Hello Ma Baby, Hello Ma Darlin’, Hello Ma Hurricane Gal!

Hurricane Story Part I


Hurricane Story Part II

I brushed the hair up and off of my face as I looked around The Nightingale. It could use a little more work, but it’s mostly done in its new incarnation. The bar and dining area is basically complete. I still need to decorate my apartment upstairs, but I’ll get to it.

I sank down on the couch with the intention to sit, but I was so tired after all of the renovating and decorating that I gave in to my desire to lay down. I stretched out on my back with legs and feet up on the couch in spite of my dusty shoes.

It has been a lovely albeit hot summer in St John. Our summers are always hot though. We St Johnians are used to it. I yawned. The heat and fatigue were making me sleepy. I thought, “I can close my eyes to rest them, but only for a minute…”

A jarring, rattling ring jolted me awake. Ow! The noise was so loud and right by my head! “What on earth is making that infernal noise?”, I thought.

It took me a moment to realize that it was the brand new telephone on the table right next to the couch.

The telephone had finally come to St John. CC already had one, the only one, because she is the meteorologist and communications director for St John, but the rest of us, myself included, had only just started having telephones installed in our homes and businesses.

I had never really thought about telephones in St John. We are a relatively small community. Our post system and telegraph had ably handled all of our needs. The game-changer for me was what had occurred on January 25 of this year (1915). Mr. Bell had placed the first transcontinental telephone call.

This was huge. This meant that we had another way to communicate over long distances besides our telegraph. And we could obtain more information than a telegram provided.

Other than rings for test calls, my telephone had been silent. Why use a telephone when I can stroll down the street or down Bewitch Way to talk to people directly? Why on earth was it ringing now?

My mouth immediately went dry as a wave of fear rolled over me. Oh please, please, please...don’t be what I think it is.

But I already knew what it was. My psychic powers never betray me.

I picked up the receiver and placed it next to my ear. “Hello?”

CC relayed the news to me. I grabbed the paper and pencil that I had been keeping by the phone just for this reason and started jotting down notes.

“Ok. Thank you CC. Can you place calls to all of the residents in St John Woods? I’ll call the residents in Bayou St John, Lake St John and St John Parish. And you have already sent the telegram out to the other Steamlands? Excellent! See you soon.”

I headed upstairs to pull my raincoat and galoshes out of my closet. Then I headed back downstairs. I need to get the sandbags out to the residents.

Because Hurricane Éric is coming. And it will be here before we know it.