by Peter Thomas Senese on Sunday, June 19, 2011
In deciding to share a small section of my upcoming novel ‘Chasing The Cyclone’, it is my desire to provide a bit of my own personal insight on the importance of father’s in their children’s lives.
The brief excerpt below occurs in Wellington, New Zealand. The protagonist is in the eye of a severe and deadly cyclone. He is desperately searching for his own son, who had been criminally internationally abducted.
The storm appeared to have just stopped, if only briefly, as my eyes gaze into the peculiar dark night. Curious and awake, I quickly put on an old pair of jeans and a black sweater, grab my cell phone and heavy coat, and then race out the door of my hotel room.
The distinct British Colonial city of Wellington is as silent as a prayer. Except it seems like I’ve traveled back in time to the 1950’s and everything around me is painted in granular shades of black and white.
As I wander through the deserted deluged streets, I aimlessly drift toward the harbor until I arrive at Queens Wharf. But for a few of the swaying streetlights that remain on – their lights all stuck on red, and the sound of the racing water running to the overflowing sewer drains, there is an eerie, almost mocking feeling about this little barren city tucked on the southern tip of the northern island.
I soon come to a creaking security gate that leads onto one of the container piers that line the harbor. Walking past it, I am surrounded by abandoned forklifts and trucks, containers and cranes, and scattered remnants of people who fled the storm that furiously rolled in from the Pacific.
I continue making my way onto the pier.
The cold wind cuts through my body, causing me to shiver. I’m not sure why I am compelled to walk all the way toward the dangerous edge, but I am. The menacing ocean’s grasp of me to come closer – to look into its black depths – is unbreakable.
I am scared, but I continue moving toward the ominous edge.
Looking down at the cresting waves as they surge threateningly to overtake the concrete pier, I wonder what is to become of my life. The swells are failing for the moment, but I know this storm is far from finished.
Looking toward what I believe is the Antarctic sky, I unexpectedly see a sliver of gray and a faint streak of violet try to slash through the ringing, mountainous thunderstorms of the cyclone’s foreboding eye-wall. The ray of light reminds me that after the chaos of the most destructive of storms, life will find its way.
A flicker of orange speckles the darkness before it suddenly disappears. I take a deep breath as my mind takes me back home, where I envision Alex sleeping content in his bed, his arms peacefully tucked underneath his head without a worry in the world.
Turning my eyes inward, and away from the vanishing light, I reach inside my jacket for my cell phone as the escalating howling wind pummels my body backward. I eye the ominous eye wall moving closer toward me as cold rain begins to slap my face.
Standing with frozen feet alone on this concrete island pier in the middle of nowhere, the storm brutally lashes out at me. I know the cyclone’s treacherous eye-wall is purposefully following me like a messenger from hell – tormenting my mind – waiting for just the right moment to unleash its full fury and rage. A lightning bolt suddenly illuminates the sky as I dial a number I have known for a long, long time.
Clutching the phone in my hand, I hear it ring once before it’s answered. “Dad?” I painfully scream into the howling storm converging on me.
Chasing The Cyclone , Peter Thomas Senese