The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #43

tornado 2

The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #43

One Picture

One Element

One Emotion

200 Words

A Tornado

Denial

The Faraway Sound of Someone Singing

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8 thoughts on “The Iron Writer Weekend Quickie #43

  1. By the time he’d run across the fields and into the yard, making the chickens scatter and squark, the tornado was but a few kilometers away and gaining.
    “Aunty! Aunty! Tornado’s a’coming!” Willy swung open the door of the farmhouse to see his Aunt smiling up at him from her favourite comfy armchair. “The Tornado’s here, Aunty! We gotta get down in the cellar!”
    He pulled on his Aunt Dorothy’s woolly cardigan but she didn’t budge.
    “Damn and tarnation, Willy! Me and Toto, we been waiting for this one for a long time.” The dotty old woman patted the head of her long-departed stuffed dog sitting beside her patiently. “See? I’ve got me ruby red slippers ready.” She tapped them together, two worn out shoes that she’d somehow squeezed onto her old puffed up little feet.
    “But Aunty! The tornado’s coming! We gotta get ta safety!”
    “Safety? What you riling about, Willy? We’re goin’ back to Oz, aren’t we Toto?”
    Her last pat knocked the dust-filled mutt over. Willy tried to grab her again but she held up her hands, listening to something far away.
    “Oh, can you hear that, Willy? I can hear them, the Munchkins are singing.”
    “Aunty!”

  2. We knew a summer storm was predicted. Seeing a skinny waterspout high in the sky, I was more wondrous than scared. I gabbed my camera. Something to show the grandchildren when we got home from holiday. I called to Brent.

    Looking out, he said, “It’s reached the ground. Look!”

    I resumed loading the dishwasher. Modern motorhomes have everything.

    “I’ll wait a bit before my snorkel,” he said to me even though already clad in his wetsuit. He went outside for another picture.

    The caravan started to rock.

    “What are you doing, silly man?” I called. “Stop it!”

    The next thing I knew, the world exploded. Later, they said I’d fallen by the dishwasher and its bulk had protected me.

    As soon as I could, I waved frantically at Brent who was emerging from the water; I could just hear the sound of him singing. He’d been swept out to sea but bobbed up due to his buoyant wetsuit. In horror, he’d seen the motorhome had been reduced to matchsticks, then suddenly he saw my hand waving from the wreckage.

    “You were too faraway,” I said, now safe in his embrace, “what were you singing?”

    “Bruce Springstein’s‘My Lucky Day’,” he said, hugging me tight.

    What else?

  3. Lying in bed, I stared into the darkness as my emotions churned in a violent rage of confusion. There were so many things happening at once; all meshing together; colliding with my time and energy to make a dark slurry of dread twisting in my gut; rendering me dizzy, unstable and confused.

    My eyes searched the darkness for any mooring, but none was found. I was free-wheeling through open ground, building momentum, and wreaking havoc on everything in my path: my family, my work, my peace of mind; all had suffered the random outbursts of my turmoil. All I could produce were tears and the deep senseless moans of my internal distress.

    Then, I heard it; something, I couldn’t see, but it sounded like singing; far off and indistinct. Amidst the constant motion of my anxiety, the voice came to me as an oasis of stability: an island in a churning sea; something solid, unmoveable, and attractive.

    It drew nearer, and louder, and as it did, the attraction to it grew stronger and more compelling. I could hear the voice clearly as it enveloped me in its arms, and cast the swirling angst of my confusion from me. I watched calmly as the vortex of my emotions drifted away … and I slept.

  4. My eyes pop open and I sit up in bed. I look to the window and see the limbs of the trees outside my second story bedroom thrashing this way and that. I become aware of the constant roar of wind. Not a breeze, but a barrage, strong and powerful. I yell for the boys, my sons, to get up and get downstairs. I keep yelling as I make for the hallway. On a pole two streets over, the air raid siren begins to wail. I feel a shift in the air pressure. My ears pop and seemingly go deaf. But that’s not true, simply, I am within a wall of deafening sound. Around me, my home twists by the frame, splitting the drywall. I see the door to my boys’ room and reach for the knob and in that moment I can hear again. The siren, the roar –now receding, and… Jesus loves me, yes I know. I hear my children singing as if far away and open the door. Before me lies only openness to the outside world and a view of catastrophe. No, this cannot be. No. I am dreaming. Please, God tell me I am dreaming.

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