(This is the continuation to my "Dolphin" story:http://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.com/2009/04/to-hug-dolphin.html)
That was the adjective best describing her current situation, referring not only to her physical condition after a sleepless night spent in a draughty tent provided by the Red Cross, but also to everything she had known, treasured and possessed - in short, to her whole life.
The storm had started seemingly out of nowhere.
Meteorologists had probably more scientific-sounding vocabulary for it, but in the news it was called "a freak storm".
Fifteen minutes had been enough to wipe out the entire block of houses where she lived (or, rather, used to live, she mentally corrected herself) and cut a path of destruction through the small town near the Sea.
Shivering in the morning chill, she wrapped the slightly scratchy blanket given to her by a friendly nurse tighter around her shoulders and stepped out of the tent.
There it was, the flattened area that used to be "home".
Well, not entirely flat; there were heaps and piles of rubble, broken furniture and window frames, upturned dustbins and the general debris suburban civilization tends to create in a surprisingly short space of time.
Looking closer, and focusing on the details, she recognized objects that had once belonged to herself, and others she was pretty sure of having seen at one time or other in her neighbours' houses.
So far, no casualties had been reported.
But she knew better.
Something was dead, beyond the point of no return:
her old life.
Now, what to do?
Join those who were making efforts to rebuild what they once had, following the illusion that they could eventually return to their former lives?
Or make a clean cut, grab the chance the heartless, mindless and emotionless storm had created for her, and start a new life somewhere else, in time adjusting to a new place, a new route to work, new neighbours and - possibly - new friends?
Which way, that was the question she faced, and only she alone was able to find the answer to.
Her mind wandered to the dolphin.
Hopefully, he was alright.