"Tornado Narrative"

written by dan

Good day/night to you all! This was a simple narrative essay done for my english class. Please enjoy!


'tornado narrative'


It was dark out, which made sense considering it was just past nine. Every once in a while the ABC channel 3 Weatherman on the television screen would flicker along with the lamp on the end-desk when the electricity would attempt mutiny. Lightning flashed every 30 seconds, with the pattering of rain filling the seconds between thunder rolls. It had been overcast all day with tornado warnings stringing from Jackson, Mississippi to Wetumpka, Alabama. There was a warning out for the county next to our own, and everyone was up in the living room, me with my algebra homework, watching the storm outside. No one was even remotely nervous. It was the middle of February, and there'd been warnings nearly every day for the past week and a half. It was just like every other year, and how it would be in years to come. There was no reason to be worried. After all, it wasn't like anything ever happened. We always had tornado warnings around this time. Besides, it was fun to watch funnels appear and then dissolve back into the swirling sky.

Then a ribbon of red started to scroll on the bottom of the screen. "The National Weather Station in Atlanta, Georgia has issued a tornado warning in the following counties..." Seconds later, the tornado siren on the hill started to wail. "A tornado warning has been issued for Calhoun County until 11:30 pm," it said in a monotone voice that echoed and mingled with the other sirens miles away. With an almost casual air, some pillows and blankets were grabbed and put with my younger siblings, Patrick and Kevin, in the closet under the stairwell, with Gameboys to keep them busy. While Dad was stationed in front of the radar, Mom and I walked out onto the covered "balcony" to watch the storm. Numerous possible funnels were seen, but nothing with any substance. The sirens went off again in the dark, and then we saw it when lightning flashed in the distance. Across the road, in what must have been 20 miles or so to the northwest, I could see a dark shape. Mom and I stood, leaning against the railing and watched it as the form slowly made its way over the mountain and soon disappeared behind the national forest. It was calm; there was barely a breeze, and an occasional thunder roll from the east, sirens coming from Heflin, and the TV downstairs were the only sounds to be heard. After a few bright sparks from the direction the tornado had gone, the wind picked back up. After thirty minutes, the lightening stopped completely and the sky cleared.

"The storm's past us now." Dad called from downstairs. With the excitement over, everyone was soon in bed asleep.

The next morning carried on as always, a hurried rush to get a pop-tart at least half-eaten, clothes thrown on with teeth and hair brushed in twenty minutes before being pushed out the door with book bags and a "Have a good day!" We, Patrick, Kevin and myself, stood at the end of our driveway to wait for the school bus. After about ten minutes, we started getting a little antsy, hoping we hadn't missed the bus for whatever reason. It had happened before, especially when there was a "sub"-bus driver. Finally, once twenty minutes had passed, Kevin was elected by unanimous vote to go inside to receive an updated set of instructions.

We drove towards the school in Mom's SUV. Despite the storm's ferocity, it didn't seem to have left any sort of lasting damage. Leaves littered the road, and some good-sized branches laid on some yards and farms. The drive to the school was relatively uneventful, excluding a mad rush to finish algebra homework in the back seat without getting caught... Regardless, after twenty minutes, we pulled into the school parking lot, only to be hailed by Coach Chandler, the science teacher and football coach.

"There's no school today! There was a tornado last night." He motioned behind him. That's when I noticed the trees. A good portion of them were down, as were parts of the roofing from the Greenhouse and Home Economics Department. With us kids staring out the windows like tourists, Mom thanked him and made her way out the parking lot, back the way we had come. Just as we were nearly to the main highway (the school had its own side-street), Mom turned right, saying we'd go get a 'real breakfast' at The Wagon Wheel, the only real restaurant within a thirty-minute drive. We had barely passed the school with its pink roofing insulation scattered about and trees leaning or fallen every which way, when we saw flashing lights ahead. Two police cars and an ambulance sat in the middle of the road. Beyond them was part of a roof, which lay topsy-turvy on the right lane.

As we got closer, felled trees dotted here and there while parts of houses littered yards and glass and metal glinted eerily on the blacktop. Tarps were already set out on the homes with roof-damage to keep out the morning damp. To the right, where once stood a large set of greenhouses and national forest was a mangled wreckage of tree and plastic, seamlessly interlaced within each other. Further on a set of flashing red and white lights set the remains of a mobile home, framed on one side by the twisted sheetmetal from a nearby barn, and more pine trees on the other.

That next day, we ended up having school, with the Home Ec. and Agriculture departments holding classes in the old gym. Several classmates weren't at school, but, for the most part, life went on as it normally did. That night, there was a sudden rash of storms sliding northwards. By five, we already had a tornado watch set until midnight, and a warning was soon in effect by seven. It was fun standing on the balcony, watching 'would-be' tornadoes live and die in front of you, and later squinting when the lightening exploded to see if that was really a tornado or just a tree you hadn't noticed before.


Thus, a simple story... I would appreciate any reviews, but since this story is a simple one-shot deal, I suppose reviews aren't really necessary, hmm? In either case, thank you for reading. (low bow)

yours sincerely,

dan