19 September 2007

The Storm (part 2)

A single spec of dust floated on the breeze. It didn't know where it had originated, for it had had been in too many places. It had traversed the globe more than the most well-travelled of human beings could imagine. There was no end in sight, because it was just a spec of dust. It would one day fall to the earth, only to be swept up again on the breeze and carried through the atmosphere to another destination.

And so it was with an innumerable host of dust particles. To them, the storm was simply a part of their life cycle. The moisture in the air would begin to condense on them, clouds would form, and eventually they would fall to the ground in raindrops.

To Ryan and Zack, the storm was something entirely different. They had spent the night in the small cabin, waiting on the storm. The wind had increased in ferocity during the night, and more and more water was beginning to precipitate from the skies. The lightening and thunder had continually awoken them during the night, so that they both felt rather unrested that morning.

"Wow, it's really starting to come down," said Ryan with a bit of worry in his voice.

"Yeah, but this is probably as bad as it's going to get. It was only supposed to last through tomorrow, so we are probably seeing the tail end of it. Aren't you glad we stayed?"

Ryan thought about this for a moment and replied, "Yeah, but I do have to admit that I'm a little disappointed in the storm. It's had strong winds, and that lightening show last night was pretty amazing, but it just hasn't been as awe-inspiring as a good desert thunderstorm."

"Well, now you know. It wasn't as great as you thought it would be, but at least we didn't have to worry about finding a place to evacuate to. I've enjoyed just being lazy here in the cabin."

They passed the day with occasional conversation, books, board games and periodic naps - along with infrequent glances out the window at the storm.

As the day passed the winds grew stronger. They grew at such a slow pace that it was hardly noticable to Ryan and Zack. Their ears became dulled to the sound outside as it gradually increased in level. The thunderclaps seemed to increse too, but they thought nothing of it. What they didn't realize was that many of what they thought were thunderclaps were not preceded by a lightening strike. They were, in fact, great tree branches failing under the strain of the ever-increasing winds.

Ryan was staring intently at the pages of a very uninteresting book that he was determined to finish on this trip. While the typeface was swimming around on the page in front of him as he struggled to retain consciousness, he caught a flash of something through the window.

"What was that?" he asked to Zack as he put down the book and stood up and gazed out of the window.

"What was what?"

"I thought I just saw something outside of the window." He moved towards the window.

"Like what?"

"I don't know. I just got a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye while I was reading." He reached the window and gazed outside. "Wow, come take a look at this!"

Zack got up off of the couch and walked over to the window. He looked out to the same sight that Ryan saw. It was chaos. Many large trees had fallen - several onto the abandoned homes of the local town residents. The irrigation ditches running along the road were swelled and spilling out into the streets. They watched another tree felled by the great gusts of wind from the approaching storm. It fell onto the lone power pole that was distributing electricity to the surrounding cabins. They saw a bright explosion and then the electricity went out.

The storm pressed on.

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