Before I start with this, I just want to mention why I'm doing this chapter on a such a subject matter like Hurricane Sandy. Reason being is that I was in the affected area (New York/New Jersey). The storm knocked out my power for 4 days and it was totally brutal. So this will be my personal thoughts on what happened through the eyes of Milo and Melissa. Here goes.
October 29th, 2012 - the day began like any other, but just before 11, the sky began to blacken. Melissa quickly took note of the situation as she watched it unfold from outside one of the school windows.
"I don't know about you, but I'm not liking those clouds, guys!" she warned her classmates.
"Yeah, those clouds look pretty scary..." Milo concurred.
"Almost as if a dark presence has engulfed the world..." Amanda added in a serious voice.
"Must you always be so dramatic, Amanda?" Melissa asked with some snark in her voice.
Mayor Doofenshmirtz issued a state of emergency soon afterwards, which was announced on the John Trystate Elementary School loudspeakers. Due to the state of emergency, school was to be let out at noon to allow families enough time to prepare for the impending storm.
It wasn't supposed to be like this, however. The cause of all this panic and mass hysteria - a hurricane known as Sandy. Sure, it may be a Category 1 storm, but all the forecasts have it colliding with another storm system off to the west which when combined with Sandy will enable it to hit like a Category 3 storm, giving enough force to damage homes, down power lines and shut down cities for weeks with intense flooding.
Throughout the week, all the local weathermen were predicting where Hurricane Sandy was going to go - whether it be Florida, North Carolina, offshore in the Atlantic...but the new track was a direct hit right into Danville.
"Melissa, I'm worried..." Milo said, holding onto Melissa.
"What about, Milo?"
"I'm worried about what this hurricane will do to Danville. It might destroy the city and if it does, everyone's gonna blame me!"
"Will you quit your worrying! You can't control your curse and you certainly can't control the weather! None of this is your fault, so don't go saying that it is, got it?" Melissa chided. "Whatever happens, we'll get through this together. The two of us are a team, no matter what!"
Milo smiled as he fell into Melissa's arms. The pair held each other tightly as they made it to Melissa's house. Milo's parents and sister had already boarded up their house and walked over to the Chase house to prepare it for the storm.
Later that night at Melissa's house, Milo and Melissa were huddled together, worrying about what might happen as Hurricane Sandy drew closer. That's when the duo saw their respective fathers in their work attire.
"Dad, didn't you just get back from work?" Milo asked.
"I did. But with this hurricane coming, I know I'm going to be called in to aid with the relief effort," Milo's dad said. "So I'm going to need you to be the man of the house while I'm out helping the disaster relief."
"That goes for you too, Melissa. Your mom can't do everything on her own, so I'm counting on you and Milo to help her out," Mr. Chase told his ginger daughter. "This is a big responsibility and you two will have to prove your maturity to handle it. Think you can do that for us?"
"You got it, Mr. Chase!" Milo confirmed.
"No problem, dad!" Melissa added.
"That's our kids!" Mr. Murphy said, messing up Milo's hair.
"Milo...take care of Melissa. As for me...my city needs me...and Melissa needs you."
The pressure was now on Milo. He had turned 10 earlier in the month (he got an accordion for his birthday, by the way) and he is now faced with major responsibility. He has to take care of not just his mom and sister, but also Melissa and her mom while his and Melissa's fathers help out with the relief effort for Hurricane Sandy.
Just after 8 that night...IT HIT! HURRICANE SANDY!
"BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES, EVERYONE!" Melissa called out.
"EVERYONE, GET TO THE BASEMENT! I'll set up the generators just in case we lose power! GO! GO! GO!"
Melissa led everyone except Milo down to the basement. Milo on the other hand took generators out of his backpack, plugging in all the electronic devices in the event power was lost before heading down to the basement himself, setting up a generator there.
"Okay, everything's all set up!" Milo confirmed.
"Good!" Melissa called out.
"You plugged everything in, Milo?" Sara asked.
"All electrical devices accounted for."
"That's our Milo!" his mom cheered.
"Now we wait out Sandy..."
"Quick question...how'd you fit 6 generators in your backpack, Milo?" Melissa asked.
"I have a lot of space in there, Melissa."
The hurricane passed by 7 AM the next morning. Most of Danville had lost power, but thanks to Milo's preparedness...both the Murphy and Chase houses didn't. However, all of Danville's streets were flooded.
"Boy...Sandy really did a number on Danville..." Melissa assessed.
"Thankfully, no homes were destroyed," Sara said.
"But power lines were," Milo added, taking out a pair of insulated gloves from his backpack. "Let's see if I can fix that."
"MILO, DON'T! THOSE ARE LIVE WIRES!" Melissa warned. Too late. Milo had already begun his work. He had begun to reconnect power lines across the neighborhood, welding them together with a welding iron he had produced from his backpack, leaving the rest for the power crews that were sure to come from across the country. He had also cleared all of Danville of the flooding that had taken place with a specialized vacuum that he had made just for the occasion.
"Well, that takes care of our neighborhood..." Milo remarked, only to earn a slap upside the head from Melissa. "HEY! What was that for?!"
"For touching live power lines! What were you thinking?"
"I was thinking of helping the relief effort, help make the power crews' jobs easier."
"Milo, while it was a sweet thing that you did, it was also very stupid," his teenage sister said.
"Agreed, Sara. You could've been hurt big time, Milo!" His mother chided as his father and Mr. Chase came in.
"What happened with all these power lines?" Mr. Murphy asked.
"They were down a few hours ago, now they're back up..." Mr. Chase added, looking at Milo. "And...you did this, didn't you, Milo?"
"I tried to tell him how dumb it was, dad!"
Milo and Melissa's fathers chuckled, looking at their kids. "Milo, you're a reckless one...just like me, I guess," his dad told him.
"Where'd you learn to be so resourceful?" Mr. Chase asked.
"From my babysitter, Veronica. She's so sweet and amazing...she's the one who gave me this backpack - taught me everything I know."
Mr. Chase smiled, once again knowing that his daughter had found a great friend in Milo. Mr. Murphy had finished his damage assessment - $40 million in damage to Danville alone.
"Anyway, I'm quite famished...what say we get something to eat?" Mr. Chase asked.
"You read my mind, dad!" Melissa responded quickly.
The group went to Friday's for lunch, grateful to have survived Superstorm Sandy. They all checked on their neighbors soon after, relieved that they all survived the storm as well.
Power was restored to the whole of Danville in a week. All the power crews that came hailed Milo a hero for what he did to help them out. As for Melissa...
"Milo Murphy, fixing those live power lines was still a stupid idea...but it was also a great thing that you did to help all those power crews out..." the ginger said, pecking Milo on the cheek. "This week, you proved that we are all stronger than anything Mother Nature can dish out."
And...that was 'Superstorm' - the most intense chapter I've ever written. Next up - Milo and Melissa's Christmas Wish. Stay Tuned for that and remember...
IT'S MILO'S WORLD AND WE'RE ALL LIVING IN IT!