It was a purple day. Strange light, lumpy clouds, heavy air. Everything spoke of tornadoes, the elements whispered a warning, the now-gentle breeze across her skin writing in the wind’s own language, “Watch out! Later I will not be so kind!” She shivered, even though it was warm and she was biking quickly. Sometimes soft, hot days made cold, hard hail.
“Get home! Get home! Get home!” trilled the cicadas.
“Faster! Faster! Faster!”
“It’s coming, coming, coming!”
Silence, and the sky’s belly rumbled.
She furrowed her brow and pedaled harder. She couldn’t see the thunderhead anymore, which she knew meant it had moved too close. She focussed on the road, and she saw a dark, round spot appear to her left. Then another, another, another. Water collected on her glasses, beading up and rolling off, beading up and rolling off. Opalescent rivulets of rain flowed off the oily road, rinsing it clean. In the distance a house. Tiny but growing.
Push, push, push, little mailbox, barely visible.
Brakes, too wet, swish, skid, fall.
Grab the handlebars, gravel flying, stairs one two three four, thump! just in time to see the first ball of hail bounce off the rooftop and across the yard.