Yesterday and Today

PHOTO PROMPT © Fatima Fakier Deria

Yesterday, the calm of a busy harbor marina. Smooth, blue water. Small boats, big ships, Industry, pleasure, business and play all unaware that a change was coming.

Today:  The air, still calm, doesn’t give fair warning.  In fact, there was very little warning of any kind. Only those who happened to be looking out to sea noticed a strange new line of darker blue on the horizon, growing higher and moving faster as it rolled toward their peaceful bay.

So terrifying,  so relentless.  So careless of anything in its path.

And afterward? Calm, and sorrow.

I Love Clouds


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.


I love clouds. Always have. They’re beautiful.  They provide shade.  They provide life-giving rain. They provide entertainment for people who like to see pictures in the sky. They provide snow, which provides nitrogen to enrich the soil.

Sometimes clouds are scary.  Thunderheads can mean a rainstorm, or a tornado. They are accompanied, often, by high winds, thunder, and lightning.  It’s probably a good idea to stay near shelter when these guys come roaring through the neighborhood.

Growing up in Minnesota farm country, I had a fascination and a healthy respect for hail storms. The clouds would turn an ugly green/yellow, and you knew there was trouble.

Wizard of Oz, anyone?  Those funnels are nothing to play around with. The noise really is like an old-fashioned freight train bearing down on you. The winds are immense, and if you’re smart you go find a shelter until things settle down. I just want to emphasize here that this really is what it looks like.  Chilled a farmer’s heart, for sure, knowing he could lose all his crops in a matter of minutes.  The colors here are not exaggerated.  It’s eerie.

I remember one time when a couple of tornadoes traveling in tandem ripped through St. James lake, dividing it like Moses lifting his rod over the Red Sea.  Of course, the water flowed right back as the twisters danced through, but people who saw it were pretty amazed. I remember hearing that the funnels left what looked like plowed furrows in the ground as they made their approach.

Here’s an amazing picture:  A super cell storm cloud forming over Wyoming.

While my heart and soul respond to these storms with awe and excitement, I’m also keenly aware of the damage and heartbreak they can create.  People die.  There’s nothing exciting about that.

I think it’s just the amazing power they create that holds my attention and draws me to pictures and videos.  I have a grandson who loves storms, and he lives out in the Midwestern prairies where there’s plenty of storm activity during tornado season.  I get it, why he’s so interested.


Fright Night

What’s the thing you’re most scared to do? What would it take to get you to do it?


Ella’s heart pounded so hard it felt as if it would burst out of her chest. Cold sweat beaded her forehead, the palms of her hands, and the back of her neck. Never, ever had she expected to have to face this situation, but here she was–and no one else was there to take her place.

Her eyes were fixed on two things that were much to close together. One was her three-year-old granddaughter. The other was the hideous, hissing thing coiled in the corner.  Not yet rattling it’s tail or rearing to strike, she knew that could happen in a flash.

She quietly called to her mop-headed granddaughter. “Eva, hush. Take one step backward. Follow my voice.  Do not turn around.  Do not run.  Good girl.  Ok, now one more step backward.  Good.  Quietly, Sweetheart.  One more step.  You’re almost here, Honey.  Slow, quiet.  One more step–okay, I have you!”

Shuddering with relief, Ella pushed Eva behind her, facing the snake in the corner with such fear and loathing that she thought she would faint. She couldn’t, though.  If she did, it would be over for both her and her sweet granddaughter.

She began the slow backing up process, pushing Eva with one hand and reaching for the door with the other.  She knew she was close, but the monster in the corner would come so fast that it wouldn’t matter if they were only one step away from the door.  They’d still be in striking range.

“Gramma, I bumped the door!” squeaked Eva. Shivering, Ella reached for the knob, backed herself and Ella through the door, and slammed the door shut behind her.

She turned, picked Eva up and held her so close the child could hardly get a breath. Leaning back against the door, she worked at gathering up her strength to get out of the house and go for help.

The slithering sound raised the hairs on the back of her neck, and she was suddenly spurred by a rush of adrenaline that had her racing out the front door and down the lane.  “Not bad for an old lady,” she thought.

She was hollering her neighbor’s name as she climbed the steps.  Sue came to the door, looking concerned when she saw Ella carrying Eva.

“Is she hurt?”  Sue asked.

“No, but there’s a rattler in the house. Please.  Call someone.  I can’t go back in there!”

“Well, shoot, Honey.  Just let me grab my pistol and we’ll take care of that nasty thing.”

And she did.