A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 141: Hell Broke Loose

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

Contributing Muse: Tarasandia, 12 May 2021

Editor: nnpdad 19 May 2021


I had a good home but I left

I had a good home but I left, right, left

That big f•©king bomb made me deaf, deaf

Hell broke luce

Hell broke luce

-Tom Waits

The extreme calm should have been a warning. Both Aunty and I should have sniffed it out. We should have felt it, smelt it, heard it.

We didn’t at all, and then we did.

In later conversation, we were both astounded that it caught us by surprise, but it did, and hell descended from above.

The twister dropped directly onto the front gate and all of the windows in Marine House exploded at the same time, flying glass and other debris would account for most of our injuries that day.

The front gate and gatehouse simply disappeared. 200-pound stones were later found embedded in many buildings. They killed two of our party.

Then the twister ‘bounced,’ or maybe it ‘hopped’? I raced outside, into the madness, and looked up to watch it pass directly over us. I was struggling to stay upright in the wind. I watched as it took two more smaller hops in a field and then got down to business, fully disassembling the farmstead a quarter-mile away.

I raced for the stable, yelling for men the entire way. I could hear crying and screaming behind me as I saddled up quickly. Men were there and I ordered them to bring the mule team and tools. I yelled, “Get a buckboard, too.”

Then I raced off down the road with Brin and Amos close behind me. All I had was what was preloaded on my travel saddle: a hand axe, a rope, and a little water. A family of nine lived down there, with several farm hands. When we arrived, the place was simply flat. The only recognizable feature from the house was a lonely wingback chair standing in what must have been the parlor. The attic and roof were later found in a nearby field with two safe, but trapped, children in it. Tornadoes were funny that way.

I hit the ground at a sprint before I realized that something else was wrong. Amos tried to run past me with Madeleine close behind, when I grabbed his arm stopping him. I sniffed the air and then looked up

“Holy Shit!” was all I said, as I sprinted for my horse. I had barely dug into my blanket roll when the lightning struck all around. A moment later, while I frantically dug for my rain slicker, someone turned a fire hose on us. The impact of all that water was staggering and almost brought Amos to his knees. Visibility was ten feet at best.

I struggled a hat onto my head and pulled my slicker on. Amos and Madeleine were soaked and trying to shield their faces, so they could see and breathe. I sent them back to Marine House for rain gear. Then I looked for Brin; he was taking refuge under my horse. I led them both under the nearest standing tree and turned my attention back to the remnants of the house.

The clock was ticking and all this water wasn’t a good sign for anybody trapped. The driveway was already a river. Any crops in the field were doomed. Welcome to the heartland of America!

 
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