after the tornado

PHOTO PROMPT -© Marie Gail Stratford

PROMPT -© Marie Gail Stratford

After the tornado, Henry didn’t know what to do.

He wandered through the remnants of his farm, pieces of his life blown across the fields.

“Burt Grady probably has my radio,” he thought. The Grady place was a good two miles down the road.

The fickle twister had lifted just before his fence line, then set again.

Right on top of his house. Down in the root cellar, Henry waited.

All he could think of as his world disintegrated above him, was “Toto, we aren’t in Kanas anymore.” {word count 88}

Written for Friday Fictioneers, May 15th, 2015.


29 thoughts on “after the tornado

  1. Priceless Joy May 16, 2015 / 7:20 pm

    I’ve been in the middle of a tornado down in the basement when my husband accidently shot himself and I had to drive him to the hospital in the middle of one (It hadn’t touched down yet). Very frightening! He almost bled to death, but we made it there in time. My son was born in the middle of one but fortunately that one didn’t do any damage. They are so frightening to be in the middle of as you have so well described in your story. Can’t help but think of the Wizard of Oz everytime you hear of one or experience one.


    • phylor May 16, 2015 / 10:55 pm

      Wow — driving your husband to the hospital would have been scary enough without the tornado! I just can’t imagine what it must do to simple things, let alone the more complex like birth and injury.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Priceless Joy May 16, 2015 / 11:09 pm

        It wasn’t easy. He was able to make it to the car and then passed out as soon as he got into the car. I was pregnant with our first child and would no way have been able to get him to the car. He had the gun laying on the step above him and he was sitting on the bottom step (to the basement) and our little puppy jumped up on the step, knocked the gun off the higher step to the lower step and the hammer was apparently broken because the gun went off into his side just barely missing his heart. The weather was horrotious! Got him to the hospital and he almost died from blood loss.


        • phylor May 16, 2015 / 11:19 pm

          You were very brave — the storm, all the blood, being pregnant with your first child. I just can’t imagine having to deal with all that, and the drive must have been so scary with your husband passed out and bleeding in the car!
          Glad you made it in time. One thing or the other would have been more than enough for me!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Priceless Joy May 16, 2015 / 11:24 pm

            Sometimes we don’t know our strength until we have been challenged. I had to be strong or he would have died. BTW, we are no longer married, but it has nothing to do with the gunshot.


    • phylor May 16, 2015 / 3:36 pm

      Losing everything within seconds must make people do what they must to keep from breaking down.


  2. gahlearner May 15, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    A great scene with realistic feeling. I love the character: in all the loss and devastation, a bit of humour remains.


    • phylor May 16, 2015 / 2:50 am

      I think that people who face such devastation need to have a sense of humour to help them get through — Glad you liked Henry.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. joseph elon lillie May 15, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    Terrifying and you can feel the weight of sorrow in the tornadoes wake. Well done!


    • phylor May 15, 2015 / 4:00 pm

      I watch the video of lives completely ripped apart in 2 to 5 seconds!
      The strength of the people, and the compassion of others are inspiring — even if it comes from tragedy.


  4. afairymind May 15, 2015 / 12:00 pm

    You capture the devastation of a tornado really well. Good story. :)


    • phylor May 15, 2015 / 4:01 pm

      Watching the wreckage of people’s homes and lives always makes me reach out to them and I admire the strength that those show. I don’t know if I could be as strong!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. McGuffy Ann May 15, 2015 / 8:22 am

    The reality of tornadoes is well conveyed here. I like this piece and wish for more.


    • phylor May 15, 2015 / 11:23 am

      I gather characters and sometimes they show up again as part of some story cycle. I think I’ll add Henry to that list.
      Glad you liked it.


    • phylor May 14, 2015 / 4:56 pm

      Me too! We were driving from the west coast to the east, and discovered ourselves in a tornado’s path. Didn’t get close enough to see, but it was one of the violent storms I’ve ridden out!


  6. phylor May 13, 2015 / 7:42 pm

    This should be below Patrick’s comment.

    Every time I see the images of tornado damage, I can hardly believe what I am seeing — as if a nuke went off!
    I’ve only be close to tornadoes twice — and that was enough for me.
    I don’t even know if you could get tornado insurance, or if crop, house, etc. would allow.


  7. Lorna's Voice May 13, 2015 / 6:07 pm

    Very realistic. I love the details you include. Great writing!


    • phylor May 13, 2015 / 7:39 pm

      Thanks, Lorna! When I started doing this writing prompt, I didn’t think I could tell a story in 100 words or less!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lorna's Voice May 14, 2015 / 10:47 am

        Me neither. I’m finding it surprisingly easy. Now let’s see if I can apply this to my real writing… ;)


  8. patrickprinsloo May 13, 2015 / 3:38 pm

    Your character certainly has it tough. What can people do in cases like this? Probably no insurance either.


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