The Storm

The truck rolled through town down Main Street. Some people were out on the sidewalks for a stroll while kids drew stick figures with different colors of chalk. The church bells rang and the farmers market was wrapping up over on Pine Street. They hurriedly put their goods away; looked like rain. And, it smelled like rain too. The old man in the pickup turned on his radio and the weatherman said a whopper was coming our way; a tornado watch was in effect.

Cars were now in a hurry to get home. People driving them honked their horns, turned on their headlights, as the winds kicked up and the first drops of rain hit the windshields. Damn wipers didn’t work on the old Ford; needed new ones. The old man rolled down his window and stuck his head out. Couldn’t see a thing; he was driving by luck. Seemed like everybody was driving by luck. Some bad luck. A station wagon hit an SUV right there at the corner. Hope he’s got insurance, the old man said as he drove past.

And then the tornado sirens started blaring. It was no longer a watch. God was warning them. The old man ran and took cover in the church basement where others were lined up to go. They all got in. The winds were tossing trees and debris all over; buildings crumbled, the cross on the church fell. Some folks didn’t make it at all; bodies under piles of brick, wood, stone. A silence could be heard.

Like that, it was over. The old man’s Ford was turned over on the courthouse green. He just laughed. Time to get a new one anyway, he whispered.

The cross was down in the church parking lot with Christ hanging on face down. Some people believe God spoke that day. Some people thought the devil had.

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