Another Storm P2

 Coming out of the Freddy Channel, they entered the open stretch of water in front of Franceville. They would need to cross this to pass through Hell’s Gap and arrive at the Bone Island cottage beyond. The water was smooth not showing a ripple. Not even a faint flutter of wind could be felt.  John did become aware of a muffled rumbling coming out of the west. When he looked back, he saw above the tops of distant pines a blackening of the sky. He felt little concern as he determined that he could get across the open water before the storm was upon him.  But the storm was closing in fast. The thunder became louder and fork lightning drew nearer etching the sky with violent flashes of startling white light. The sky darkened above blotting out the sun. John felt the temperature drop and saw that the water had turned black. He heard the ominous roar of wind coming. 
John knew then that he was caught by this fast-moving storm. He knew that he would not safely cross the open water. A tiny rock island was the nearest land. Frantically, he dug the paddle deeply into the water and pulled towards it. The rain and wind came with terrible force. Waves were building. The only thing he knew was that he must get off the water. He feared for the pup that was still too young to take care of himself. It would drown if the canoe swamped or overturned. The pup was hunched down on the floor of the canoe trying to escape the frightening sound of the wind and the torrential pelting from the rain.
“Stay down Rand!” John tried to shout over the wind and driving rain.
In his mind, he estimated a dozen more strokes to the targeted island. Then, before the canoe would be rammed bow first into the rock, John swung the canoe so that the side came up hard against it. He picked up the pup and swung it onto the shore. He leaped out just managing to hold the canoe’s side as the wind lifted the canoe making it airborne.  He held on tight, barely keeping from slipping off the sloping rock of the island into the storm churned water.
As quickly as the storm blew up, it passed. The wind and black sky moved away to disappear in the east. The chopped disturbed water began to settle flat again and return to its normal hue imitating the now blue, sun filled sky.
“That was a close one, Rand.” The pup already was wandering and sniffing about the island. “We are soaked, but intact.”
Tipping the canoe over onto its side emptied it of water. Soon, John and his dog were again crossing the open stretch in the canoe as if the violent storm had not really happened. Everything was again in place to make it a beautiful summer day on Georgian Bay. John gave silent thanks knowing that the outcome could have been very different.
John Klein’s vision of that time when he was a teenage boy was abruptly broken. “You still out there?” Keren called out to him again. “That lightning is still around.”
John wondered about this memory recalled years after while watching a tropical storm in a remote Philippines village. He turned from the mission doorway and entered the main room. Keren and another missionary, Marilyn, sat on wicker chairs waiting out the storm.
“So, you finally retreated,” Keren teased. Marilyn giggled, shyly holding her hand in front of her pretty face. 
John did not respond. His mind still had not fully left that summer’s afternoon of light and warmth.

The End