I received this email last Friday and wanted to share what my friend wrote. It reminds me of C.S. Lewis’s THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, which is among my favorite written work.
As my friend was in Texas enduring Harvey’s violence I was sitting here in Oklahoma wishing I could help somehow. Other than writing a few friends and offering them a place to stay I could only watch as my friends were struggling. And now here I sit worried about my friends who have to worry about Irma.
Thank you Don for sharing this with me. With us.
Assault on SE Texas
Written by H. Harvey, Commanding
The plan of assault was brilliant both strategically and tactically. It has been well thought out. It would be a two-pronged attack on various locations of the Texas, Gulf.
Objective: Total devastation, loss of life, loss of morale and complete despair.
Length of Campaign: Six days of continued and relentless attacks against various and diverse locations.
I had little doubt that the campaign would succeed and result in the desired objectives. It started well and I utilized both surprise and stealth.
They knew I was coming, but they didn’t know what to expect. Meteorologists throughout the area knew I was coming, but they couldn’t predict where I would hit first. They couldn’t see my overall strength, though they correctly warned that I was in no hurry to accomplish my objectives. I would move slowly, ensuring maximum damage inflicted upon the area and the population.
I would hit first in the southern portion of the state and move effectively Northeast. My plan was to create moments of false security and it worked perfectly. I made land fall on three different occasions, with different targets each time. It was brilliant. They never would expect or anticipate this. They were not prepared to resist the hell I was ready to unleash.
I targeted Corpus as for my initial assault but feigned ever so slightly, hitting Rockport with a full out, frontal assault. I utilized all the forces at my disposal: wind, rain, tornadoes, etc. Rockport stood no chance. I demolished her quickly and effectively. She lay broken and bleeding in my wake. It was exhilarating.
I feigned again, acting as if I was losing Hurricane strength, but all the while knowing that my next tactic would not be winds: it would be rain and flooding. Such rain and flooding as has never been seen here ever before. An 800-year flood. Houston and surrounding towns and cities were next to feel my fury.
Oh, how it succeeded. The bayou’s, rivers and lakes had never felt anything like the wrath I unleashed upon them. I dropped over 20 TRILLION gallons of rain on the area. 20 Trillion! Do you have any idea what that represents? It represents enough water to supply New York City’s water needs for over 30 years. That’s what I dropped on Houston and surrounding area’s over just a three-day period. I was relentless and it was glorious. How the area staggered under the weight of my attack.
My objective was being realized…. I killed people, as planned. I killed First responders, I killed children, I killed families and I even killed their pets. They could not stand against me. I loved seeing their tears and cries for help.
Riding a victorious high, I allowed some areas to think my assault had subsided. Then I turned and attacked again… Port Arthur was destroyed, I cut off the water supply in Beaumont and they had to run for cover. Total victory was mine and I relished in it.
However, certain events happened which I had not calculated for.
In the midst of my fury, in the midst of the devastation I witnessed things which surprised me. I saw Black people, White people, Hispanic people and Asian people banding together to hold the line against me. That was not supposed to happen. I was counting on division and hate. That’s what I was led to believe would contribute to my total victory. That did not happen. These Texans would not leave anyone behind… no matter their race or political point of view. That was not supposed to happen. They would not even leave their animals behind. Time and time again, reports came to me of people willing to risk death then leave a family pet. This was not calculated.
They were supposed to lose hope, they were supposed to wallow in the destruction around them and that did not happen. I heard the singing coming from a shelter one night. SINGING! I had taken everything from them and they were singing! How could one calculate that?
They were supposed to lose faith. How could they hold on to faith when my wrath did everything conceivable to destroy faith?
That one man, holding his little son’s hand emerging from the flood waters. I had taken everything from him: his home, his clothes, his car … everything… And when that reporter asked him what he was feeling? He said he Thanked God? Thanked God!! What manner of people was I dealing with here?
I calculated that they would lose courage. But the first responders working with no food or sleep for days? that surprised me. The Police officer, Sargent Perez. He was days from retirement… He didn’t have to answer the call. Yet, he spent two hours trying to get to his duty station to help the people before I killed him. It was a shallow, empty victory for me.
I thought that when I flooded the nursing home, they would all die. Old and alone! Perfect! But, they didn’t … all were rescued.
I had no doubt that when I drowned that whole family…. Despair would set in …. They would give up… but they didn’t.
I executed my plan perfectly. Almost 186,000 homes damaged or destroyed! You can’t do better than that. Almost 43,000 people in shelters! Many of them children…. Wonderful. They had to be finished, I had won.
I surveyed the battlefield today…… the carnage was everywhere. Flood waters still rising in places. Chemical plants experiencing explosions …. More evacuations. Through the rubble and smoke, I expected to see a white flag of surrender… they could take not more.
I did see a flag… it was tattered, but flying. It had one Star upon it…. A Lone Star.
I had miss-calculated.
Damn you Texas…. Damn you.
Don Ortolano is the father of one of my favorite “real life” friends, Anthony Ortolano. He has two beautiful daughters and all of them have written for me here on hastywords. Don is a beautiful man with a very loving heart.