June's Storm

August 20th, 2005

Dear Diary,

Today is my birthday, and everything wanted appeared at the end of my bed. The latest Smartphone, a new top-of-the-line bike, the newest Harry Potter in a limited edition cover. And I got you. I love being rich. It gives you so much power. The other girls stare at my latest fashions; the boys stare at my newest video games. Friends surround me, and even the teachers cannot oppose me for my father is in charge of the school. Dickerson Academy, named after my great-great-great grandfather who founded it. I'm June Dickerson, by the way. Mom works at the hospital as a nurse. Father thinks it's disgraceful to the family name, doing such a low class job in his eyes, and I have to agree. Mom is staying home the next few days though, Dad was traveling for work.

Later

Mom just said Ana couldn't make it to my party! I can't have a party without her! I called.

"Hello?"

"What can't you come to my party?!"

"My aunt is really sick, and in the hospital. I'm there right now."

"But you said you would!" I fumed.

"Look!" she sounded angry now. "I didn't know Aunty would get sick!" Her voice cracked. "It's been hard, and I-"

"I don't care how hard it's been! You promised!"

"Well then maybe I don't keep promises to my enemies!" she hissed, and hung up. I stormed into the kitchen.

"Mom! I-"

"Sit.", she said very quietly, pointing a chair. I knew I was in trouble so I quieted and sat. "I heard what you said to that young lady, Ana. She's going through a very difficult time June. You should be-"

"I don't care what I should be! She promised! She-"

"SHUSH! You should be ashamed of your behavior, and as punishment, there will be no party at all! Room, NOW!" I stormed upstairs.

After about an hour of 'thinking about my actions' (playing computer games) Mom called me down for dinner. As she was dishing out pasta, she said:

"We will have a guest at dinner tonight, June, one of my patients, Mr. Joe Pops."

"WHAT!" I held my tongue from saying more, but I hate him. He was older than life itself, and came from the poor part of the city. He was grumpy, and always bible verses and stuff. Like "The Lord is my shepherd." and "God will bless those rich in spirit, not in gold."

After a dinner full of nearly held back insults from me, he pulled Mom aside and spoke to her quietly. She gave a nod, and he approached me with a box.

"Now you young'n, have 'lot to learn 'bout the world. I hope that this 'ere will 'elp show you the way." He held out the box. I cautiously lifted the lid. A furry brown head popped out, purring. A tiny kitten. It was no bigger than an apple and the ugly brown of dirt.

"Uggh! She's the color of dirt! She even smells like dirt!"

I was sent to my room again, after "You should be grateful, June Delores Dickerson! It was a wonderful present, especially from such a poor fellow!" I really don't care. Maybe when Mom is out I'll go to the pool for a 'walk' with it.

August 21st, 2005

Dear Diary,

I woke up today not by Mom's yell but by that runt of a kitten curled up and purring on the tip of my nose. I cursed and jerked up, sending the kitten flying across the room and slamming into a hot pink wall. Not deterred in the slightest, she walked right back, purring, and curling up on my foot. I snorted in disgust and slid her off my foot, stomping down the stairs. Mom was sitting in the living room, a slightly worried look on her face.

"We'll have to leave New Orleans for a bit, June." I was shocked.

"WHY!?" Suddenly there was a knock on the door. It was Mr. Pops.

"How do ya' do, mam?" he asked, tipping a ratty old hat to my Mom.

"Fine.", she said a little stiffly, glancing at me.

"Glad to 'ear mam. I was wonder'en if ya'll had any tin food to spare. I've given all I 'ad to my fam and it still isn't enough."

"Of course, come in! We have plenty!" She led our guest down the hall into the kitchen. After a good 15 minutes of fussing, she had gathered a variety of soups, vegetables, fruits and more for Mr. Pops.

"Thank ya'll mam. I best be going. My grandkids are a-waiting this for that storm."

"Of course, of course! Come back for more if you need!" she called after him, and then turned to me.

"We still need to go. I would take Mr. Pops with us but he wants to stay with his family. Noble man."

I snorted. "We'll I'm not going."

She glared at me. "Oh yes you are!"

"Everyone making a big deal over a stupid rain cloud! And if your with them, than your stupid too!" Now, my mother had patience for a lot of things. But the one thing she couldn't stand- being insulted. I knew I had one even before she said the words.

"Fine! Stay! But I'm leaving someone with you." She made a few calls. "Mr. Pops is staying with you. He'll be in the guest bedroom with the blue wall paper. And when I come back…" she left the threat hanging.

August 22nd, 2005

Dear Diary,

In the morning, Mom had cooled down, and took back what she had said yesterday. I was angry. Really angry.

"YOU PROMISED-"

"Something I shouldn't have, June. I'm sorry but I can't let you stay." Then the phone rang. Mom answered. "Hello… yes, this is she… yes… OH MY GOD!" She turned as pale as a sheet. "Yes… I… NO! NO! HE'S NOT DEAD! NO! He never told me…" She dropped the phone and collapsed in a chair, sobbing. "I'm so sorry, June-", she choked. "Dad is… dead."

"NO!" I don't remember much after that. I remember hearing the door open and a blanket around my shoulders and a cup of something warm pushed into my hands. Dad was… I always loved Dad. We were so alike, and despite their disagreements, my parents did really love each other. I fell into a restless sleep.

August 23rd, 2005

Dear Diary,

I was shaken awake by the gruff but worried face of Mr. Joe Pops.

"We need to get outa' 'ere. Storms a'comin'." Mother was standing behind him, a blanket around her shoulders and a bag in one hand. In the other was the car keys.

It's 5am and were driving to the Superdome. The storm would reach us in a few hours, around 6 or 7. Were at the dome by 6, the traffic and oncoming weather slowing us down. We find a spot on the floor, next to an old lady with a couple of her cats. It started to rain, and the dome rattled like a tin can. Suddenly, a section of the roof was ripped off by the wind. Icy rain pounded down on us, drenching us in a matter of seconds. It felt like bullets on my skin, it that were so cold, hard, and fast. It been going on for hours, getting steadily worse. I'm glad this diary is waterproof.

Later

Something fell. Hit me. Blood on page. Pain. Stop. Metal. Black…

August 30th, 2005

Diary,

I'm ok. Just a little concussed. The doc says I'm fine. But Mr. Pops… he may not make it. And I realize… he was the one who found and comforted us in our greif. He was the one who got us to the Dome before our house on the coast was destroyed. And he… he… pushed me out of the way. Saved me from the falling metal. That blood in this book… it's not mine. It's his.

August 31st, 2005

Mr. Pops is dead.

September 1st, 2005

Diary,

I found the kitten. I'll never leave her again.

September 2nd, 2005

Diary,

This is the last entry. Not because I don't have room but because it doesn't feel right to use you anymore. Your time has passed, and a new phase of life has begun. Goodbye,

~June D. Dickerson


Epilogue

June went back to school later that year. Three months after that, June's mom had a son, Joe. June dedicated the rest of her life to the well fair of Joe and her cat, now called Hurricane.


Author's Note

This is actually a re-worked 6th grade English historical fiction assignment. I always liked it but thought I could improve greatly on it, as my writing has changed drastically (in both quality and style) over the past two years. I left the description of the characters very general so you can make them how you wish. I see June as a pale, dark-haired girl, and her mother an older version of her with her hair streaked with grey. I see Mr. Joe Pops as an African-American man.

This story based on Hurricane Katrina, and when it struck New Orleans. Always keep in your hearts those who lost so much in this event, and other natural disasters around the world.