Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Green (10/22/09)
TITLE: Yucky Green Clouds
By Lollie Hofer
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"I know but I wish we would have stayed at your mom's house today and visit your sister tomorrow. There might be nasty weather tonight," Lorraine answered. "I don't like the looks of those clouds up ahead. They're weird."
"Look, Lorraine, we'll be fine. Why do you think there's a tornado in every cloud?" Mike said while reaching over and giving her red hair a playful tug. "I'm from this neck of the woods, remember? I wouldn't endanger you or the kids."
Lorraine shrugged while staring out the window at the ominous clouds. She had a funny feeling about their trip. Lorraine, Mike and their two children were headed to his sister's house, a two and half hour drive away. They planned on returning to his mom's house that evening.
Deciding to get her mind off the storm, Lorraine turned to the kids in the backseat of their Celica. "Okay, kids, let's play a game. Let's play 'What Am I Thinking Of?' Christy, you go first."
"I'm thinking of something green," a giggly six-year-old Christy said.
"Ah, that's easy," answered 9-year-old Mike, Jr. "It's our car, The Green Bomb. You always pick the same thing every time we play."
Christy clapped her hands, "Nope, that's not it."
Ten minutes later everyone had exhausted all their guesses. Finally, Christy yelled, "It's the yucky green clouds!"
"So much for getting my mind off the storm," Lorraine moaned. None too soon, they arrived at their destination.
The family had a delightful time with Gloria, Henry and the kids. It turned out to be a perfect day when the menacing clouds burned off and gave way to the sun. Once supper was over and the children played one more game of tag, it was time to leave. Toward nightfall the happy family piled back into the Celica.
"I need to get gas before we leave town," Mike said. "Once we get on the road there won't be much between here and my mom's house."
"Can we get some snacks for the road?" begged Christy. "Please, can I have some bug juice?"
At the gas station, Lorraine and the kids went inside while Mike filled the car. "Come on, hurry up and pick out your treats," ordered Lorraine. "You're taking too much time. I want to get to Grandma's house before midnight."
"Calm down, Lorraine," Mike said on entering the store. "We'll get there when we get there."
After getting gas, choosing snacks and Christy going potty twice, Lorraine was able to pile her family back into the car. "That took about ten minutes more than necessary," Lorraine grumped at her husband. "We're leaving later than I would have liked."
Within an hour the wind picked up speed tossing their little car about the road. Lorraine gripped the door handle until her knuckles were colorless. Suddenly, they were assaulted by a fierce storm, the rumblings of the thunder shaking the car. Leaning forward in her seat, Lorraine tried to peer out into the darkness. "Mike, I don't like this at all. The hairs on my arms are standing straight up."
Just then they were hit by hail large enough for them to feel the impact of the dents. Mike was able to pull over onto a lookout point, a popular spot for sightseers to take in the river below. Lorraine looked across the bluffs. "Uhm, Mike, I can see something flashing while it crosses the river."
Once the storm abated the family continued their journey. They knew something had happened when emergency crews began passing them with lights and sirens blaring. They had to finally stop because of a live wire lying across the road. Farmhouses on both sides of the road had been torn up by the tornado.
Mike rolled down his window to talk with a police officer. "This looks bad. How long ago did the tornado go through here?" he asked.
"About ten minutes ago. It was a wide one too, about a quarter of a mile. If you would have been here ten minutes sooner you wouldn't have been able to out run it, that's for sure."
Lorraine turned slowly to look at her husband, her eyes wide with fear but her heart full of gratitude to the Lord. Those extra ten minutes at the gas station saved their lives.
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