This post is part of the Absolute Write’s March Blog Chain, which was given the prompt: Rainy Days. Please see the links below the body of this post for the other blogs that contributed to this month’s chain.
The dog refused to go potty.
This was a problem as it was pouring rain, windy and cold.
Alex pulled up the collar of his jacket against the wind and gave a little tug on the dog’s leash.
“Come on you dizzy dog, we have to go in, I’m freezing.”
But the Yellow lab sat down in the damp grass, staring up at his master with her ‘puppy dog’ eyes, then resumed staring across the field towards the abandoned farmhouse and the highway beyond. Somewhere high above and off to the West, a low and ominous rumble of thunder rolled across the fields next to Alex’s house, pressing the matter.
Alex started to tug at the leash a little harder. “Come on Gracie, we gotta go in. If it starts to thunder and lightning…”
But Gracie would have none of it.She strained her neck against the collar, raising her head to give her more space. Alex started to feel his hands going numb as he strained against the dog’s weight and strength.
Just then ,the rumble of thunder became almost a constant roar, making the dog start to panic and squirm as it struggled against the leash, throwing herself to the ground and rolling onto her back. Alex tried to pull her up to a standing position but it was no use. Gracie half rolled, half walked to the small tree that was about four feet away, circling the tree in a counterclockwise motion and getting the leash wrapped up in the low branches.
“Gracie, no!” Alex roared, trying to run around in the same pattern as the panicking dog. As he did so, he slipped on his right foot and Alex could feel gravity pulling him down on his backside as he struggled to hold on to the leash. As he was getting up he saw Gracie making wild leaps into the air as she had now entangled herself so badly that it was starting to choke her.
Another loud clap of thunder exploded from across the field like a bomb and the dog made one final jump in the air, freed herself from her collar and bolted away from Alex.
“Gracie!” Alex called, watching the dog sprint straight towards the old barn at the edge of the open field.
Alex ran in pursuit, dragging the leash and collar behind him while calling the dogs name. When Gracie reached the barn, she turned back towards her owner, panting and staring at the sky.
“Come on Gracie, we gotta go back pup, we don’t have time to play games.”
But the dog only looked behind Alex and then started to bark. As Alex turned his head he saw that the sky had turned an odd shade of green and the clouds were low and black. Portions of the clouds seemed to be slowly rotating, while the bottom half started to slowly reach dark, ominous tendrils towards the Earth, searching for the right place to make contact with the ground. Hail began the fall from the sky, small at first but then becoming the size of golf balls.
“Jesus” Alex croaked from his suddenly dry mouth.
Behind him, Gracie gave another couple of loud barks and then pushed her way inside the abandoned barn’s opened doorway. Without taking his eyes off the approaching twister, Alex followed.
The inside of the barn was almost completely dark and Alex could not see Gracie anywhere inside. But he could hear her cries from a direction that sounded like it was directly in front of him. Alex slowly walked closer to the sounds and found the dog huddled over a back corner of the barn’s floor. Feeling along the dogs back in the dark it seemed her head was bent over, as if she was sniffing something on the ground.
Moving the dog out of the way, Alex saw a small orange and white kitten sitting in the exact corner of the barn. The kitten purred as Alex gently picked it up, but another, louder sound seemed to be growing behind him, like a fright train was going to pass right through the old barn or a commercial airliner flying low to the ground.
Alex ran back to the door, Gracie barking behind him and the kitten now under the top of his coat. Opening the barn door was near impossible due to the amount of wind pressing on it so Alex looked through a hole in one of the wooden boards of the wall and nearly cried in terror at what he saw. A huge wedge shaped twister was tearing across the field.
Running back into the barn he tripped over Gracie, making the dog yelp and the man slide across the barn’s floor, while he attempted to protect the kitten with his palm as they slid. In a panic, he pulled himself up on some old wooden crates and almost fell down again as the rotted wood buckled under his weight. As Alex picked himself up again he could see a line in the wood, in the opposite direction of all the lines in the floorboards.
Praying that it was what Alex thought it might be, he moved the rest of the crate out of the way and to his delight saw a rusted ring in the floor. He dived for it while frantically calling for Gracie. The ring was rusted and probably had not been touched in at least fifty years but with effort the trap door started to rise, revealing an old set of wooden stairs. Stepping on the step closest to ground level, Alex called for the dog and she came bounding out of the darkness. Alex grabbed the big dog by the neck and tried to coax her into the cellar but surprisingly the dog allowed itself to be pulled into the hole, as if it knew a dark smelly hole in an old barn was a better option then being anywhere near that awful sound outside the barn.
As Alex pulled the animal tight to his body, it seemed two things happened at once.
First, the entire side of the barn was ripped away. Instantly, the dark interior of the barn was filled with debris and around him Alex could feel the barn’s pieces hitting him in the back. The second thing that happened is that the wooden stairs leading into the cellar shifted and swayed under the trios weight, and all three: man, dog and cat, were puled into the darkness of the barn’s cellar. The trap door dropped shut above them, not quite muffling the sound of the roaring overhead.
The sun shone brightly across the field and the sounds of happy birds mixed with the sounds of the chainsaws cutting down fallen trees. Alex lay on the stretcher, looking at the remains of his house, which had been almost completely destroyed.
In his hands was the little orange and white kitten. The EMS people had tried to take the cat away but Alex would not allow it.
Besides him, being dried off by a rescue worker in a blanket was Gracie, her tongue hanging from her mouth and looking from the destroyed house to Alex, occasionally sniffing at the floorboards that were all that was left of the barn the dog had led him to, only to find the kitten and shelter from the storm. Soon Gracie was sleeping, exhausted at having saved three lives in one afternoon.
Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Bogna – http://bemaslanka.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
Nissie – http://www.paperheroes.net (link to this month’s post)
Lyra Jean – http://beyondtourism.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Domoviye – http://working-in-china.com (link to this month’s post)
magicmint – http://www.loneswing.com (link to this month’s post)
areteus – http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
julzperri – http://www.fishandfrivolity.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
hillaryjacques – http://hillaryjacques.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
AFord – http://af12.webs.com (link to this month’s post)
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
J. W. Alden – http://www.authoralden.com (link to this month’s post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)
Tomspy77 – http://thomas-willam-spychalski.webs.com (link to this month’s post)
ronbwriting – http://ronbwriting.blogspot.com (link to this month’s post)