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John Gasparro Jr.

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The Storm      Download this Full Story
By John Gasparro Jr.
Thursday, December 08, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A thunder storm can evoke some pretty strong emotions and feelings. This is a vivid memory of one.

Copyright © 2010 by John Gasparro

The Storm:

I’ll long remember that exciting, early Autumn evening, when we visited my Grandfather’s farm on the great plains of Oklahoma. Sitting on the rough, pine-board bench, out on the front porch of that old and weather-beaten farm house; I looked out in amazement across the vast expanse of corn fields that vanished into the horizon--Grandfather called it "cattle-corn."

The endless fields surrounding the farm house and barns gave me a feeling of isolation from the rest of the world—-as if being on an island. The only signs that gave a hint of life existing there were the occasional cackle of chickens and the squeals of pigs. The big white house stood in stark contrast to the faded red barns. Mud covered, green tractors and those wood framed wagons (with a strong odor of creosote) crowded the side yard by the towering grain silos. That rusted, steel framed windmill that looked like an old oil-drilling rig, made an eerie screeching sound as it swiveled in the wind.

An occasional gust of wind would whip through the sea of tall, greenish brown corn stalks, exposing the amber and white husks that glimmered in the setting sun. The sound was as if thousands of streamers where thrashing all together. As the sun set, the wind became more blustery and in the distance, gray and white clouds gathered together, in a swirling motion. Like huge puffs of smoke they rose high up into the sky and joined to form what resembled a ghost-like figure, that became more and more ominous as it billowed. Deep rumblings echoed from the horizon, which sounded like huge timpani drums being pounded. Overhead, flocks of black crows, cawing harmoniously, flew hastily--as if being chased.

A sense of anticipation came over me, as I watched those funnel shaped, gusts of wind and dust dancing around each other and then vanishing into the sea of corn stalks. Some of the louvered, window shutters began to slap against the house violently, with a creaking sound coming from the rusted and broken hinges.

As the swirling, dark clouds came closer, there was a flash of lightning that lit up the sky behind them. Suddenly, I was startled by a deafening, cracking sound--like the snap of a whip--that accompanied the lightning and fanned out like a huge, electrified tree branch, with its many limbs reaching down into the earth. The blades on the windmill began to make a whirring sound, spinning faster and faster, as if preparing for flight. The chickens franticly gathered and scurried to the hay barn, seeking refuge with the other animals there.

I took in a deep breath and could sense the tension in the air; it felt heavy and had an organic smell, like freshly plowed soil. The rumbling thunder grew louder and more threatening. Then the gusts of wind became steadier. The warm, gentle evening breeze turned chilling and uncomfortable. Silver-blue bolts of lightning bombarded the land all around, as the horizon faded into the darkness. In the distance, I could see a tidal wave of dust and brush rising from the ground and rushing towards the house.

An eerie darkness enveloped the farm. Then, suddenly, sharp intermittent pinging sounds came from the corrugated tin roofs of the barns. Clusters of ice bombarded the ground and disintegrated like tiny meteorites. The whole farm began to resound from the pelting of rain and ice that ricocheted off each piece of machinery; as it became a tranquil symphony of percussion instruments.

Small puddles began appearing in the furrows between the corn stalks that quickly swelled into streams. The water troughs spilled over in the heavy downpour. All of a sudden (like the sound of a herd of buffalo stampeding across the sky) the thunder and lightning became overwhelming, creating a dazzling display of phosphorescent light that turned the night into day.

I stood there on that porch shivering with excitement and exhilaration as the hail of rain stung my face and arms; it was as if being hit with blasts of BBs. Like a captivated spectator at a fireworks display; I watched the storm with awe and wonder.
    

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Reviewed by Myrna Badgerow 4/2/2013
Nice work!!! I could 'see' this and that's not easy to get a blind person to do...) Myrna
Reviewed by J Howard 12/11/2011
reminds me of Oklahoma in April...and May and...September...Ha! Ha!





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