I woke up feeling strange this morning.
The past few days I haven’t done much but sit on my ass in my room, smoking weed and waiting for something to happen. I had this strange sense that something was coming up in the horizon. This morning that feeling was stronger.
I usually wake up and gaze out the window, then roll over and go back to sleep for a few more hours. I tried this morning, but couldn’t drift away. Instead I pried myself out of bed and into the kitchen to cook breakfast. Everyone’s still asleep, with the exception of my father who is out on his Sunday walk.
Our family recently moved to Coffee Beach in Florida. We used to live in New Hampshire. Dad got transferred. I didn’t want to go. I don’t think any of us wanted to go, but Dad said the pay was better and we needed the extra money.
I hated leaving my friends up north, but was anxious to meet new people down south. My friend Rick moved down there the year before. His father works for the same company. I get along with most of Rick’s new friends in Florida. They refreshingly remind me of friends up north.
Mom loves the sunny weather. She always mentions how much better it is compared to the bitter cold winters of the north. Dad loves the beach. He finds solace in his Sunday morning walks. Phil loves it. He’s my younger brother. He made friends with some surfers with phenomenal pot.
I make my normal breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast and when I finish I go back to my room to roll a fatty. On the way I glance out the large glass slider window in the living room.
We have a beautiful view of the ocean. On a good morning a long path of gold sparkling water leads to the rising sun. Not this morning though. The horizon is dark, black, and gives me goosebumps. Boats skitter across the white-capped ocean surface and I hope they get home before the storm hits.
I’m lost in the dreary haze of the gloomy horizon. It’s not raining yet, but it will soon—and when it rains it’ll rain hard. Dad’s going to have to cut his walk short today.
I get to my room and close the door behind me, sit at my desk and pull a bag of grass and a pack of zig-zags from my pocket, and roll up a nice one and huff that puppy down.
Now I have a severe case of cottonmouth, so I go to the kitchen to get a drink. The living room window catches my eye again on the way to the kitchen. The sky looks angry.
Droplets of rain patter against the large pane on the slider door leading to the porch. Palm trees sway violently back and forth like synchronized hula dancers on meth. The surf crashes against the shore and the swells grow to terrifying heights. The boats, now under the ocean’s control, tossed around like plastic toys in a bathtub. A bolt of lightning illuminates the black sky and explodes into the water, followed by several more piercing bolts and booms. Dark clouds swirl violently overhead and swoop closer and closer to the ocean’s surface. A vicious inky funnel forms and touches the water near an approaching boat. The cyclone cuts towards the boat and sweeps through it. The boat vanishes in the midst of the twister, and a fireball protrudes from it while bits of boat debris fall to the ruffling teal blanket below. A second tornado touches down. The two twisters waltz around each other and violently turn in my direction.
I don’t know what to do. I try to scream but all that comes out is a pathetic squeak.
The wind has really picked up now. The waves grow higher as the twin tunnels hit shore.
Mom walks into the living room, her eyes still droopy and half asleep. “Sounds pretty crazy out there,” she says lazily, “the wind woke me up.”
I still can’t talk. I’m paralyzed with fear, watching the dual monstrosities rip towards our house.
Mom looks out the window. “Oh my god…”
Phil bursts out of his room. “Holy shit! We gotta get outa here! What are you guys doing just standing there?!”
The tornados have doubled in size. Beach sand blends with the dark funnels. Deep trenches lay in it’s warpath. The slider door is shakes, and will probably fall off any minute.
“There’s nothing we can do,” I say. Our rooms are on the second floor of the house, so by the time we get downstairs and out the door our house will be nothing but a pile of rubble and sand.
Phil says “we gotta do something!”
The wind howls around us like flying swarms of tortured ghosts.
“Quick,” Mom screamed, “stand in your doorways.”
I’ve heard this precautionary method before and know it doesn’t guarantee safety, but at this point any act is better than simply accepting my doom, even if the act is one of complete desperation.
Standing in the doorway, I can see Mom and Phil. Tears trickle down Mom’s face. I can feel tears on my cheek as well. Phil looks different. Not afraid, not even sad. He looks angry. His eyes beam ahead of him, his face flushed a dark red.
The howling wind grows louder by the second. I close my eyes and hope for the best.
The howling stops. The hallway is silent. Nobody moves. Am I dead?
Finally Mom breaks the silence by crying. Tears leak out her eyes. Phil’s face still looks like a ripe tomato, but his lips aren’t as tight and the fire in his eyes has extinguished, replaced by awe and mild confusion. I expected the end and was coming to terms with my death. We’re still here. But where’s Dad?