storm chaser

You just laughed, and lightning struck.

She trails destruction behind her--everywhere she goes, a terrible storm. Fire and lightning and wind. I follow her on the news: hundreds missing, presumed dead. Millions in property damage. A way of life uprooted, or not even uprooted--ripped from the earth by impossible winds. Survivors give interviews. Octogenarians who've lived here their whole lives say they've never seen such destruction. Now everything's gone. What can they do? What can anyone do against something so senseless?

I used to know what that felt like, but I was thunderstruck, electrified, blown away. And then the storm was gone and I was left reeling under a clear sky, lightning flickering on the horizon. And what was there to do but follow? I didn't even pack.

She led me through storm-wracked lands, ancient trees torn down and strewn across the road, or split in two by terrible lightning, but I could only see the distant flickering light. But I was getting closer. I could hear the distant rumble of thunder, feel the howl of her gale. And the radio buzzes about the latest devastation, the forecaster saying where it will hit next, and then I realize it: tonight's the night.

I drive until she is all around me, and I can't hear for the blinding rain and the deafening thunder. And through the constant lightning I can see a massive funnel touching the ground, and even the rain is drowned out by that perfect roar. The sky turns green and she pelts me with hail, and I know it's headed right for me.

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