March 14, 2008
By Andrea Sampson, Cumming, GA

The wind moaned across the school campus, causing the trees artfully and systematically put around it to sway and jerk to an unfathomable and strange music. No one was paying attention to what the teacher was saying. The students were all staring, transfixed, at the angry symphony going on just a window breadth away. Suddenly, there was a giant clap of thunder and a flash of blue lightning. The students jumped in alarm just as suddenly, when the generators of the school waged a war of howling the loudest against the wind. The sound was deafening, symbolizing a conflict between nature versus human. Who ever won would mean the ultimate death of the other. There was no chance of losing gracefully or becoming stronger over time. This was a war to end all other wars. There was only going to be one side standing by the end of it.

It was a fight like no other. Like two wild animals bent on destroying each other, the growls and roars from both sides caused a shudder to run down the spines of every person in the classroom that were cowering near the farthest wall of the room. A blinding strike cut against the howls with a strange sense of finality and the “winner” of the war was announced. The generators had surrendered, and the silence following their breakdown was fleeting. The roaring cries from the wind became louder, if possible. They were cries of cruel and mocking triumph, growing louder and louder as the time passed. The symphony that had stunned the people earlier ended with the crash of trees, once so graceful and alive, falling to the ground in broken pieces.

Shock. Horror. Disbelief. The faces of the students and teacher portrayed the various emotions that any kind of war caused people to feel. Then there was the panic. It overrode the other emotions with as much force as the storm outside. The wind was still howling, letting the world know nature's triumph, and the insignificant people inside the school that were now unprotected from the generators and comfort of industry, were trapped. The world outside was taken over by a force with too much power. The world inside the building was dark and silent. Between two worlds, both part of a nightmare, the people in the school had no choice but to cower in the corner and wait while the wind whistled harshly through the broken window pane.

Waiting seemed harder to do to most of the people then the actual horror of going through the tornado. Like anything in life, waiting is the hardest thing to do. It’s the calm before the storm or after the storm that causes the most anxiety. It means that life is uncertain. No one wanted to be lost. No one wanted to be uncertain. Life was too sweet and new to them all. They were only students. They had there whole lives ahead of them. They couldn’t afford to be unsure about the fact that they might not live after the war that had happened today.

Suddenly, it all changed. The wind got quieter. There was no one listening to it anymore and it almost seemed to soften from embarrassment. Then, it just disappeared. The war was over, but the side that had won was unclear, because all along it was really a war of certainty and uncertainty. The conflict was between what the people in the building felt and whoever one would mean the result of the tornado they had face. Although the tornado meant tragic loss for the world outside and the people inside, something stopped it from causing the people to lose hope. There was certainty that they were together and that they were stronger because of it caused something to gleam in all the hearts of the people: hope. And hope wins all wars.

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