Tornado Alley

The birds were silent. They’d been chirping all day before the clouds moved in. Then there was nothing, not a peep. One was hiding under the gutter on the house next door. The old man watched as it sat in silence.

And, he was quiet too. Nothing rattled the old man, or, made him uneasy. He stood in his sun room observing nature, drinking coffee, and listening for any kind of noise. He longed to hear something. It’d been a long afternoon of over cast skies and no movement, or song. Just this unbearable silence. He looked all around outside. Then he heard a dog barking in the distance, a car driving down the gravel road, winds started to pick up.

It was years ago to the very day that he’d lost his wife in a tornado. He would often talk to her out loud. Her ghost was always present. But, she wasn’t there on this day. She’d left him alone.

Out to the skies he saw a funnel cloud forming. She’s come to get me, he said. She’s come to take me with her, he picked up binoculars and looked on at the twister as a loud racket began to blow; no more silence.

The old man got in his truck and drove towards the tornado. With his head out the window, he hooted and hollered for salvation. I’m ready honey. Take me home, he yelled. Take me home.

He woke up in a ditch still in the old Ford outside of town. Patrol men came to see if he was OK. The old man just sat there shaking his head. She doesn’t want me. She never did.

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