who behold. With my head full of fantasy and soul full of adventure, the possibility of this dream come true becoming a life changing nightmare seemed all but impossible. Hey, we are in Tennessee”, my husband said as he lightly shook my shoulder until I acknowledged him with opening my grayish green eyes. “Good morning beautiful, only a half an hour away from the vacation you have always wanted us to take. ” Instantly the widest smile you could ever imagine covered my face. I was so happy to be there rolling up an over these bright green hills into the mountains that harbor the cabin we would soon occupy. “I love you so much. ” “I cannot even begin to explain how much this means to me Adam”.
I said as we past the sign displaying a two mile away conformation that was truly needed do to the navigation becoming obsolete when we began winding thru the one lane roads. “Beautiful,” I said as we pulled up to the cabin. ” ”Absolutely beautiful, even more so then I imagined”, said Adam as the slightest drops of rain began to fall from one of the few clouds that floated above. “I wonder what the weather is forecasted to be this week”. I asked as we walked hand in hand with my romantic husband into the two story cabin and on to making my dream come true.
As the hardwood door closed behind us, a simultaneous crash of thunder followed. The sky began to darken as the subtle rains quickly became rapid. “There was no mention of any thunderstorm warnings”, Adam yelled from the across the room. The furious rains pelting the metal cabin roof seemed to intensify with every second. The lights flickered twice then went out as the purple strobes from the lightning filled every room transforming beautiful red roses, various clay sculptures, and other once delightful objects into terrifying creature like shadows.
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My heart pounded as the power of the storm intensified replacing my anticipation for it to blow over with only the realization of danger. “Adam, we are surrounded by a creek right”, I asked with a concern shaken voice. Using a local radio application I had just downloaded I heard, “The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for the following counties in east Tennessee”. The first mentioned county confirmed my fears while removing all hope of salvaging this vacation, as well as, adding a very real danger to our life. We have to leave now” there is a fast rising creek all around this place and I could never live with something happening to you”, screamed Adam! The once crystal waters were now muddy and full of various types of debris and risen undeniably higher than the banks that once restrained the devastation unleashed when mother nature joins the team. Adam and I raced to the car, sloshing thru a puddle that had no beginning and seemed to have no end. Drenched with rain and overwhelmed with confusion, I could only stare out the window as we drove to safety.
The beautiful mountains and all that attributes to them were now a smeared collage of unrecognizable vegetation and retreating animals that sensed the devastation that would soon follow. “We have about a mile until we are completely out of danger”, “I think we can at least catch our breath”, Adam said. Still staring out the window but only in a daze, I could not stop trembling. My dream vacation caused lots of fear and it is never fun living a dream with nothing but beauty to behold, only to be awakened as nightmares unfold.
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