The Heart of the StormMature


On April Fifth, the student body of Rutherford High School
was flung into a blind panic as the sirens began to howl.

In the little town of Rutherford
in the middle of Kansas,
tornados were common, but when one threatened the high school, fear spread like
a disease throughout every person on the school grounds.

Maya found herself swept up in the crowd of students who
were racing for the exits. Teachers screamed above the ruckus to remain calm
and return to their classrooms, but had no effect on the wild animal instincts
that coursed through the stampeding herd of young adults.

The crowd pushed themselves against the high fence
surrounding the school.


“Max!” Maya cried as a hundred sweaty bodies pressed all
around her, wild fear in their eyes.


A hand grabbed hers and she was relieved to see it was Max.


“Come on,” He plowed through the crowd, pulling her
with him.


The wind whipped her hair into her eyes, slapping her face.

And then they saw it.

Someone began to scream.

The crowd departed, running hell for leather towards the


A large funnel of dust and debris was twisting drunkenly
above Lederman’s field, corn stalks ripped out of the ground, swirling into the
hungry maw of the storm.


Max and Maya ran with their hands clasped together, battling
the vortex that threatened to knock them off their feet.

Max’s fingers slipped from her hand.


“NO!” She whirled around to see him running for the gates.


“What are you doing?! MAX!”


Something was happening to the tornado. It had paused
outside the main gates and began to pulse a strange shade of crimson.

Lightning was laced through its swirling layers, striking
the ground like a whip.


Max shielded his face as the gates snapped open, banging
against the fence.


The vortex began to move towards him.

To Maya’s horror, Max held up his hands in surrender and
walked towards it.


“MAX!” She ran across the tarmac, her heart stuck tight in
her throat.


Max glanced over his shoulder, eyes growing wide when he saw

He put one foot in the tornado as Maya flung herself onto
his back.

They both fell forwards into the heart of the storm.




Maya opened her eyes. She blinked for a moment, adjusting to
the dim lighting around her. She was in some kind of basement. Scurrying sounds
came from all around as though the area was inhabited by rats.

She sat up, a chill running down her spine. Looking up, she
saw a small square hole in the ceiling covered by a few boards. Light streaked
down from the cracks between each one.

A deep sickening throaty noise echoed around the dank basement.

Maya jumped to her feet, peering into the darkness.


“Who’s there?!”


The noise occurred again.

A shape shifted in the darkness.


Maya let loose a blood curdling scream as a skeleton hand
reached out from the shadows.

Panic clouded her vision as she pressed herself against the
filthy wall.


The hand was followed by an arm, a ragged sleeve hanging
from it. The rest of the creature followed.

Using its left hand, it pulled itself into the light, the
right hand reaching for Maya.

It was a torso of a man, sliced in the middle, bones and
flesh trailing behind it. Its head was nothing more than a bone skull,
something foul leaking from an empty eye socket.


Maya screeched, her nails skittering against the brick wall.

The thing grabbed the edge of her miniskirt, tugging it

It cocked its head to one side, jaw opening as though


“It’s…a skirt,” She gasped.


A horrid croaking voice was emitted from the mouth, “Skiiiirrrttt….”


“Yep,” She nodded.


The thing made a purring noise and backed away slowly.

Maya felt herself begin to relax.


One of the boards fell to the sandy floor.


The creature hissed, pulling itself into the darkness.


“Wait! Come back…” She had started to warm towards the
strange zombie creature.




Maya looked up to see Max’s face peering down into the pit.


“Oh, thank God!” She cried.


“Here!” He threw down a rope, dangling it above her.


Maya clung to it like a drowning rat.

Max leaned back, using all his weight to haul her up.


He grabbed her arms and pulled her the rest of the way once
she was in reach.

She found herself wrapped up in his embrace, her head on his


“What the heck happened?” She whispered.


He shook his head, “It’s really hard to explain,”

The End

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