A Storm is Coming

A Storm is ComingThis story won third prize atĀ The Cult of MeĀ August 2013 Short Fiction contest

Wind whipped through the grass at the base of the old shack. It played with each strand like tuning an orchestral throng before mixing with the clouds in a cacophonous storm. Greys covered the fading blue, the wind pushing them toward their destination. Corrugated tin popped out from old wooden beams like the patchwork of an amateur’s quilt.

“A storm is coming,” came the warning from above, but the field was not listening. The neighbouring blades of brown-tipped green screeched against each other with laughter as the wind took up their song. They gossiped with each other, excited at the prospective clouds. The wind carried their words to the old shack.

“A storm is coming.” The words were gossiped from sky to field to lonely shack, but it gave no reply. The old piece of shelter stood erect, defying the would-be danger. The wind buffeted the siding, rippling between steel sheets and wooden posts. Rubber-sealed nails began to lift from their homes on the ridges. Rusty nails creaked against the decrepit construction like being dragged against a board meant for chalk.

“A storm is coming.” The wind spoke louder now, desperately pleading with the building. It blasted through windows on either side, crashing against the rafters above. Loose shingles spilled onto the ground, and the grass from beneath it laughed.

“A storm is coming!” The blades cheered, twisting around the asphalt coated plates, consuming them with glee. God’s voice shook the field in a thunderous clap, but the shack remained mute against the assault.

“A storm is coming.” The wind swirled faster and faster around the little hut, attempting to raise it from poor foundations into the air. It repeated the words with each revolution, tempting its victim to give in. A length of tin sputtered into the air, screaming in pain as it mixed with the impending storm before joining its shingle-brothers.

“A storm is coming.” The building was shaking now, like a child beneath his covers: those covers being ripped off one at a time. The monsters of the sky loomed low, hands clutching at the frame, sending nails flying, tin shrieking, boards creaking. Snapping. Falling. The wind gathered for a final assault. The shack breathed out a cry. First. Final. Never before had a voice sounded so lonely, in that mighty field.

“A storm is coming…” Tears fell from the sky and trickled down the building’s cheeks, working between the slats of tin, landing in a pool on the ground. The grass reached up to claim its prize. The building acquiesced to fate. The wind joined with the clouds and released a final sigh at the shack… the field… the world.

A bolt of lightning shot from the mouth of God, blasting a hole through broken tin, crushed timber, and grass left askew. That field of green gossiped a new and final message as orange flames licked from blade to blade. Their warning travelled the expanse, but not fast enough. “A storm is coming.”

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