Terror in the Sky
As she glanced out the window, her inner voice screamed, “Run, don’t look back!” Her heart raced in terror as she scrambled to reach the front door. It would not open! She tugged with all the strength a twelve-year-old could muster and realized her attempts were futile. Trembling, she sped around the corner to the stairs. The steep, narrow steps that vanished into darkness were inviting to her now. The cold dank air that wafted from below made her nauseous, but she knew she had to make the descent to safety quickly.
As she reached the second step, she turned suddenly. Where was Buster? Through the howling wind, she heard a faint sound outside! Her inner voice screamed again, “Keep going.” But instinctively she knew she had to turn around. She listened again and realized it was a yelping sound.
She ran to the window once again and glimpsed the horror outdoors. What seemed an eternity was only seconds, but every move she made would decide her fate. With thoughts racing, she swallowed hard realizing her only way out was through the living room window. Swiftly, she moved the coffee table under the window and then squeezed her trembling body through the opening, all the while hollering for her buddy to come to her. Alarmed, she realized he could not move. His leash was so tightly twisted around the fence post, that one more move would be his last.
Falling to the ground, she clawed her way to her little beagle buddy, praying every inch of the way that he would not move.
Clouds that hung menacingly over the flat terrain darkened the mid-afternoon sky. The wind spun with such ferocity that everything in its path was tossed into obscurity. Palm trees yielded to the ravages of its intense, swirling fury. Flashes of light forked all around and the ground shuddered as they made impact.
For a fleeting moment, she recalled waking to a sun-filled Florida day with warm breezes wafting over the nearby lake and birds chirping happily in the thicket of cypress trees. Her thoughts of horseback riding, swimming and playing with her best buddy on this beautiful morning, quickly vanished as she returned to reality and the challenge she now faced.
Hurriedly, she crept to Buster’s side. Lunging for his leash, she unclipped it from the post and held his soaked, shivering body next to hers. As they huddled together, she quickly determined the next step to safety.
Breathless, she put Buster down, grasped his collar, and began pulling him toward the house with the hope he would follow. He stood his ground and refused to take another step. She knew she could not carry him the distance to the house. The wind was unforgiving as it teased the shingles from the rooftop and shredded the once fresh laundry from the clothesline. Her attempts to stay focused were interrupted by the unmistakable rumble nearby.
If only she could make it to the house, but it was too far! Searching feverishly, she saw the hollowed trench just yards away from her. Clutching Buster tightly, she scrambled to her feet and hurled them both into the soggy, seemingly bottomless trench that before now had been a treacherous hazard for those who traversed too close.
The wind grew stronger, torrential rain pelted them both into the ground, but they clung to each other and waited for the monster to move. In what seemed to be a never-ending torment suddenly ceased. All was quiet now. The sky cleared to an azure blue and the sun shone brightly warming the ground beneath them.
Gasping in disbelief, she surveyed the littered landscape only to discover that her one thought of refuge had been literally lifted from its foundation. Stumbling from her safe haven with Buster by her side, she shuddered in desperation. Everything had been lost.
Thankful that both had been spared from the wrath of Mother Nature, she turned to Buster and hugged him tightly as he blithely washed her muddy, freckled face.
As they slowly journeyed to take a closer look, she saw a familiar pickup truck racing down the once dusty roadway. Her heart swelled as it neared, for now, she knew things would be okay.
The despair she saw in their eyes soon filled with elation. Bolting from their truck, they ran with outstretched arms across the once manicured yard to embrace her. Jubilation was rampant while tears of joy streamed down their faces as they gave thanks that she had been saved from the angry heavens. Never again, would they leave their daughter alone, even for a short errand.
Her inner voice now spoke to her softly, it no longer screamed in terror. “All was calm and she was safe now.” As they walked pensively back toward their vehicle, she found comfort in knowing that even with all that had been lost, a new beginning with mom, dad and best friend, Buster, was all that mattered.