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A Saga

Flood by BF Oswald
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A catastrophic flood destroys a farm that has been in a family for three generations. The story traces the development of this farm from its humble beginnings as a homestead on the Iowa prairie through the aftermath of the flood.

Nathaniel Conklin is a canny entrepreneur who built his simple homestead into a one thousand acre farm. He amasses a fortune by developing other successful businesses while handling his farm. During his lifetime, he plays a key role in the development of a town that eventually becomes a city. He also helps several Amish families who have been forced from their Ohio farms to relocate to his land and fights the prejudice the plain folk face.

Within the pages of Flood, you will meet Nathaniel and his wife Margaret, their son, Cole, his wife, Nicole, his granddaughter, Vivian and her husband, Jim who are forced to watch helplessly as what remains of the once proud Conklin farm is washed away. Along the way, you will meet Hannah and Claudia, two Amish members of Nathaniel’s household, and Thomas, a Catholic boy who falls in love with Hannah causing a clash of cultures.

Flood not only portrays the lives of those involved with the three generations of Conklin’s, but also the impact the flood has on the land and the wildlife that live on it.
SynergEbooks; May 2009
223 pages; ISBN 9780744316155
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Flood
Author: BF Oswald

It was an innocuous little cloud, scarcely darker than the other scattered grey clouds mixed with puffy white ones being pushed lazily across the sky by a gentle southwest breeze. For a moment, it paused, blocking the merciless glare of the mid July sun, wept several large drops of rain – but not enough to do more than dampen the over heated asphalt on which they fell – then moved on, keeping pace with its kin.

It was followed not long afterward by a bigger brother, darker than its predecessor in a sky now more cloudy than clear. It too paused, then opened its belly disgorging large drops again, this time in greater numbers, enough to thoroughly wet the pavement and cause rising steam to mark its passing.

The breeze freshened causing the clouds to move faster. The few remaining white clouds were pushed to the eastern horizon and began to disappear, as did the patches of blue sky that had smiled down between them. Darker clouds soon covered the sky from horizon to horizon and it began to rain, gently at first, then harder.

The farmers in this part of Iowa looked up from their chores and smiled. They had worked through too many dry days of record heat, and worriedly watched crops begin to wilt as a result. This rain looked like it might become a good soaker – the kind of rain that fell at just the right rate to gently sink into the parched earth giving the corn and beans a much needed drink, stimulating the recently cut timothy and alfalfa to put up new growth in preparation for the late summer haying.

Tadpole Creek, scarcely wider than fifty feet at its widest was, with the exception of a few, small, stagnant pools, bone dry. Even though its source was a beaver pond and hundreds of acres of very well drained fields several miles north and west of town, it usually only ran fresh when the winter snows melted and during the heavier spring and fall rains. No one around could remember the last time it had run to flood.

During the night, the rain lost its benevolence but none of its steadiness. What started out falling at the rate of a half-inch an hour was now pouring down at two inches an hour – and raining harder by the minute.

Dawn seemed to take a long time coming; the sky was so heavily laden with waterlogged clouds that scarcely any light could get through. Farmers looked out of their windows, no longer smiling, at the small ponds that began to appear in the dips and swales of their fields; the harbingers of drowned crops.

Tadpole Creek became a freshet, burbling merrily along, happy that it had been released from the drought.

The rain continued throughout the day, now at the rate of three inches an hour.

By noon the creek was making angry sounds. Its ripples and rapids had disappeared, replaced by a rushing brown torrent bearing detritus that in quieter seasons had accumulated in its bed and along its banks.

As the farm families and residents of the nearby town sat down to their evening meals, Tadpole Creek exited its banks and began to spread its roiling waters into nearby low lying areas.

And still the rain continued.
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