The story of five teens, a mission trip, an island.... and a disaster.
|Sarah and Natalie jumped at the loud thump that sounded over their heads. "That's our ride!" Natalie hollered over the noise. Her voice was interrupted by another loud thud. Two helicopters? It made sense.
"Everybody, please stay calm!" Mrs. Winch yelled before everyone could go crazy and sprint for the roof. She had to scream it again in Filipino. "Get in a line! Kumuha ng sa isang line!"
Then everyone was scrambling to form the neatest line they could, which by all means was not neat. One particularly grouchy man kept pushing little children aside to get to the front. Sarah tried to be positive and figured he was really missing family.... while scowling at him all the same.
"Sir, stop that!" Mrs. Winch said, giving him a slap on the face. It seemed to be the only thing that would get across to him.
Suddenly four different men in gear and helmets stampeded down the steps. "Eight people only!" They chanted, waving for the first people to follow them. "Eight mga tao lamang!"
Fortunately, the impatient man was one of those eight people, cramming himself into the second helicopter.
It was almost two hours later before Oliver, Parker, and Brodie were able to get on a chopper. And even then, they were separated, with Parker and Brodie in one, Oliver in the other. They were given earmuffs, which they jammed down over their ears. All that was left of the deafening chop-chop of the helicopter's blades was a light drum in the air, but with the little microphone at the end, they could hear each other clearly.
"I've never seen so much floodwater before," Parker murmured in awe.
Below them, building tops with with people, jumping and waving, grew smaller and smaller. The sunlight glistening against the ocean that had expanded it's borders, swirling around the sides of the buildings and over the windows.
Far over on a hill, two helicopters took off from the flat, square roof of an old warehouse and buzzed toward the highest mountain, one that had been flattened to make room for the airport.
Brodie noticed them with an anxious pang. "Natalie could be on one of those," He mentioned to no one in particular.
Parker glanced warily at his friend, who was probably missing his sister more than ever before. "She told us over the phone that everyone was fine," He reminded him.
Brodie sighed and nodded. "Yeah, I know, but she's got this phobia of storms, especially when their really big. A little rain is nothing, but add floods and lightning and thunder.... she'd be scared witless. I don't like it when that happens."
He felt Parker's eyes on him for only a while longer before the airports helipad came into view.
Sarah and Natalie had reached the airport almost an hour before the other three. Now they were sitting in the crowded waiting room, surrounded by other panicked people... or at least, they were trying to sit. Natalie was pacing, crossing her arms and placing them on her hips like she couldn't make up her mind.
Sarah sat uncomfortably on the seat, but every once in a while she would switch positions. It was never better.
"I wish they'd just get here." She heaved an irritated sigh.
Natalie raked a hand through her hair and let it flop on the other side of the part. But that was annoying, so she flipped it back. "Maybe they are here, we just haven't seen them," She suggested flatly. Almost subconsciously, she started gnawing her fingernails. Finally she let her arms flop against her sides. "I can't take this! I'm going to look for them again."
"You said it," Sarah agreed with a puff. She leaped off the seat and grabbed her backpack, which had been the only thing she could've brought with her. With the pack on her shoulder, she dashed after Natalie to search... for the sixth time.
After being in a helicopter, they were all a little top heavy. Their ears seemed to have a little barrier inside them that could only be broken if they fake-yawned and swallowed at the same time.
"I am never going to ride in a helicopter again," Oliver declared.
His friends were confused... after all, the light-headed sensation was only because they had never ridden in a helicopter before. A plan, sure, but a tight little helicopter was a whole lot different.
Then they realized that his face had a slightly green tint to it.
"Are you... airsick?" Brodie wondered, his face twisting in disgust. "If you throw up, do it away from me."
"Thanks for the sympathy," grumbled Oliver. He rubbed his stomach with an uncomfortable sigh. "Ugh."
Parker guided them toward the waiting room. "Come on," He chuckled. "Maybe we've still got time to chuck a sickie at your mom."
"Chuck a what?" Brodie wondered, an eyebrow cocked.
Parker rolled his eyes. "Uncult- oof!"
He'd run smack into a larger man, one who was elbowing his way through the weaving crowd. "Watch where you're going, yobbo!"
"Pinapanood mo kung saan ka pupunta, bobo!" The man snarled back before shoving a ten-year-old into her mother to make room for himself.
The mother scowled at the man, disgusted, and hugged her child closer.
Parker was rubbing his nose. "I feel sorry for the people he comes home to," He muttered crankily.
Oliver snorted. "Unless they're just like hi- ow!"
Now he'd walked into someone else, someone much smaller.
And this person was talking English.
"Oliver!" Sarah cried. "Oh, thank God, you're alright!"
"I was," He puffed, but he was smiling. "Nice to see you too."
Brodie was already enveloped in a hug with his little sister, grinning at Sarah over her shoulder. "Be careful. If he runs into one more person, he could lose his lunch."
Parker snickered at her puzzled frown. "Long story short, he's airsick," He explained.
"Oohh," Sarah murmured as it dawned on her. "That makes sense. Natalie felt a little woozy afterward, too, but I think it was partly from worry. Or, anxiety, whatever."
"How long until the whole group gets here?" Oliver wondered.
Natalie pulled away from her brother with a shrug. "Probably a few hours," She muttered. She let out a huge sigh of relief. "I just can't wait to get home."
The group wandered over to the waiting room. They'd seen Judd coming through the entrance with several others, but decided everyone would most likely end up in the waiting room anyway.
"So, tell us about this little bingle you were in," Sarah said with a smirk.
The three exchanged annoyed glanced while Natalie joined in with a teasing expression.
Oliver decided to talk first. "Well, we were driving down the road, rain coming down on top of us like never before, and then Parker slammed on the brakes.....