Lily walked quickly home. Cold rain dropped tauntingly down her neck, back, and inside her shirt. It sent chills throughout her. Her long brown hair was soaked and her thick braid was coming undone. Her soft face was smeared with black from the mascara that streamed from her eyes, down her cheeks, and over her rosy lips. She looked up into the sky- dark and greenish. Could it be a phenomenon caused by hail? Just then, there was a flash of lightning, and for a moment she could see everything that
Lily walked quickly home. Cold rain dropped tauntingly down her neck, back, and inside her shirt. It sent chills throughout her. Her long brown hair was soaked and her thick braid was coming undone. Her soft face was smeared with black from the mascara that streamed from her eyes, down her cheeks, and over her rosy lips. She looked up into the sky- dark and greenish. Could it be a phenomenon caused by hail? Just then, there was a flash of lightning, and for a moment she could see everything that surrounded her in the pitch black night. The familiar trees, cars, and houses, in her neighborhood, all seemed forbidding in this light. The lightning was immediately followed by a crash of thunder that was so loud it shook the earth beneath her feet, and seemed to roll on forever. Lily frowned as she began to rethink whether it was a wall cloud. Maybe she should run.
"Where is that girl?" Eric mumbled to himself as he paced the room. "She said she was going to be home half an hour ago. Can't she ever be anywhere on time? If she would have just let me give her a ride, I would not have to worry like this." He turned on the television and lit a cigarette, which almost immediately fell from his lips to the floor.
"A tornado warning has just been issued for Greene County," the reporter announced. "I repeat: a tornado warning has just been issued for Greene County. Everyone in Greene County should seek shelter immediately. A basement is the safest place to go. If you do not have a basement, go to an interior room such as a closet or a bathroom. Stay away from windows and outside walls. Again a tornado warning has just been issued for Greene County."
"Damn, where is that girl?"
Lily heard a deep rumbling first, which was immediately followed by sirens. The rumbling started out softly, and crescendoed quickly until it was a deafening roar. The ground vibrated. A wave of panic flooded her and forced her to pick up her speed. She leaped over bushes, dodged limbs, and fought the needle like rain as she cut through her neighbor's yards desperately trying to make it home.
Eric ignored the reporter and stood in the window searching frantically for his girlfriend. The windows began to vibrate and he heard the great roar of the storm.
"Come on Lily! Where are you?"
Eric squinted. Something was coming towards him. Lightning flashed.
"Lily!" He threw the door open. "Come on! Hurry!"
She ran as fast as she could, and then collapsed into his waiting arms.
"Thank God!" he exclaimed as he pulled her in the house. There was a flash of lightning, as he went to slam the door, and he froze in place.
"Shut the door, Eric!" Lily screamed as she went to do it herself. There was another lightning strike and she froze as well. Her mouth dropped and her eyes grew huge. They could see it through the doorway!
It was a large twister, covering at least half a mile. The funnel was a chaotic swirling mass of black and brown and gray. It took another flash of lightning for them to realize that it was quickly coming their way. Eric snapped back to reality first. He shut the door and locked it.
"Come on!" he yelled grabbing her hand and running. They did not have a basement, so they headed for the guest bathroom, in the hall, of their one story house. "Get in the tub!" He pushed her in, shut the bathroom door, locked it, and climbed in quickly after her.
"It's almost here! I'm scared!" Lily screamed as Eric pushed her down onto her stomach so that she was laying flat in the oversized tub.
"Me too!" he yelled as he laid flat on top of her and wrapped his arms around her head. He was trying desperately to protect her. "It will be O.K. Lily. Don't worry it will all be over" The roar of the storm ate his words.
The whole house began to shake. Lily thought that this must be what an earthquake feels like, but somehow she felt that this was worse. The only sounds they could hear, other than the roar, were the sounds of glass breaking throughout their little house. The shaking grew stronger and things were falling all around them. The mirror fell off of the wall, and a few shards of broken glass pierced Eric in the back of the neck and on his legs. The shower curtain fell, and the rod hit him in the head.
The smell of the storm flooded the little bathroom, like putting a hose in an anthill. It was the smell of everything in the world mixed together, and it burned their nostrils. Neither of them had ever smelled anything like it. It was sickeningly sweet, and putrid. It consumed them, nauseated them, and made their heads spin.
The roof shook so violently that it was now the dominant noise. A great tearing sound filled the house and half of the bathroom roof flew off. Rain stung their arms and legs. The flag off of somebody's mailbox flew in and sliced the back of Eric's head. He moved his arm from around Lily's head, and grabbed his own from reflex. Something flew in and cut the side of her face.
There was a loud snap, which sounded like a bone breaking, and the wall that contained the bathroom door began falling towards them. Eric and Lily screamed as the wall crashed into the wall of the bathtub. It crumbled around them, except for the door. The door created a barrier over them, and helped to protect them from the stabbing rain.
There were a few more crashes before the roar began to slowly fade away. The couple stayed in the tub for a few minutes after it had passed. They were afraid to move.
"Eric, are you alright?" Lily asked with a shaky voice.
"I'm O.K. Are you O.K.?"
"I think so."
They sat up and embraced. Lily closed her eyes. "I'm scared to see anymore, she said. "What will we do?"
Eric wiped the tears from Lily's face. She opened her eyes and he gave her his bravest smile before standing and pushing the door aside. They looked around. Nothing was left except for a few walls, the piece of roof that covered them, and the bathtub. It was a miracle that they were alive. The sounds of sirens getting closer meant that help would soon be there.
"Everything will be alright, Lily. You'll see. Everything will be alright.”