When the rains came, they didn’t yield for weeks. Gallons of water fell, turning the roads into rivers and basements into tanks. I watched from the top of the stairs into the dark room beneath the house, hearing the water rush in, destroying everything we’d kept down there.
By the end of the first week, it was a couple of feet deep, the smell of sewerage was overpowering as the drains had overflowed into the road, polluting the water.
We stacked as many sandbags as we could at the top of the basement, hoping this stem the flow. We closed the door and did the same on the other side. I checked the door every day, thankful no water was escaping.
I tried to relax as the rains began to subside, it was slow at first, but it was obvious the showers were becoming lighter. That’s when we heard tapping coming from the basement. The creaking of foundations, or the sheer amount of water causing the structure to moan.
TAP-TAP-TAP TAP-TAP-TAP TAP-TAP-TAP
It carried on for hours, tap after tap.
I became anxious, worried the floor would give way at any minute as the water pushed the struts that held the house up. The putrid liquid began to seep into the downstairs from around the door frame to the cellar. The tapping got louder.
RAP-RAP-RAP RAP-RAP-RAP RAP-RAP-RAP
The sound was frightening, but I didn’t want to leave. Looters had already ransacked our next-door neighbours, the other part of the semi-detached house we lived in; I didn’t even see the family leave, the heartless thieves.
That night, in bed, two floors up from the basement, I could still hear the sounds, now loud banging.
BANG-BANG-BANG BANG-BANG-BANG BANG-BANG-BANG
In my panicked state, I thought sleeping though it would be best, not thinking of what would happen if the house collapsed. Exhaustion won over and I somehow fell to sleep.
In the morning, the sounds were gone. The sun was out. The rain had gone. What an amazing feeling; I defended my home against nature and am here to tell the story.
We opened the door to the basement, the water had receded down the stairs. But there was something floating in the water, not one of our belongings. That’s when I realised the tapping was not caused by the water.
It was Morse Code.
Dot-dot-dot dash-dash-dash dot-dot-dot
Save Our Souls