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This post is in response to the daily writing prompt at Today’s Author for September 17th 2013.

Today’s Prompt:

The dark clouds rolled in quickly, casting strange shadows across the landscape.

The sky carried the same eerie amber glow that most often accompanied a storm that promised more bite than bark. Thunder rumbled as the air grew colder, as the coal black clouds crept ever closer, and soon after that glowing sky went from near florescent, to near dark as night, even in what should have been the brightness of early afternoon. These were not ordinary rain clouds, they churned and seemed to boil as they passed over what seemed a low enough altitude for them to almost touch the earth at any moment.

Rarely had I stood underneath such a sky, even in the many years I have been here to weather the frequently stormy summers. My stomach seemed tied in knots as I stood at the window, fretting over starting the drive home, or waiting out the storm in the store where I was, in what could only be described as one nameless strip mall of many that dotted the landscape on that end of town.

A desire to run home, won out and left me bolting for the car as the wind picked up, and the rain began to fall, and dust and stray litter whipped across the parking lot, propelled by the gusts that whipped my hair and my clothes tight against me as I struggled to open the car door and close it behind me.

I turned the radio on and tuned it to a local station, which for that moment carried the annoyingly chipper advertisement for a local grocery chain having a special on ground beef and a certain brand of fabric softener. Traffic had slowed to a crawl halfway home as the rain and wind finally bore down in full force, visibility reduced to only a few car lengths ahead even with the wipers going as fast as they could manage.

The rain was coming down so heavily in fact that the street now looked like a small river a few inches deep, and water bubbled out of the storm drains and manhole covers, the rain falling far too quickly for the town’s antiquated sewer system to handle the sudden deluge. Thankfully my turnoff was leading me uphill, even if it meant going home by a slightly more out of the way route than I normally would have taken to avoid most of the other low lying areas. I could not, however, avoid the one last dip in the road at the end of my street, which proved to be also starting to flood as I crept through the intersection, hoping the car wouldn’t stall before I made it through.

My sigh of relief had been premature as I rounded the curve, only to find the big oak tree in Mrs. Hawkins front yard not merely blocking the street, but thoroughly crushing Mr. Daily’s up until then nice shiny new sports car. I couldn’t turn around and go back, without taking a chance with the flood, and now I couldn’t go forward. I’d debated just sitting in the car until the storm cleared, at that point, but the peal of the air raid siren, jolted me away from that prospect. There was nothing else to do at that point than to pull the car as far off the road as I could safely, and run the half a block still between me and home as fast as I could through the downpour. I’d grab clean dry clothes from the laundry room in the basement once I was in there and safe.

Did I mention I’m just a little afraid of storms?