My dog and I survived a tornado
|She cautiously emerged from the basement steps and peeked out. Total destruction met her gaze. She gave a little groan in her throat, then grabbed what was left of the railing and sat down.
The first thought that came to her was not what she would do, but that there were no birds singing. She always loved their singing, it was her favorite part of being outside. Then, through the shock it dawned on her that she was outside although sitting on her inside steps. The eerie silence was in complete contrast to what had just happened, a roar so intense that all she could do was quiver in the farthest corner of the cellar. She would relive the experience ever after in her head, the crash, bang, boom above her making her contort her body as small as she could so as not to be a target. Finally it was over as fast as it came; all that was left was to untangle herself, say a little prayer, and go topside to face the aftermath.
She sat there, perhaps hours, like a statue, her mind as blank as the wiped clean landscape around her. It was so invasive, so massive, that she couldn't formulate a rational thought. A slight whimpering sound came to her ears and she jolted out of her hypnotic state.
“Roscoe, Roscoe, oh my God, where are you?” she shouted.
She ran here and there, then realized that she needed to slow down and listen. Again, a little whimper. Over the toppled door at the top of the steps she went; narrowly missing shards of glass sticking up everywhere. “Roscoe, I'm coming, I'm coming for you.”
She literally pulled siding and boards away where they had been scattered, in a frenzy to free the dog. Suddenly, more whimpering and two black eyes peered out at her from the heap of debris it was buried in. “There you are, thank God you are OK. I'm so sorry I forgot about you.”
She grabbed her miniature schnauzer and held him tightly to her chest. The dog barely moved in her arms, he too was immobile.
“It's just you and me,” she said, pressing her lips into his soft fur as one lone tear trickled down her face. “Don't worry, we'll figure it out.”
They walked around the perimeter of what once was a moderately comfortable home. The roof had caved inward making it impossible to tell if there was anything salvageable inside. She hoped that at least some of her personal belongings would be intact within that mess.
Spotting her car in the driveway she walked over to inspect the damage. It appeared that it was in pretty good shape except for a large branch that had cracked the back window.
“Well, Roscoe, if nothing else, we have shelter in the car so let's sit for a bit until we can decide what to do.” There was some relief in knowing that the car would protect them, even if she couldn't drive it, as the keys would take time to find, if ever discovered. It would be a massive undertaking to sort through what was left, how would she ever be able to do it?
Food; the thought came to her mind that she and Roscoe would need something to drink and he may be hungry. She had no appetite. The refrigerator may be intact, but how to get to it? She'd have to do something before dark fell.
Leaving Roscoe, now calm and asleep on the seat of the car, she left the door open and quietly exited. Walking to where what once was a kitchen, she tried to figure out where the refrigerator might be. Peeking here and there, her hopes dashed when she realized the refrigerator had toppled on its side, only the top of it peeking out from the debris covering it. She knew it would be dangerous to attempt going in there where any movement might cause more collapse. Turning around she tried to quell the lump in her throat, knowing that a breakdown would not help her situation.
The thought came to her. “How stupid of me; the basement, I can get to water in the basement.”
Along the way she picked up a bowl in the yard; it would do nicely for her little pup. She maneuvered around the glass, boards, and other items until once again at the basement steps. In the basement she found some of her quart jars and filled them with water from the sink. She grabbed a laundry bag and newspaper and packed the jars in the bag. The water would have to do, there was no food. She hoped someone would come along by morning. She spied a blanket lying on top of the dryer and grabbed it. It wasn't cold out by any means, but it may get colder in the car tonight.
Back at the car she set the items down. Roscoe raised his head, looked at her, then sighed and went back to sleep. She filled the bowl with water for him, took a sip from the quart jar, grabbed the blanket and tried to get comfortable. Hours later she finally fell into an exhausted sleep.
“Madam, Madam, are you OK?”
Barb jumped to attention from a state of sleep to see a light shining in the car window.
“Yes, yes, I'm fine, but we need help.”
“That's why we are here, we're out looking to see if anyone needs help. There is a shelter set up over at the church and it looks like you may need to go there.”
“Yes, thank you, but I can't leave my dog.”
“It's OK, Madam, you can bring him.”
She turned and looked out the car window.
There was nothing left but silence alone.