Distant thunder rumbled in a deep ominous tone. It seemed to be edging nearer and nearer until it almost shook the windows of the car. It seemed as if Armageddon would be arriving early.
They were out driving in the middle of the Nevada desert, 15 miles to the nearest town. Sara 35, Alex 22, and young Amy just 8 years old, all looked out their windows at the almighty storm heading their way.
Just then the Black SUV drove over something on the road making the car jump; the left front tyre gave a loud popping sound, the car swerving before coming to a stop.
Then, with a sudden leap like a wild stallion, the storm was gone, so this was the calm before the storm Sara thought as everyone paused, looking up out at the sky for what they knew was coming next. Just as suddenly, rain crashed down from the heavens above. The stallion snorted one last time in the distance. Waves of rain poured down, booming against the sides of the car and the windows.
Clouds the dark colour of rich tea leaves obliterated the helpless moon in an instant; the air had a scent, an expectance about it, like a charged smell. But no flashes of lightening lit up the dark world.
There was only the roar of thousands of pounds of water bombing the dry desert. Each sudden punch of loud thunder caused everyone to jolt in surprise. After a few well chosen curses Sara quickly jumped out of the car, instantly, she was soaked. After being in the warmth of the car, she shivered as the cool wind and driving rain came as a sudden shock to her body.
Lightening momentarily lit up the world with a crack then darkness. Her hair was plastered to her skin. Slamming the car door shut, she looked at the damage to the front tyre before running to the trunk, opening it, her feet splashing under her as she moved. She then pulled out the spare tire and tools from the trunk.
The storm brewed. Drowning out the thunder Sara got to work changing the tyres over. The sky cleared its throat. Another big one was coming. Sara hurriedly started removing the first tyre, but before she could replace it with the spare, an explosion rocked the atmosphere. The girls inside the car let out piecing screams which disappeared into the night.
The earth shook in fearful protest, and the wave of sound resounded inside each of them. Sara sucked in a gulp of air in involuntary surprise, her heart jumping against the constraining walls of her chest. A bright flash of light pierced the soaked air.
She paused only for a second before resuming the task. The street was becoming a river; the barrage of water caused the dark street lamps to shake. With the task complete, and the tyres successfully changed, and the tools safely in the trunk.
Sara got back in the SUV not caring about soaking the seats. She threw the car into gear and backed the car up slightly before steaming ahead: feeling like she was piloting a submarine. When it rains in Vegas, it rains.
20 minutes later, the rain still hammered down outside, the rain tapping its fingers against the roof, and the road ahead distorted through the rain. Suddenly the car hit a ditch in the road that was filled with muddy water of about 12 foot long and looking deep.
The water knocked on the sides of the car, asking to be let in. she stomped on the accelerator, trying to get the car to respond but the wheels only spun, spiting water and mud in all directions, unable to get traction in the several inches of water. She looked up out the rare view mirror and noticed the back wheel seemed to be jammed on something.
She gave up and killed the engine. The car was stuck.
Slowly, she pushed the thick door open and stepped out from under the roof’s protection, Stepping out into the newly formed river once known as a road and getting if possible even more soaked.
Her ankles and feet disappearing underneath the dark sandy water, she stood beside the open car door, looking up at the sky for a second watching the confusion of the storm as the rain wrapped its icy fingers around her.
She shivered and pulled her cell phone from her drenched pocket “No Signal” now she was in trouble.
Stuck in the middle of no where with at least 5 miles to the next town, and the car soon to start filling up with unwanted water, she knew the passengers were counting on her to get them out of this situation.
She had to think, and fast. With her cold wet hair pressed against her chin and face, she manoeuvred around the car towards the back.
The thunder started to repeat itself more frequently. Only every now and then a huge clap would sound surprising every one. The dark grey clouds from before turned into ink black coloured puffs.
A deafening boom resounded so loud and so close that her heart stopped for a second and she could have sworn the car itself shook. The rain pelted the road and car with a strengthened vengeance.
Sara tried to give the car a push, but of course it was going no where, after a few more failed attempts at kidding herself, the mud underneath gave way and she lost her footing and slipped, her head hitting the car while falling into the water stretching her arms out to lessen the fall.
Her arm came into contact with something sharp, holding her breath to stop herself from screaming, obviously the culprit behind the cars abrupt stop.
She quickly pushed her self to her feet wincing only momentarily thanks to a stampede of adrenaline now coursing through her body. She stuck her hand in the water blindly wasting no time.
Using the car for leverage, and using all her might to pull the object from under the wheel that was also embedded in the mud, clenching her jaw and hissing in pain as it slices her hand slightly, but forgetting all about it as she succeeded in getting it free.
Giving a sigh of relieve she lifted it ready to throw it but thinking better of it, not wanting anyone else to get caught in what looked to be some sort of rather large animal trap.
What it was doing in the middle of the road she had no she opened the trunk throwing it in, noticing an old shirt, she ripped it, rapping it around her arm and then her hand as support, both were gonna hurt later, but for now she ignored all the pain.
From a distance there were flashes of light that seemed to illuminate entire clouds, but closer forked lightning appeared in jagged lines of light shooting from the clouds, lighting the sky up in an almost rich purple. The storm was showing absolutely no signs of letting up any time soon. The rain only doubled in its intensity.
Now almost knee high in rain water, Sara noticed a bright yellow poncho she'd forgotten about, she grabbed it before closing the trunk, slamming it shut. It was too late for her, but they didn’t have to get too wet, and she made her way back to the front of the car.
Coming back around she ripped off the car aerial, that’s all they needed with the lightning so close, getting fried.
“Only a chance of rain, only a bloody chance of rain they said” both girls inside the car could hear Sara rambling to herself as she neared the side of the car, all wondering what the plan was, and fearing the worst, which was confirmed as Sara opened the door and through the old yellow rain jacket at Alex “now lets see if we can get this car moving shall we?”
Alex merely nodded moving to the front of the car, putting on the rain coat with little difficulty then exiting the car.
Alex slowly stepped into the murky water, one foot in, then the other, she felt the cold water immediately pore into her shoes, she cringed, it took a second for her to get use to the sudden temperature change, and if to make things worse, the wind started to pick up around them.
Alex closed the car door as she made her way towards Sara, calling over to her, even to Alex, it sounded quiet, muffled. The sound of the rain was overpowering. Sara looked away from the sky and waved her over, Alex noticed the blood that had already seeped through the make shift bandages.
She gasped "Sara, what happened, you’re bleeding, are you ok?" Sara shook off her concerns "I’m fine, I just slipped, caught myself on something sharp stuck under the car, it's fine I’ll deal with it later, but right now we got more important things to worry about" she said pointing to the car. Sara did her best to talk Alex through the rough plan.
It wasn’t much of a plan, but it was all they had.
"We need to get the car out of this... lake" Not knowing what else to call it. "Were gonna need to push it, the tyres can't grip properly coz of the mud, once we get it out I can take a look at the wheel, but if what I removed is any hint to go by its royally screwed, but lets get the car across first before the water gets too high, then we'll go from there k?"
Alex nodded in response "Were gonna need to put some stomach into it too, prepare to get your hands dirty, it's gonna be a long night" Sara said letting out a sigh.
Both She and Alex took residence at the back of the car each taking a side, both making sure their feet were firmly in place, after receiving a nod from each other they started to push.
Getting the car moving was the hard part, and after some difficulty they some how pulled it off, once the car was moving it seemed to settle into a steady flow, suddenly lightning sparked the ground a few feet from the car "MOVE" Sara shouted, both putting more force into pushing the car, hearing Amy inside scream out of surprise, and the force of the water working against them.
Sara's heart pounded, for a moment she wondered what her pulse rate was at. She let a small chuckle escape, this really wasn’t the time.
The rain wasn’t letting up, and the puddle seemed to be growing by the minute. Sara found her self counting the silent seconds in between each loud clatter of thunder. They put everything they had into the last few pushes; they were both physically and mentally drained when they finally got the car across the pool of rain water, as well as cold.
Both girls sank to the floor, and looked up at the sky trying to catch their breaths as they listened to the heavens speak. While sitting on the wet road leaning up against the cold metal of the car, Sara surveyed the wheel beside her, and just as she thought "Royally Screwed" the tyre was completely shredded.
Then there was an angry thunderclap that brought them both back to reality.
The rain still falling from every cloud, another loud blast followed, accompanied by sharp lightning just above them lighting the whole sky up, while small hail began to fall.
The storm seemed to have been going on for what felt like hours, but was actually only nearing 90 minutes, which meant there was still plenty of time for things to get worse.
Sara got up quickly followed by Alex, both got back into the car as fast as they could, Sara needed to think which was not something she could do while being struck with hail.
Sara got into the drivers side, and while doing so she noticed that the front wheel she had replaced earlier also seemed busted, Great she thought, That’s just what we need. Alex got into the front passenger seat; Amy who had been watching the whole thing through the back window was looking grim, and slightly nervous.
With the wind and rain blowing against the windows Sara pulled out a map from the glove compartment as the lightning picked up again outside.
After finding their rough where a bouts on the map, Sara found that there was a small motel a little over half a mile up the road, they couldn't really walk, the rain was too heavy, herself and Alex were already wet, but she didn't want to drag Amy through it, half a mile was still a long way, and with the hail it just didn't seem worth thinking about, she couldn't risk her getting sick too.
But they couldn't sit tight either, the lightning was extremely close, to close for Sara's liking. She didn't want to risk getting blown up. They’d already had one close call. Sara looked at Alex who was looking at her expectantly.
Sara explained about the motel, and that if they could make it there they could wait the rest of the storm out, get something to eat, some needed rest, and use a pay phone to get someone out in the morning to pick them up.
It was the only option they had, and the of rest appealed to them all, leaving only one problem, getting to the motel.
Sara found herself counting again between the light and noise, measuring the distance in between, every four seconds equals a mile. The storm was getting closer. Then a truly body shaking crash of thunder blasted their ear drums.
The sound of the rain was almost hypnotic as it danced across the roof and down the sides of the car. Hailstones coming in bursts, lathered clouds were still rolling in completely covering the stormy sky making it darker.
Lightning of all types long, thin, streaky, and fast were striking out over clouds and from under clouds. First comes the lightning followed then by the thunder that rocked the wet sky.
Sara passed the map over to Alex "We could try running on flats, it'll be awkward but doable" she turned the keys in the ignition only nothing happened, it wouldn’t start.
"Shit" Sara cursed making Alex take her eyes of the map "What is it, what's wrong?" Sara's head was spinning now "I think..." she said drawing it out, then pausing. “The engine might be flooded" she added the last part quickly while still trying to get the car to start. "So what do we do now?" Alex was looking at Sara waiting anxiously for their next move.
Sara was trying to think hard over her throbbing headache, when she was suddenly brought back to reality for the second time that night when lightning sparked the ground a few feet from the car causing everyone inside to jump.
Sara was trying to calm Amy down in the back and calm her own nerves when Alex spoke showing Sara the map "Wait look, there's a hill not far up a head, it's not too steep, but looks long..." pointing to the line on the map "We could push the car and jump in, maybe we'll get some good speed and we could ride it out, the motel's not far from there."
Sara looked hard at Alex with surprise etched on her face, it could actually work. "Alright, looks like we got a plan" Sara said allowing hope to shine through her words, Amy squealed with delight but mostly relief.
Sara looked back at Alex "Let's do it" both opened the door and stepped out feeling if possible colder than ever before, their clothes sticking to there bodies like glue making it harder to move around.
The heavens were still speaking, the wind cool and sharp against their bodies. Hard and heavy rain drops literally showering them with a saturated blanket of liquid.
Sara and Alex took their positions by the open car doors and started to push. Sara felt weaker than before, feeling like all her energy had been drained, when had that happened was all Sara could think trying to put it to the back of her mind, they pushed, and pushed, and pushed, after about 10 minutes Sara shouted breathing heavily "There's the hill" pointing to it with one hand, the other still on the car.
The storm was flinging lightning from the darkness above down to the ground giving of bright sparks that lit the wet ground temporarily, if it wasn't raining so hard there would probably be fires all over the place.
Vibrations shot through the ground and the car, and Sara didn't want to be anywhere near it, she wanted out of this storm, a storm that was actually quite beautiful given the chance to properly look at it, but Sara had had enough.
As soon as they hit the hill both jumped into their seats, and closed the doors as fast as they could as the car started to roll. Sara grabbed the wheel, it was hard at first to keep control, but they got to the bottom in one peace only swerving here and there, everyone holding on while inside their heads praying.
Sara felt quite proud of herself as they reached the bottom; they had picked up a reasonable amount of speed to keep the car moving when the hill came to an end. It wasn’t far but closer to the motel than they were before.
They all cheered as the car came to a slow stop. Sara let out a breath she hadn't realised she was holding, then she and Alex got back out of the car to the all familiar cold soaking streets of Vegas, and Sara turned to her companion "Not far now, lets push this baby home"
Alex nodded with a smile on her face for the first time since getting in to the car that night. Things were looking up, providing they don't all die of hyper firmer in the mean time Sara thought chuckling to herself, now that would be just their luck.
Both Sara and Alex had there heads down focusing everything they had on pushing the car. "Aunt Sara look, what's that up ahead" Amy's urgent voice shouted from inside the car, Sara was shocked out of her thoughts and looked up from her detailed exploration of the wet road so fast she was sure she had almost given herself whiplash.
Through the darkness, and the heavy rain hitting her face, Sara could just make out a set of yellow hazard lights blinking on and off further up the road.
"Someone pulled over to wait out the storm?" Alex shouted in question also spotting the suspicious looking car on the side of the road, easing the car to a stop with Alex's help she tried to see through the rain up ahead to the car, trying and hoping to get a better look but finding it useless.
Sara shook her head unsure, knowing so many things could go wrong in situations like this.
"They still might need help. If they're stuck out here, it could be hours before another car passes by." Alex reasoned her voice just making it to Sara’s ears through the wind and rain.
Without the light of the moon or the stars their visibility was practically nonexistent.
The dark clouds covering everything above, the only light they got was the lightning that shot out of the sky in a consistent dance, as if the lightning bolts were at war with each other fighting for dominance over the sky.
Alex ran up a head with the torch from the glove box in hand, ignoring Sara's calls to wait. Sara swiftly locked the car up with Amy still inside checking the handles of the doors to make sure they were secure, just in case something did happen. The red Astra in question looked like it had hit a poll; the front was pretty banged up.
Alex shouted over the sound of the storm to Sara who was now coming up behind her. "There's a woman!"
She was pretty sure it said something about her that the first thing she could think to ask was, "Is she dead?" rolling her eyes at herself as she said it, but what could she say it just seemed to be that kind of night.
"Not dead…" Alex called back trying to peer through the glass pane that was heavily laced with rain drops squinting slightly to get a better look.
"I think she's in labour!" she said in a small shocked voice almost as if to herself, and Sara had to strain to hear, looking to the car and then back at Alex thinking, no preying that maybe she had misheard.
"You’re kidding?" Alex slowly shook her head from side to side h