So, I needed to write something as a writing sample for my application to my college, and this is what I came up with.
I hope you all like it!
July 5th, Manhattan New York
"What you see behind me is the effects of a storm that was beyond our ability to prepare for. Only three days ago, the once beautiful city of New York was a bustling metropolis. Now… now the city is going to have to rebuild itself. Smoke rises into the early sunrise, buildings have been destroyed, subways filled with water, streets torn apart, and the Statue of Liberty laying on its side, like a little kids toy soldier. The death toll is high, but not as high as it would have been if it weren't for the brave few that managed to warn and save the people of New York. The residents have slowly started to return to the city to rebuild. Rebuild and return New York to the magnificent place that it once was. This is Serena Rowans reporting for WGNW news," a fiery red-haired woman said into a microphone. Her alert chocolate brown eyes turned weary as the cameraman signaled that they were off the air. With a sigh, she handed him the microphone and turned around to look out at the city. They were on top of one of the few buildings that hadn't been destroyed.
Smoke curled like vines up into the sky from fires that would take weeks to fully put out. The once tall buildings were totally gone. Their bricks and steel beams now cover many of the streets of the city, preventing emergency workers from getting to the few people that hadn't evacuated and survived. There were a few buildings that were heavily damaged; the top half seemingly cut off. Even fewer were the ones that escaped undamaged. The streets were littered with pieces of building, upturned cars, debris and bodies of people who failed to make it out alive. It would take years, a quarter of a century at least, to even get the city to half of what it once was.
There had been very little time to prepare for the storm. It formed far too quickly, in waters that should have been too cold in the first place. Meteorologists had noticed, tracked and warned when the storm began to turn inland. The people in power, the mayor and his people, had dismissed the threat until it was almost too late. They had other researchers that had claimed that it would turn away. That it would miss the city totally and not even touch shore. They were wrong.
72 hours ago, 500 miles off the coast of Long Island
The deep ocean sparkled in the falling sunlight. The calm water was a dark green, almost black color instead of the blue color seen on many different maps. It wasn't totally calm. Waves just right for surfing churned the surface. Below the surface, the sunlight filtered through the murky water for several miles. A school of brightly colored fish swam towards an invisible shore. Sharks, dolphins and other sunlight loving creatures swam inland. Deep, down below the point where sunlight became but a distant memory, the earth belched up hot magma, creating new land. There were no creatures here, the lack of sunlight and too hot temperatures ensured that. The heated water rose and cooled as it increased in thousands of feet. Up on the surface, a light rain began to fall.
The clear blue sky darkened to a dark grey as clouds formed. The rain fell gently, almost like a small shower. As the sun fell almost completely behind the horizon, the rain picked up. The waves increased in size. The surface of the ocean became one giant cauldron of seemingly bubbling water. A huge wall of pure water tore its way west, towards the coast. Winds just under 70 miles an hour pushed the impenetrable wall to the eastern seaboard. Behind the wall, a battle raged. Winds whipped around hard enough to push a person to the ground. Water slashed through the air like knives, while ice particles from higher up in the atmosphere flew through the air like deadly needles. Within the space of a few minutes, a storm had appeared and grew easily to Category I hurricane strength. As the sun disappeared behind the horizon, a rumble of thunder echoed over the ocean and lighting flashed angrily as the storm headed inland, towards the unsuspecting residents of New York City.
National Weather Service Department, Manhattan Long Island, 30 minutes later
Wynter Xavia, a short, jet black haired woman with frowned at the computer screen. Here stunning emerald eyes filled with confusion and frustration. She had been staring at her computer as the storm had developed out of nowhere. It confused her, because the water temperature in the area where the storm began was too cold for it to be there. Tropical storms were named tropical for a reason. In order for the storm to begin, the water temperature needed to be above 85 degrees. The water temperature in this area was barely 65.
She watched as the Doppler radar showed a more recent scanning of the storm. Her eyes widened as she realized that the storm was taking on a familiar shape. She picked up her phone and dialed quickly.
"Yes?" a man's voice floated out of the receiver.
"Dr. Wheeler?" she asked, "I have something you might want to see."
"Very well, I'll be there in a moment," he replied.
Dr. Matthew Wheeler was a young man in his late 20's. He attended college for meteorology and oceanic studies. He had short blonde hair that was always messy. He claimed that no matter how many times he tried to comb it, it would never listen to him. Some of the girls that Wynter worked with speculated that he just said that because he didn't want to comb it. He had light hazel eyes that were always filled with laughter and a hint of wisdom that was unusual for someone his age. Nobody really knew much about him. He was always quick to steer the conversation away from private matters. The other girls would get frustrated over this and often complain. Wynter would just shake her head and go back to whatever it was that she was doing. The two were alike in that aspect. They rarely shared anything personal about themselves. They had no need to. This was work, and they were here to do a job, not tell everyone and their cousin about themselves.
The rumor mill around here was quick and harsh, so Wynter had found out. Just because Dr. Wheeler had invited her out to lunch to discuss a theory she had, people assumed that they were dating. She ended up having to fend off several of the office girls who were curious about it. Then there were the not so friendly people who seemed intent on making her life miserable. Even after the fact that she had denied dating him, she still ended up being threatened. She tried to take it to her superiors, but there was nothing they could do, since the threats were anonymous. The only thing they could do was keep track of them and take action when something did happen. Fortunately, the threats just stayed threats, and she was never harmed. Her pride was a little damaged, but other than that, she was fine.
She turned her eyes back to the computer screen. The storm seemed to even out, not gathering any more strength at the moment. It did, however, continue to make its way towards the coast. She sighed as she laced her fingers together and rested her chin on them.
"What do you have, Miss Xavia?" Dr. Wheeler said as he approached her.
"I'm not sure, sir," she replied as she gestured to the computer.
Dr. Wheeler bent down and looked at the screen as it gave the current readings for the storm, "When did this start?"
"Less than 40 minutes ago," she replied.
He turned and looked at her sharply, "That's impossible."
She shook her head, "It's true, sir. I watched it grow right before my eyes."
"With the location, and the temperature readings," he muttered as he looked back at the screen closely, "That shouldn't even be there."
She sighed, "But it is, sir. It's impossible, but we've got a hurricane a little over 500 miles off the coast of Long Island."
They watched as the radar gave a measurement on the current position, temperature, and wind speed of the storm. It was now approximately 480 miles out, the temperature had risen to the low 80's and the wind speed was steady at 88 mph. It was a slow moving storm. It almost seemed as if it wasn't even moving. It was moving, however, at a steady rate of 5 miles every half hour.
"I want you to keep an eye on it. Print out every reading you get and get it to me. I want to know how strong this gets," he said.
She nodded and immediately set out to print off the previous readings. Dr. Wheeler turned and walked away. He strode over to a different desk. He bent down and whispered something to the person sitting there. Within seconds, a same radar screen that was on Wynter's computer popped up on the main screen. People within the area stopped and looked at it in curiosity.
"This storm has just been brought to my attention. It developed rapidly in the last 40 minutes and is heading in our direction. I want people researching this," he called out, "Get me details, people. Miss Xavia has the details on the current speed and such of the storm."
People started talking right away and researching the storm. Dr. Wheeler turned to several of the people with a sigh, "Joan, contact the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration headquarters. They're going to want to know about this. Bill, I want a weather plane up in the air and getting more detailed readings on this thing within the hour. Sarah, get all of the governors of the states that this thing might hit. We need to tell them what to expect."
The three nodded and quickly got to work. Dr. Wheeler turned back around and studied the radar again. He frowned and as a thought crossed his mind, What the hell is happening?
Central Park, upper Manhattan
Serena Rowans grumbled and stepped out of the news van. She had gone to college to become a reporter in hopes of getting to the people the real facts and information that they deserved. When she had heard that there was going to be an opening at WGNW for a telecaster, she jumped at it. Her high credentials and resume landed her the job, and she was ecstatic. Finally a chance to do what she loved! Or so she thought. She ended up getting stuck reporting on the stories that barely even got a five minute time slot on the news. She loved and hated it. She loved reporting, and doing her job, but she hated what she reported. It wasn't what she wanted to do! Her boss refused to give her anything better to report, saying that she did such a great job with what she was doing now.
She grumbled again as a little kid ran out in front of her and almost caused her to trip. She was here at Central Park because there was huge hotdog eating contest going on. The winner would receive a lifetime of free hotdogs. Serena hated hotdogs. Her camera man, Will, followed her with a small chuckle. He was just happy to be able to be there. He had taken up film in New York's film academy and loved to just take a camera around and film things. He had signed on with WGNW a few years ago and ended up being paired with Serena. He didn't mind it as much as she did. It got him out and around the city. He loved filming people. He had long brunette hair and light blue eyes. He and Serena had become close friends and, as much as Serena complained about the type of stories they covered, he knew that she wouldn't trade it for anything. She loved what she did, and he knew that. It didn't stop him, though, from teasing her about it. As they reached the area where the contest was happening, she stopped and sighed.
"I hate it when he does this to me," she said as she placed her hands on her hips.
"I know," he replied, "Think of it this way, it gets you out and exercising."
"I can exercise all I want at home," she replied with a huff, "He does this on purpose. He knows I hate doing this."
Will chuckled, "Of course he knows. There's not a day that goes by that you don't tell him that you hate it."
She gave him a dark look and walked forward towards the contest. As they reached the area, he couldn't help but grin when he heard her mutter: "I hate hotdogs."
A little while later, after he had set up the camera and Serena had talked to the people in charge, they were ready to start filming. He handed her the microphone and she got in place in front of the camera. She wore a simple grey suit. The skirt coming up just past her knees and she had forsaken the blazer, as the temperature was rather high. The white button up was tucked in and a plain amethyst tie offset the dreary colors. In the background was the contestants table. There were seven men and three women at the table eating hotdogs. They had a glass of water, ketchup and mustard set out in front of them. It was amazing how quickly they were able to scarf down the food.
With a silent nod from Will, Serena began reporting, "It's a fine day to hold a contest here in Central Park. Behind me is one of the city's largest food contests: The Hotdog Eating Contest."
She walked backwards slowly until she reached the food table, "As you can see, each contestant has to eat as many of the 15 hotdogs as they can in 10 minutes. They are allowed water and condiments, but that's it. If they give up, or throw up, they are out of the contest. The contest started out with 30 people, and as you can see here, it has narrowed down to the last 10. We have John Maverick here to explain to us more about the contest."
She turned to a man in his 40's that had graying blonde hair and brown eyes, "Mr. Maverick, can you tell us more?"
"Well, the contest starts out with 30 people and it narrows down as time goes on. They cannot throw up or they will be disqualified. They are not allowed to cheat or do something that forces the other competitors to drop out. The reward is a lifetime of free hotdogs," he said with a smile.
"Has there ever been anyone to eat all 15 hotdogs before?" she asked.
He nodded, "Last year's champion ate all 15 before the timer went off."
"Is that an automatic win, if someone does that?"
"Yes," he replied.
"Thank you, Mr. Maverick," she said as she turned back towards the camera, "Well, there it is, everyone. The rules of the contest. Let's go see how the contestants are holding up."
The two walked over and watched as the contestants consumed their food. Will was able to get up close and film some of the people in action. Just as he got to the last person, a guy in his 30's, the man turned and threw up all over the attendant behind him. The attendant grimaced and helped the man get up and find a way to the bathroom to finish purging his stomach. Serena motioned for Will to cut and he stopped filming. The two took a break and grabbed something to eat.
"I don't see how you can eat that kind of thing," she said in disgust.
Will grinned, "It tastes good."
"Yeah, if you like that kind of thing," she replied
"And yours is any better?" he asked.
She looked down at her hamburger that was drenched in ketchup and relish. A plate of fries sat next to it, "At least mine isn't processed meat."
"How do you know?" he asked.
"I don't, but I don't see how you can trust eating something like that," she said, "You have no idea what's in it."
He laughed, "You don't know what's in that either. For all you know it could be poisoned with antibiotics."
She scowled at him and went back to eating. By the time they were done eating, the contest was over and the winner was being crowned. They got their equipment and went back to filming.
"We're here with the winner, a miss Mai Bosela. Tell me, Miss Bosela, how do you feel?" Serena asked a tall blonde with green eyes.
"Full, very full."
"Are you happy you won?" she asked.
Mai nodded her head, "I am so very happy. I loved doing this, it was so much fun."
Serena nodded and thanked her, "There she goes, everyone. New York's newest Hotdog queen. This is Serena Rowans for WGNW news."
Will nodded and signaled that she was off the air. She sighed and rubbed the headache that was making itself known in her head. It was going to be a long day.
National Weather Service Center
Wynter frowned at the screen. The current readings just came out and they were making any sense. The storm had been practically dormant, unmoving for the past hour. It had just sat there and did nothing. Now it seemed to jump and move forward at a fast rate than before. She couldn't understand it and the frown deepened.
"What have you got?" Dr. Wheeler asked as he came up behind her.
"Well, the speed and temperature has remained the same, but the rate at which it's moving faster has jumped to 20 mph," she said, "I don't understand it… one moment it seems as if it's going to die off and then next it's coming at us like a football."
Dr. Wheeler sighed and ran a hand down his face. The smile that was always on his lips was gone and the laughter in his eyes had disappeared entirely, "Just keep an eye on the readings, okay? I want to know if anything changes."
She nodded and he began to walk away. The computer beeped as the next set of readings came out. Wynter quickly called him back.
"Dr. Wheeler, we've got a problem?"
"What is it?" he asked as he hurried over to her.
"Her wind speed picked up to 100 miles per hour. She's now a category 2 hurricane."
So there it is.
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