It all started with a great shaking and tossing of our house. I was walking in the hall of our little trailer when I realized that what was wrong. We’d been picked up by a tornadoe. I thought of Michael and Jason but could only crouch in the hall and cover my neck and head for I could no longer move.
When it was all over, I thought we’d been set down gently, we were never put upside down. I was outside before I knew what I was doing, running toward a fast (50mph?) backroad (two lanes) and flagging down cars. My intention was to get help for my family. I finally got a car to stop and the passenger opens her door and gets out. The driver is on my side but facing toward the wrong direction of traffic, pulled mostly off the the shoulder of the road. She opens her door and I discover that it is Becky (One of my fiancé’s minister/mentors and a friend of mine). I start to think how odd that is until she speaks.
“What happened Miss?” Becky looks up and her face falls from a smile to worried lines.
“A tornadoe, Michael and Jason are back there!” I pant, pointing back toward our trailer. “It picked us up and…” I shake my head, “I don’t know what happened after that. I had to get help, I don’t know how they are…” I turn then to run back and check the debris for my son and fiancé but something stops me. I’d venture to say that Becky grabbed my arm and told me we had to go now because another tornadoe was heading toward us, we could see it on the horizon. I do know I was forced into the car when I really wanted to make sure if Michael was alright.
Perhaps the car broke down, but as suddenly as we were in the car, we were running alongside the road, in the opposite direction from my family and the tornadoes. Until we looked in front of us and saw that more were on that side of the road, and huge one in the sky, nice fat, and white, it had not yet touched down, it was labled with a word that began with a “U” that meant it was the “Big One” the ultimate tornadoe. Perhaps Ultima, perhaps even Union, I do believe the word was not bigger than that.
We steered to shoot down the middle of them, alongside the road, I was the last, bringing up the end. Once I was brushed by a tornadoe but it did not pick me up. Another time a black windy one grew arms that clutched at me and almost got me more than a few times but I was able to outdistance it.
Then I was in a building without a basement, so they said, and I was on the ground floor, myself, and a pack of others were running through the building trying to find the safest place. We bypassed a bathroom in search of something better and reached the stairwell, a fancy, beautiful stairwell that went in all direction, including down. “Down!” I said, pointing. In case of a tornadoe, the closer, or deeper into the ground, the better is my philosophy. We went down, ran a bottom floor again until I found another stairwell leading down. We took those stairs as well.
The enviroment we were in then, I cannot not tell. It was still a building, but split in the middle of two platforms and made of metal. To continue, we had to get to the other platform across a drop with no visible end, unless you hit a couple of crisscrossing beams on the way down. Two good-looking guys crossed, no older than 22. The first stood by the doorway (with no door), waiting for the rest of us, while the second stood at the other end of mouth of the platforms (the platforms were edged with railings except in two spots, across from each other, that were open and two feet wide.
These two guys were helping me lead the rest to safety, but they had me jump across next. For some reason though, I knew they meant me ill, and as soon as the one across from me, caught my hand, he would let it go, effectively disposing of me. He was the one I’d grown close to during this time, as though we’d always been together. But suddenly, I didn’t trust him, I didn’t trust anybody. I looked down at the endless drop. I looked across, at the five foot jump, and then I looked up and spied a network of bars above me.
I leapt then, and grabbed the bar just above me. From there, I Spidermanned my way from bar to bar to land on my feet in front of the guy by the door. Then they were after me, the whole mob, I can’t tell you why but I remember having to flee from everyone by bars. I think I went down, bar by bar, beam by beam, twisting and trapezing away faster than I aught to be able to.
And quick as that I was with my step mom and father, in a cozy corner, talking and opening presents. This didn’t last long, perhaps it was only a glimpse of my old life.
For now, I discover myself travelling with a few others, in search of someone related to Carol, my step mom, to gift my horse and sword to. I feel I must give up what I thought was my destiny, to someone who is already being taught what I wish to learn. I can’t teach myself after all can I? The first one denies any relation to Carol, and turns down the horse and sword.
We are travelling again, by car it seems but we all have horses. Soon we stop again and the boy in question meets my envoy (not his title but that was his job) at the gates. He is Sienna-skinned with a mop of curly brown, ratty hair. He sits atop his own horse, his own sword in hand. I see him shake his head and look at me. Our eyes are locked as my envoy starts back. I look down at my light, highly valuable sword, probably more valuable than his horse and sword put together. I sit atop my horse, not knowing how to ride her properly, but knowing she too, is worth more than his.
“He says he is not related to the person in question, and even if he were, he has no need of your charity.” The last word held an air of contempt. “He has his own sword and steed.”
I nod my head and look down at the ground. We, myself and the two elder adults beside me (They seem like they are my Dad and Carol–though that’s confusing to my waking mind), must ride to the next person. The two beside me won’t like that I ride, I don’t know how, I’ve never been taught. I set my mind on being overly cautious and assuring them that I will do so, they needn’t worry. So we ride a dark road, the farther we get, the more apprehensive I become, like I’m being followed, stalked. Our turn comes into view and I see a shadow darker than the rest, waiting. This is where we were to stop, but I know I cannot stop here, and I know my parents will not listen. So, not knowing how to ride, I spur my horse forward anyway, by a simple turn on the reigns to keep her straight and a whisper in her ear that I don’t quite remember. She obeys and we run off, down the road, away from my parents and the shadow.
The Shadow takes off behind me, my parents left behind. I stare at the ground, through the snow (another reason my parents didn’t want me to ride) and see the reflection of the sky from the ground. Two shadows are cast there, one of a rider on a horse (me) and the other of a witch on a broomstick (the shadow). We are riding/flying side by side. I realize that won’t do.
“Faster.” I whipser to my steed. She speeds up but not enough, realizing I must do the rest, I lean forward, and low to her back, attempting to make myself position into what I’ve seen jockeys do. It works and my little gelding speeds off and away, the shadow left behind. We ride like that, and I grin, seeing that I can do it afterall.
Soon we stop, my steed and sword have melted away, as though they were merely a dream and I find myself wandering an arcade, hearing a word whispered behind me, wherever I go. A word that fails my memory. I get out a piece of bubblegum and eat it, and take three more, planning to buy all at the counter when I’m done. I climb the mountain of bubblegum balls, trying to get away but end up coming back down anyway and going to the counter. On my way there, I spit out the gum in my mouth, seeing if I can claim that I was only buying what’s in my hand. There is more gum in my mouth though, gum that somehow avoided getting spit out.
“You have one more to buy.” The clerk references the number in my hands.
“I know,” I say, and show him the gum in my mouth.
He frowns, disgruntled, and I approach the counter. He is no longer there, in his place is a lady behind a window with a slot in it.
“You can’t get away from it,” she says.
I look at her puzzled. She looks around at all the people whispering behind me, saying a word I do not recognize.
“You are a monk. That is what they whisper.”
I shake my head, picturing what I was told. I am a child in front of her, pigtails and all, with a vision of my future self summoning glowing force in my hands to fight off my enemies, untopped in fighting skills, and a hero, as well as outsider to all. I deny this and I wake up.