It’s coming. I knew from the moment that I woke up that it would. Something stirred restlessly and whispered deep within me, leave, but when I told my mother, who was making fresh biscuits from scratch, she just told me to hold my tongue and finish my chores. I was quiet then, fearing whatever punishment my mother might have prepared for me, but now I can’t be silent anymore. I sit down my stuffed rabbit that I’ve been playing with next to me on the window seat and stare out the glass. The clouds that are forming are a dark and sinister gray, rain begins to gush and small circular pieces of ice from the sky. “It’s coming.” I whispered in my small, timid voice. Then, for a moment everything stops. The clouds start to swirl, forming a funnel that slowly descends on the flat, grassless plain. “It’s here!” I scream into the kitchen where my mother is. Her head shoots up from the cookbook and I see anger flash through her eyes, but before either of us can speak; Father comes crashing through the front door. “We need to leave now!” he yells at mother. Mother gives him a questioning look, but Father doesn’t have time to stop and answer questions, instead he rushes to me, grabs me in his arms and rushes back outside. Mother quickly follows, but once she sees the swirling funnels she is overcome with terror that she can’t move. “Hurry up!” Father shouts over his shoulder. He shoves me in the back of his blue pickup truck and runs back to mother. I watch through the dirty, bug covered windshield as father grabs her hand and pulls her to the passenger side door. She gets in; father slams the door shut, runs back to the driver’s side and gets in. Father turns the key in the ignition but the truck doesn’t start. He turns it again and again, the sound of the failing engine mixing with my father cursing. “Jack...” Mother says. Father looks up and through the rear-view mirror I see his face lose its color and his eyes widen in fear. I look behind me and seethe twister coming fast in our direction. My parents scramble out of the truck and father scoops me in his arms. We start to run to find some type of shelter, but by the time we find any, it will be too late.
December 30, 2009