Shifting to reverse, Lucy stamped her foot on the gas pedal but the truck wouldn’t budge. She tried again but still, all she could hear were the moaning and grinding coming from the truck’s engine. “Damn it!” She shrieked, pounded on the steering wheel, and peeked into the rear-view mirror.
Across the road, about five miles from Lucy’s location, a dark funnel cloud spun counter-clockwise, sucking up everything in its path and spitting it out when it’s through.
Lucy tried again, determined to get the truck out of the ditch and back onto the road. Ten minutes ago, Lucy was driving home from school, feeling excited and giddy. This morning, before she headed to school, her mother said, “Don’t be late home. We have a surprise for you.”
“What kind of surprise?” Lucy asked curiously.
Her father smiled and kissed her mother on the cheek, “You’ll see when you get home, Lucy. Now, don’t you have somewhere to be?” Immediately, Lucy slipped off the bar stool and headed for the garage, overwhelmed with the sense of curiosity.
During her classes, Lucy wondered and day-dreamed about the surprise. Another baby? A new car? Oh no, what if the surprise is that we’re moving? Lucy thought with fright. If it’s moving, she would refuse. She wasn’t about to spend the last semester of her senior year in a new school. She wasn’t about to start all over when there were only a few months left. Dreadful thoughts filled her mind and almost swallowed her. In fact, it was when she lost control of the truck that she finally snapped out of her thoughts.
Now, she stood at the side of the road, staring frantically at the funnel cloud hurling toward her. She wanted to run but couldn’t find the strength in her legs to move. It’s no use anyway, she thought, I’d never outrun a tornado. So she stood, watching helplessly as the tornado tore across the field.
Then something happened. It was as though something was fighting the tornado. Tornado was spinning both counter-clockwise and clockwise like a machine malfunctioning and on the verge of a collapse. As it spun, it spat debris across the field. Tin that was once a roof, wrangled metals from cars, and even plastic bottles flew from the cloud so fast that Lucy had to duck but as she lie there on the grass, she watched the tornado dissipate and seconds later, the sun came out and birds began chirping like nothing had happened.