The Disaster

July 19, 2010
By mikeb BRONZE, Herndon, Virginia
mikeb BRONZE, Herndon, Virginia
2 articles 36 photos 0 comments

The crying of a baby was heard on this gloomy Kansas night in mid-July. "It's your turn," Samantha grumbled to her husband beside her. Her eyes were sagging shades of a dark sapphire hue; she had cared tirelessly for the baby throughout the night. A miserable moan from the other side of the bed showed that Jim was aroused. "Fiiinnneee," he said in a hoarse voice. There was shuffling as covers were moved around, then a slight creak awakened the silent darkness. Jim achingly moved both his feet out of bed and onto the floor. Milky moonlight spilled into the room from the window onto the carpet, brightening Jim's pale feet. Outside, the rustling of the trees was scarcely heard as the wind howled fiercely in the soundless night. "The wind is really makin' a ruckus tonight, darlin'," groaned Jim. The baby's constant wailing in the background broke the placid mood of sleep. "I'll get the baby," he said. Jim felt aimlessly around the room with his feet until he found the door.

When he entered the baby's room, he noticed something peculiar. Jim thought to himself, "It's awfully chilly in this 'ere room". He could hear the wind howling even more loudly than before. A branch had smashed the window, breaking the glass and allowing the cool night air to seep into the room. "Dang nabbit," Jim hollered aloud, "how the heck did that happ'n?". Samantha became aware of her husband in distress and replied, "What is it dear, another coon?". Jim was too focused on the problem at hand. As he scurried over to the broken window, he noticed a tree had fallen over after being uprooted from the ground; it's branch protruding through the window from the outside. "Dear...God," stammered the worried man. At that same moment he realized that his worst fear was forthcoming. Jim knew what the uprooted tree truly meant. A tornado was approaching. A shiver ran down Jim's spine as he froze there beside what remained of the window. Although, the wind wasn't very frigid. It wasn't the wind, but the sudden terror that enveloped Jim's body. Almost immediately, he snapped out of his trance and came to his senses. Jim was shocked, but he knew he had to act quickly. Snatching the terrified baby, he raced up the stairs into his bedroom. "Honey, we have to go. Now! Git up!". "What's goin' on?" Samantha asked curiously. Jim knew he didn't have much time. "Can't explain now just git up!" he exclaimed. Samantha insisted anyway, "Why don't you just tell me...". "A TORNADO IS COMIN'!!!" Jim interrupted. All of a sudden the wind howled even louder. At that moment a fearsome roar erupted from outside. BOOM! A bolt of lightning nearly struck the house. A bright flash filled the entire bedroom for only a split second. Jim said hastily in a fearful voice, "There aint no time to waste! We hafta go now!". They only had one place to go. It was the one place that would keep them safe if they were lucky. They had to reach the cellar.

The family rushed down the stairs to the first floor of the house. The windows flashed with bright light and the pitter patter of rain was heard upon the roof, like a drummer playing vigorously. The baby wailed even louder except the parents could only worry about one thing: survival. They had to reach the cellar. Jim opened the back door, but the hinges shattered and the wooden door unexpectedly flew out into the stealthy darkness of the night. "Hurry!" yelled Jim.

The family ran across the field as debris of who-knows-what flew over their heads. They had to reach the cellar. The tornado approached as the ravenous storm continued to rage, hungry for a taste of destruction. The wind shifted from a strong blow to a violent gust as the mother struggled to keep a-hold of her baby. All noise was muffled by the roar of the oncoming tornado. Without warning, a shovel flew through the air and smashed directly onto Jim's head. He fell instantly to the ground. "Jim! Jim!" Samantha yelled. "Are you all right?!". Jim didn't respond. "JIM!". The chapped lips on his grimy face didn't make a single sound. Samantha shook her husband's head impatiently, "Jim, WAKE UP!". The tornado crept closer. The wind howled even louder. They had to reach the cellar. Finally, Jim began to stir. "Where am I..." he stammered. Once he came to his senses, he jumped to his feet and headed again towards the cellar. His wife followed anxiously.

Now, the baby's cries could not be heard over the bellowing of the wind. A dark, ominous forest surrounded this family's precious farm. Normally this forest was a luscious, spring green, enhancing the comfort of a safe home, but not that night. That night was a night like no other, when nature presented its dark side. In the midst of the forest, trees were being torn to shreds by an unseen force. All of a sudden, a menacing tornado burst from the forest, leaving only a trail of destruction behind. The tornado towered over the trees. It drew nearer to the family, merely 100 yards away. They had to reach the cellar. The family trudged on through the storm, avoiding flying debris.

Finally, the family approached the cellar. They could barely move on their own because the wind was surprisingly strong. "Git inside first!" shouted Jim. His voice was barely audible over the roar of the tornado. "The door's stuck!" shouted Samantha, still trying to cling on to her baby. Out of the blue, the baby flew out of her arms and into the air. It landed with a thump about 15 yards away. "Noooooo!!!" moaned the heartbroken wife. Jim sprinted toward the baby. The tornado pressed nearer. They had to reach the cellar. Jim grabbed the baby and hobbled back to his wife, almost thrown backward by the wind's shocking strength. With great effort, he reunited his family, but the tornado was coming and the family wasn't in the cellar. The door was still locked. "Whadda we do?!" screamed Samantha. Jim stood there, thinking, as if in a trance. Any glimmer of hope that he had seen before had now faded. "This is the end...", he thought to himself. His life flashed before his eyes as he pondered. Jim saw himself as a kid again, riding his red bike in his neighborhood on a sunny, summer day under the puffy clouds that hung on the ocean blue sky. He caught a glimpse of his tenth birthday, when he was given what he thought was the biggest ice cream cake ever. As Jim mused over fond memories of the distant past, the tornado crept closer; nature was on the move. The tornado was now only 30 yards away. The family could barely stand. "I said WHADDA WE DO!?". "I don't know..." replied Jim in a calm voice. He was scared stiff, but he realized he had to do this. He had to face his worst fear for the protection of his family. The tornado was looming over the small innocent family that stood below. Jim crawled over to the cellar door and put his hand on the handle. He thought to himself, "For my family...please...". Miraculously, the door opened. A warm, comfortable feeling of joy filled Jim, but this immediately disappeared with the cold chill of the tornado's gusts and the fear of life or death. "Git in!" he yelled to his wife. She and the baby safely crawled in. "Git in, Jim! HURRY!". The tornado was on them now. Jim was outside. You could distinguish what debris whirled endlessly around inside the tornado. Jim put one foot into the cellar. He struggled against the power of the storm. His body began to feel weightless. "HELP ME!" Jim shouted to his wife, petrified for his life. Samantha grabbed his hand. It was a tug-of-war between the tornado and Samantha. She pulled half of Jim's body into the cellar, but the tornado was on top of them. It howled like some ferocious animal. Lightning flashed along the cavernous mouth of the tornado. Rain sprayed onto the family nonstop. This wasn't nature. This was a nightmare. Suddenly, Samantha's grip on Jim's hand was slowly slipping. Both of them, husband and wife, stared at each other. It seemed like all noise and motion stopped. They both knew what was about to happen. Jim stuttered under his breath, "I...", but without warning Jim flew up into the air and out of sight. Samantha screamed in horror. That was the last she saw of her beloved husband.

The tornado continued its stampede of destruction until it eventually passed. The winds died down, the rain halted, and all noise grew silent. Nature had its fill of annihilation. Samantha and her baby remained crouched in a corner on the floor of the cellar, shivering. Samantha could scarcely believe what had just happened. There was complete silence. A faint moan from outside the cellar door broke the peaceful quiet. With a glimmer of hope, Samantha glanced out of the cellar door. There Jim was: bruised and beaten, but alive. He had seized part of an old, rusty pipe that stuck from the ground. His hand was a dirty amber color, smothered with blotches of blood. He lay panting on the ground helplessly. Samantha couldn't believe her eyes. Jim was alive. The husband and wife embraced each other, amazed at what they had endured. The family barely survived the ordeal. The farm was transformed into a junkyard. Their house left in tatters, their farm demolished, and their animals gone missing. They had no idea what was going to happen next, or what to expect; although, they knew one thing: this was a disaster.

The author's comments:
A thrilling, suspenseful short story about an innocent Kansas family and their confrontation with one of mother nature's worst creations.

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This article has 1 comment.

nebraska20 said...
on Aug. 9 2010 at 11:20 am
I love you writing! It is sooo suspensful and creative.

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