Author: Patrick Witz
Synopsis: Catastrophic events can strike at a moment’s notice. One young family was diligent in their disaster plans and emergency preparations. However, when caught in the path of a menacing tornado, there are times when even the best-planned defenses just don’t go far enough. (Warning: Some readers may find the premise of this story disturbing.)
Sirens blasted… less than a minute to take shelter. The early summer’s dark thundering skies and tyrannical rains had escalated. The three-year-old house on five acres was located out on the edge of town still within range of the impending Tornado warning sirens. From the second he heard the siren’s wail, Jeramiah knew he had to rush his family out of the now rattling house.
“We can’t take her out into that storm!” Sally argued without merit, knowing well what the siren’s entailed. Her face paled as she watched several of her daughter’s toys dance off shaking shelves and crash to the floor. Sally let out a panicked gasp, snatched the couple’s two and a half year old out of her crib and ran towards the back door.
Jeramiah dashed passed the two in the hallway and reached the back door seconds before them. He turned the back door knob and the door burst open with such force that it knocked him backwards onto the tile floor.
He yelled back at Sally entering the back door mudroom, “THE WIND HAS PICKED UP, THE RAIN IS GOING SIDEWAYS. THIS IS BAD! REALLY BAD! WE HAVE TO GO…NOW!”
Sally wrapped Maggie tight within her jacket and increased her grip. With one arm, she grabbed Jeramiah’s arm and with the other, she clutched Maggie. Sally held her so tight that Maggie whimpered a complaint.
While trying hard to keep her voice calm as possible in such a dire situation, she tucked her face into the rain jacket’s lapel to speak. “It’s okay baby, we are going to run out and play in the rain like we did the other day without our umbrellas. Now hold on to me as tight as you can.”
Jeramiah grabbed the two of them with Maggie sandwich carried between and unlatched the screen door. He had not opened it an inch when the savage wind ripped the screen door out of his hand. In less than a second the door took flight as the hinges tore free of the jam and disappeared into the raging darkness.
“GO, GO…” Jeramiah yelled as they both ducked head on into the wind and rain.
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