I've had this on my laptop for quite a while now, and I finally decided to post it. Basically, the movie Twister, with a twist. Now, I don't care if people read this or not, but if you do, review, let me know what you think. One of the only reason that I wrote this, other than the fact that Twister is my favourite movie, was because I noticed that there were hardly any fics in the Twister section.
Thirty-six year old Bill Harding sighed under his breath as he concentrated on driving his red, Dodge Ram down the dirt road he and his fiancée were on.
"Um, honey, are you sure she's gonna be here?" his fiancée, Melissa Reeves, asked.
Bill glanced over at Melissa. "If I know Jo, she's already dragged her entire department into the field. Ah, hell, a day like today, it's to be expected. She forgets everything except her work."
Bill had an anxious look on his face that didn't escape Melissa's notice. "You're nervous about seeing her, aren't you?"
Still watching the road, Bill looked at Melissa. "Nervous? No. Why, do I look nervous?"
"No. Well, yeah, you do, a little," Melissa admitted.
Bill shook his head. "I just want to get this over with.
Now it was Melissa's turn to be slightly nervous. "But she said she signed the papers, right?"
"Yeah, that's what she said, but that's not the only reason I don't really want to be there."
"You don't think she signed them?" Melissa didn't know what the other reason was, but she didn't want to add to his worry by asking.
"No, I think so. Give me a kiss," Bill grinned.
Melissa leaned over and kissed her fiancé.
A woman of thirty-four years, Jo Harding, knelt on top of a blue van, wiring a Doppler radar.
"Okay professor; hang on there, I think I fixed it. I've got it," Beltzer, a member of Jo's team, called from inside the van. Jo tried turning on the radar, only to be met with sparks. "Oops."
"Oh, fuck, this thing is useless," Jo said, exasperated.
"Sorry, Jo," Beltzer replied to Jo's outburst.
Suddenly, the radar began working. As Jo ordered for a reading, I was watching, an amused look on my face. I loved sitting back and watching my mother work, she got so caught up in it, that she didn't notice anything else.
"Hey, Kari, come here," a familiar voice caught my attention.
I walked over to Dusty, who was waiting eagerly for me.
"What is it, Dusty?" I asked.
"I've been practicing that song," he announced. "Listen." Then he began singing with the song that came on the radio. "If I mistreat you girl, sho' don't mean no harm..."
It was then that my mom called me over.
I gave an apologetic look at Dusty, then walked over to my mom, listening to Rabbit chew Laurence out about rolling the maps.
"All I'm saying is don't fold the maps," Rabbit was saying.
"I didn't fold the maps," Laurence insisted.
Rabbit wasn't backing down. "Yeah, well Kansas is a mess, there's a big crease right through Wichita," he then began rolling the map up. "Roll the maps."
I continued walking to my mom. "What is it?" I asked.
"I wanted to ask you one last time. Are you sure you don't want to stay with Aunt Meg, or a friend?" Jo asked.
I shook her head. "No, I want to come along, I have every summer since I was eleven mom, you can't stop me."
Jo sighed. She knew she couldn't change my mind, I was too much like my dad, and even my inquisitive blue-grey eyes matched his exact colour.
From behind me, I heard a truck drive up, then a moment later, Dusty yelling "The extreme."
I didn't turn around. I would try and ignore the man for as long as possible. Deep breath, Kari, I thought to myself.
"Hiya Joey," Bill said, coming up to where Jo and I were standing. "Kathryn."
I couldn't ignore him now. "It's Kari."
"Hey Bill, glad you found us," Jo didn't acknowledge what I had said in my icy tone.
"How are you both doing?" Bill asked.
I didn't answer, I was still mad at my dad. But Jo answered. "We're good, have you seen the sky?"
Bill glanced at the sky. "Yeah, she's, uh, she's really talking."
"Hey, welcome back Bill," Laurence said, walking by.
"I'm not back," Bill called after. He turned back to Jo.
"So you want the papers?" she asked, trying not to let him know that she was hurt.
"I did drive all the way out here for them," Bill replied.
I sighed, and was about to walk away when Jo asked her a question.
"Kari, where are they?"
"The glove box, mom," I answered before walking away. I heard the truck door open, then shut, and my parents arguing some more. Without thinking, I automatically walked over to Dusty, surprised to find that he was talking to a woman with short dark hair and a wary expression on her face.
"Hey, Kari," Dusty took a moment from his speech to smile at me. To me, Dusty was like an uncle.
I smiled back then looked at the woman. "Uh, hi, I'm Kari," I held my hand out to the woman who took it and shook.
"Hello, I'm Melissa, it's nice to meet you," Melissa smiled.
I took a step closer to Dusty who began talking again. "The suck zone- it's the point- basically at which the twister sucks you up, but it's not that technical therefore obviously, but"
Here, Dusty was interrupted. "Hi, I'm Jo Harding."
Melissa looked up at the blonde haired woman who stood before her. "Oh, hello," she stood up quickly. "Nice to meet you."
"Bill just told me the happy news," I could tell that Jo was faking the happy tone she was using, but now was curious about what news that Bill had told my mother.
"Which?" Melissa asked.
Bill jumped in. "Us, marriage, uh, Jo, Melissa."
I froze, staring at Bill. "You're getting married?"
Bill looked at Jo, wondering what to do. "Um, yeah, Melissa and I are getting married before I start my new job."
I decided to skip over the get mad at him for getting married. If he was married then I didn't have to deal with seeing him anymore. "Fine. What new job?"
"That's right, that's right, right, right, right. Weatherman," Jo said.
"What?" Bill sounded offended.
Jo acted innocent. "What?"
Bill shook his head.
Then, filling the awkward silence that had fallen, a cell phone rang, and Melissa pulled it out, answering it right away. "Hello, Dr. Melissa Reeves, here. Uh-huh."
"Just wanted to say hello," Jo said to Melissa.
"Uh-huh," was the reply to the phone, then Melissa looked at Jo. "You too."
I walked away, heading towards Bill's new truck, behind me, both my parents followed.
"New truck?" Jo asked.
Bill nodded. "That's right."
"Oh boy. New job, new truck, new wife," Jo said sarcastically. "It's like a whole new you."
"Jo-" Bill started, but I interrupted.
"Mom, have you told him yet?"
Jo looked at me. I was standing close by, clearly annoyed as Jo was, it showed in my eyes. My blonde hair, matching Jo's, was pulled into a bun and held in place with a pencil. I'd dressed in a simple pair of jeans and a blue tank-top that Jo recognized as one of her own.
"Told me what?" Bill asked.
"Dorothy. She's here."
"Show me," Bill didn't hesitate.
While Jo led Bill over to her truck, I walked over to my own. It was a little battered and old, but that's what happens being a storm chaser, so I didn't mind. I sat in the driver's seat, staring over at where my mother was showing Bill and Melissa, Dorothy. Everyone had gathered around. Then suddenly, Haynes ran over to them, and announced something. Obviously they had located where a tornado may be, because everyone ran back and began packing things up in a rush.
I shut the door, and started up my truck at the same time as everyone else. I pulled out behind Dusty, last in the line. I watched as Bill and Melissa pulled up behind me.
"Hey Bill, glad you're back," Rabbit's voice came in through the CB radio.
"I'm not back," Bill replied.
I listened in. I didn't normally talk back unless asked a direct question.
"Rabbit?" Jo's voice came over the radio now.
"Yeah, boss?" Rabbit replied.
"Can we do better than the 30?" Jo asked.
It took a moment for Rabbit to answer, checking his maps. "No. Not for a while. It's best to stay on it until we pass Rogers creek."
"Copy that," was Jo's answer.
It was then that I looked out my window, noticing the black Windstars driving up. The first one held another scientist, Jonas Miller. I gave him the middle finger as he passed, earning myself a dirty look.
"Jo, I think we got fleas," Beltzer said over the radio.
"Jo, come back," Bill said next.
It took Jo a moment before she responded. "Hey there, change your mind?"
She was talking to Bill. "Yeah, what's Jonas doing here?" Bill asked.
"I don't know but he's probably asking the same thing about you," Jo answered.
Then, suddenly, one of the Windstars swerved towards my truck. I jerked the wheel to the right, avoiding being hit, but ending up with a flat tire. "Shit," I swore.
Bill pulled over in front of me, and got out. He opened my door, and glanced at the truck before saying anything. "Want a ride?"
I hesitated before I could answer. "Sure," I said finally. I grabbed a bunch of things and threw them in my backpack, including my keys. I locked the truck, and shut the door. I followed Bill back to his truck where I climbed into the backseat.
It only took us another five minutes to reach an auto repair shop. I went straight inside and asked the guy to tow my truck back here and fix it. He agreed, and I would return for it in a few days.
Walking out of the repair shop, I saw Bill being held back by Dusty, and Rabbit. I knew what they were arguing about, but by the time I had gotten over to them, it was over. Melissa had run over to him before disappearing into a diner. Bill walked over to a pile of dirt and picked some up. I followed him.
"What are you even doing here?" I asked, making him jump.
"I'm just here for the divorce papers, Kathryn, that's all."
I shook my head. "You left us four years ago and only filed for divorce last year and you didn't even press the fact until now, why?"
"It's none of your business, okay? It is between me and your mom," Bill answered, annoyed.
"It is though," I replied. "When you get divorced, the court will either place me with you or mom, and because of mom's job, it's more likely I'll get stuck with you and what's her face," I replied, not noticing my voice slowly getting higher.
"Kathryn Sienna Rose Harding, you don't talk to me like that, I'm your dad, you have to respect me, and her name is Melissa, and I expect you to be polite to her," Bill's voice had already taken on a yell.
"My name is Kari, and if you bothered to call me at all in the last four years, you'd know why!" Tears were now running down my face as I turned away. I couldn't stand being around my dad anymore.
As I walked away, the memory of how I started telling people to call me Kari got started. The memory just made me cry more.
"Hey, Kari, what kind of cookies are you and gramma making?"
The teasing voice made me stiffen before turning around. My big brother was standing there, a couple of his friends standing with him. "I don't like being called Kari, Ethan," I said, not answering his question.
Instantly, Ethan stopped, he walked over to me and draped his arm around my shoulders. "One day, Kari, you'll love it," Ethan smiled at me, and I couldn't help but smile back.
"Chocolate chip is what we're making," I answered his question.
Ethan just grinned at me then ran off.
I had only been ten at the time, my mom and dad still happily married. It was two years later that my life got worse.
Melissa had walked back out of the diner, just a couple minutes after my mom. She walked over to Bill, who told her something then ran over to Jo. Melissa walked back to the truck, waving at me to come over. I did so.
"Looks like we're riding together for a bit," she said, forcing a smiled on her face.
I just nodded, and climbed into the passenger side.
We pulled out, being the last in the line again. This time I was listening closely at the radio. Melissa was content to leave it that way.
Melissa's phone rang again and she pulled it out. ". Melissa Reeves here? Oh, oh. Yes, Donald, you've caught me in my car!"
I kept track of what Melissa was saying. Her patients were needy.
"Donald, this feeling of inadequacy is normal for you, Julia doesn't resent you. We talked about this before. She did not marry your penis. Oh, okay, she didn't only marry your penis."
What kind of doctor was she? I wasn't going to ask though, that would be rude.
After a couple minutes, she hung up.
"Are you a therapist?" I asked.
"Are you my dad's?"
Melissa looked surprised, but she kept her eye on the road. "N, why do you think he needs one?"
I just shook my head, then I looked up though the window. "Shit, shit." I grabbed the radio. "Hey, mom, Bill, are you guys going to wrap this up soon?"
"Why?" cam Bill's frustrated voice.
"Oh, nothin. I was just wonderin' if we're gonna chase this tornado, or if you just wanna catch the next one," I replied.
I heard Bill swear, then my mom was on the radio, talking to Beltzer. "Beltzer, is it on the ground?"
I didn't pay attention to the reply; I was too busy staring out the window. The next few minutes passed quickly.
"Oh, my god," Melissa whispered, as the tornado disappeared.
I watched too, then looked at where I had last seen my mom's truck. "Hey, where's mom's tru-"
I never got to finish my question because a yellow truck appeared out of nowhere and fell on the road in front of us. Screaming, Melissa swerved out of the way, slamming in the brakes.
She slowly climbed out of the truck, shaking. I also climbed out, but I wasn't scared.
"You just missed the truck. Awesome! It was awesome!" Dusty was yelling.
"Melissa!" I heard Bill, and watched as he ran over to her, pulling her into a hug.
"Oh, god. Billy."
I snorted at the name. Bill looked at me, an annoyed expression on his face.
I walked over to my mom's truck. It was totalled. Jo also walked up, she looked disappointed.
She glanced over at Melissa, and like she was talking to a little kid, she asked, "You okay?" but never waited for an answer. Bill answered for Melissa, but I didn't hear him.
"What was it like?" Dusty was asking my mom.
"Windy," she answered before turning to me. "Are you okay, Kari?"
I nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine."
Just then Jonas' team rolled up past them. Dusty ran after.
'Jo pulled out a backpack, and began loading her things into it. "You got full coverage on that truck?"
"Liability only," Bill answered, knowing what Jo was up to.
"Liability only?" Jo gave the truck a look. "It's a very pretty truck."
Melissa smiled, "Thank you."
Bill shook his head. "Don't even think about it. No way."
Twenty minutes later Bill's truck had Dorothy 2 loaded up and Melissa and I were in the backseat while Bill drove and Jo sat in the passenger seat.
"This is the caboose, this is the caboose! I'm waiting for orders, Boss!" Dusty said over the radio.
Both Bill and Jo reached for it, then hesitated, then reached again.
"Go ahead," Bill said.
"No, it's your truck," Jo argued.
I got annoyed quickly. "Someone just take it."
Jo grabbed it. "Dusty, the battle zone should be northeast of 81."
"Copy that," Dusty replied.
Melissa spoke up. "Wait a minute. Battle zone? Billy what are we doing?"
"We're going again," Bill answered.
Now Melissa Dusty, the battle zone should be northeast of 81. was alarmed. "Again? But you almost got yourself killed back there!"
"No, that was just a close call," I answered.
"You're gonna cross 15 on Oklahoma412. 412." Rabbit came in on over the radio.
"Okay, copy that. Haynes, what's on the mesonet?" Jo replied.
Haynes answered right away. "Winds continuing to back, VIL's are at…..uh, 60."
"Okay, good. Let's go get it guys."
We kept heading in the same direction. Jo leaned over to look at the speedometer. She rolled her eyes at the needle which was currently on 50. In answer, Bill sped up.
The truck pulled up alongside Jonas' van.
"There's your pal," I muttered sarcastically.
Suddenly, Bill slammed on the brakes. Right away, my mom started asking, "What are you doing?"
"Look at the updraft, the angle! It's gonna shift it's track!" Bill stared intently out the window.
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"Oh yes. It's defiantly a sidewinder! It'll move left," Bill answered me.
"Is that bad" Melissa asked.
Bill looked out the back window "Wasn't there a road back there?"
"You're right, go, go, go," Jo said.
Bill turned the truck around quickly, and turned down the road that we had passed earlier. Melissa's phone rang, and she answered it quickly.
"Hello? Donald, now's not a very good time for me, okay? What...all right, put Julie on. Okay."
I rolled my eyes.
"We're close," Bill commented.
Jo grabbed the radio. "Rabbit, tell me what road we're on, where does this take us?"
Melissa's conversation kept my attention from my mother.
"I know it feels unnatural but with Donald's motility, you're not gonna have this baby the old-fashioned way. Even if you stand on your head."
Both my mom and I gave Bill a funny look.
"She's a, reproductive therapist," Bill explained.
"Laurence? Laurence come in, we've got to get ahead of this storm, what's on the satellite?" Jo was talking into the radio again.
"I can't talk to you right now, I'll have to call you back," Melissa said into her phone. I was paying her little mind now.
"Twister south, skipping south, shifting to south, we have a, F2, ladies and gentlemen, possibly F3. You with me? It's a very, very large rope on the ground. Very large. Right on the ground." Laurence came in.
I stopped paying attention to everything else. My attention was fully consumed looking out the window at the tornado which was currently sucking up water from a lake. I stared until the rain hitting the window blocked my view.
I watched the twister separate into two. "We've got sisters," I commented.
Melissa's phone rang again, but I didn't listen. We were on a bridge now. I watched as a cow flew in front of us. "Cow."
Another cow few in the opposite cow. "Another cow," Jo said this time.
"Actually, I think that was the same cow," Bill replied.
A couple minutes later and the three twisters were on us. Twirling the truck around. I heard Bill yell for us to hold on. I geld tightly to my mom's seat in front of me. It only lasted a couple minutes before the tornadoes disappeared, and Bill and Jo jumped out of the truck. I climbed out after them, leaving Melissa in the truck.
I heard them yelling, but I didn't join in. A minute later, the rest of the team pulled up, all jumping out and cheering.
I tuned in when I heard Rabbit speak.
"Hey, you know what, uh, Jo, somebody couldn't help but notice how close we are to Wakita!" Rabbit said, smiling.
"No," Jo answered, a smile on her face as well, she was still excited.
"Yeah, and Aunt Meg wouldn't mind a pit stop, right?" Sanders spoke up this time.
Again, Jo said, "No."
Dusty spoke up next. "Red meat, we crave sustenance!"
"Guys, we're not invading my aunts," Jo hollered.
"Food," Dusty said, grinning.
Everyone else, including me, took up the chant. "Food. Food!"
I knew we would get our way, because half an hour later, we were pulling up at my great-aunts house. I was the last to climb out of the truck.
"Kathryn, how are you, my dear?" Meg asked, giving me a huge hug.
"I'm good, aunt Meg," I replied, smiling.
As I pulled away, Meg was already turning her attention to the team. I hurried inside, announcing I get the first shower.
It only took me ten minutes and I felt much better. I ran a bush through my hair once I was dressed, and left it down to dry in curls. Walking downstairs, I was greeted with the smell of home-cooked food.
I'd missed a lot. They had just turned off the tv, and I heard Jo say, " He really is in love with himself. I thought it was just a summer thing."
I leaned against the wall, listening.
"He's gonna rue the day. Dude, he's gonna rue the day he came The Extreme, baby," Dusty's loud voice drowned out everyone else.
"Hear, hear," Laurence said.
"I'm talking immanent rueage. Immanent rueage," Dusty continued.
Then Melissa spoke up, "I was just wondering, why do you call Billy 'the extreme'?" she asked.
"Cause Bill is the extreme," Dusty answered. Everyone started laughing, but Melissa and I.
"Bill is the most out of control son of a bitch in the game!" Preacher spoke up.
Bill looked over at Jo. "No, I think I came in second."
Dusty began speaking again. "I have seen the extreme in high gear."
Jo shook her head. "You guys need to get some new stories. I'm going to clean up." She walked away from the table. With a smile, she walked past me to go up to the shower.
I didn't listen to the story, I already knew it. I started listening again when Bill said something to Melissa.
"Honey, this is a tissue of lies. See there was another Bill, an evil Bill- and I killed him," Bill said, a smile on his face.
Now I spoke up. I didn't mean for everyone to hear though. "Yeah, right. I'm sure you did."
Bill and Melissa gave me a look as I walked to the front door, and then outside. I sat on the deck, not wanting to be around Bill and Melissa anymore.
Now the storm chasers were talking about the tornado.
"No, that was a good size twister, what was that, an F3?" Preacher asked.
Bill shook his head. "Solid F2."
Melissa looked at everyone. "See, now you've lost me."
"It's the Fujita scale. It measures the intensity of a tornado by how much it "eats"," Bill explained to Melissa.
"Destroys," Bill clarified for his fiancée.
"The little encounter we had back there was a strong F2, F3 maybe," Laurence interjected.
Beltzer joined in. "I hope we see some 4's today."
Haynes agreed. "That'd be sweet."
Bill nodded. "4 is good. 4 'll relocate your house fairly officially."
Melissa had another question. "Is there an F5?" everyone at the table grew silent. "What would that be like?"
Preacher answered her. "Finger of God."
Melissa looked around the table. "None of you have seen an F5?"
Bill took a breath. "Only two of us." Everyone but Melissa glanced at the ceiling, where Jo was upstairs, and to the front door, where Kari was.
Everyone came rushing outside, disrupting my thinking.
"I'm sorry to eat and run," Jo was saying to Meg.
"It's alright, dear."
Jo glanced at me. "Last chance, hon, do you want to stay here?"
I debated for a minute, then shook my head. "I'm coming with you."
Meg smiled at me, and I smiled back, but my mom didn't look impressed. But before she could say anything, I waved good bye at Meg and ran to the truck, climbing in the backseat.
When my mom got in, she was in the driver's seat, whereas Bill climbed in the passenger seat.
He grew a bit upset at the sight of me. "Kathryn, what are you doing?"
"Bill, she's coming with us," Jo jumped in before I could answer.
"And you're letting her?"
"Well, there's no arguing with her, she's too much like you."
Bill gave up, there would be no winning this one, plus it was too late anyway.
We turned onto a dirt road, and Bill clipped a receiver onto my mom's shorts.
"Oh, excuse me," I heard him say.
Jo didn't mind however. She enjoyed having him around.
Bill grabbed the radio. "Okay, Rabbit, what have you got?"
"Okay, Bill, turn left here toward that farm."
"You sure about that?" Bill asked.
"Uh, yeah. Trust me. Rabbit is good, Rabbit is wise," Rabbit answered.
I rolled my eyes, he'd picked that up when I'd called him a smart ass a couple years ago.
"This is a field, Rabbit," Bill said into the radio.
Rabbit answered right away. "I know, keep going, beyond it, right through that brush," Bill didn't say anything, so Rabbit continued. "You see that brush right in front of you..."
"Yeah, we see the brush, what's beyond that?" Bill was getting frustrated now.
"Beyond what?" Rabbit asked. You could almost hear the smile in his voice.
I grabbed the radio from Bill. "The BRUSH! A brick wall, a bearded lady, what?"
"Oh, the highway, the highway," came the answer.
I handed the radio back.
"Where is the road?" Jo grabbed the radio this time.
"Any minute," rabbit replied.
Suddenly, we drove out onto the road, right next to Jonas Miller.
"You're insane Jo! What are you trying to do, get somebody killed?" Jonas' voice filled our truck.
"Oh really Jonas?" Jo was getting angry now. "It was so nice of you to stop back there and make sure we were all right!" Bill was pulling the radio away, and she began yelling. "I T WAS VERY CONSIDERATE OF YOU,HOW COULD YOU SEE TEN PEOPLE ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND NOT STOP?"
"Okay, okay, try and keep the channel clear," Bill attempted to sooth my mother.
"Dirtbag," I heard her mutter under her breath.
I stared out the window at the sky. "We have to get off this road," I said.
Bill looked at the sky. Right away he knew I was right.
"What, this is no time to second guess," Jo started.
"She's right, we have to get off this road, make a right turn, trust me," Bill said.
"Do you want to drive?" Jo asked.
I was getting frustrated now. "Just turn," I yelled.
Suddenly across the radio, Laurence was announcing that the tornado had touched down. I didn't see it.
"Where is it?" Jo asked though the radio.
"Looks like it's coming down route 33," Laurence answered.
"We're on 33, mom," I said.
"What's the path?" Jo asked.
"It's going 35 mph," Joey said.
I was getting annoyed, I couldn't see it.
"Where are you guys lookin'" Rabbit asked.
"Where, where, where," I muttered.
All I could see were storm clouds, no tornado. I leaned forward in my seat, trying to see. I stopped listening to everyone try and find the tornado and concentrated on finding it myself.
Then it began hailing and I couldn't see anymore.
"Kari, get her ready," Jo called to me.
I slid the window open and slipped through the small space easily, the hail hurt when it hit me, but I still flicked on all the switches.
"Okay, she's on," I said, sliding back in.
"Okay, this is good, stop here, Jo," Bill ordered.
"Wait, we have to get closer, just a bit closer."
A tricycle hit the windshield, making me jump. "No, mom, this is good."
Jo stopped the truck and both Jo and Bill jumped out to get Dorothy. I slid back out the window to help. When I noticed that it wasn't going to work, I began to et worried.
Suddenly, I telephone pole swooped down and hit the machine, causing all the sensors to scatter over the road.
It was gone the tornado was gone. I climbed out of the truck.
"It's coming back," I heard Bill yell, but my mom still went to the sencors, picking them up.
Bill pulled her to the truck, and I climbed back in. He drove the truck backwards, but after a couple minutes, Jo jumped back out and started to pick up the sensors again.
Bill got out, me right behind him.
"Forget it, Jo, forget it."
"Help me, help me," Jo screamed.
"What are you doing?" Bill yelled back.
"The pack in wasted, Jo, it's over."
Jo refused to believe this. "What's the matter with you? We can still do this!"
"Jesus Christ, listen to yourself, you're obsessed," Bill yelled, but not as loudly as before.
"You've never seen what that thing can do, so don't talk to me about-" Jo cried.
Bill was starting to get slightly annoyed, but he didn't show it. "I just saw it-"
"You've never seen it miss house, and miss that house and come after you,"
"Christ Jo, is that what you think happened?"
Jo shook her head, and turned to walk away. "I don't know."
I stood by the truck, watching.
"Jesus, Jo, why can't you just forget it?"
"You don't understand, okay? You'll never know."
"When's it gonna be enough, huh? How close do you have to get-? Jo, things go wrong, you can't explain it, you can't predict it! Killing yourself won't bring your dad back. I'm sorry he died, but it was a long time ago. You gotta move on. Stop living in the past and look at what you've got right in front of you!" Bill had grabbed Jo's arm and pulled her back.
"What are you saying?" Jo asked, her voice now low.
"Me, Jo, me and Kari," Bill pulled her into a hug.
I walked over and joined the hug. Just like old times, only minus one person. "I'm sorry, dad," I whispered.
We were at a drive-in movie. The Shining. I didn't really care for the movie, so I was helping my mom get coffee for everyone.
"Excuse me, can I have eight coffees to go please?"
The woman working nodded. I saw my mom reach in and grab a pen. She was going to sign the divorce papers.
I went and sat at a table, my eyes looking at the movie playing, but not absorbing it at all. I could hear thunder in the background, and see some lightning, but not enough to worry me. Yawning, I shut my eyes for a minute. I listened for my mom's voice, but I couldn't hear what she was actually saying.
Then Dusty's voice rang out over top of everything. "JO! BILL! IT'S COMING! IT'S HEADED RIGHT FOR US!"
"It's already here," I heard my dad yell. "EVERYBODY UNDERGROUND NOW"
People were already running toward a large warehouse of sorts. My mom didn't listen to Bill as he ran off, probably to Melissa. I got up and walked to her side. She was staring at the tornado.
"Mom, come on," I said, tugging at her hand.
Suddenly, she snapped out of whatever was holding her there, still holding my hand she turned and ran to the snack bar. "GET UNDERGROUND, TAKE COVER RIGHT NOW, LET'S GO!"
She pulled me along with er to where Bill and Dusty were standing, waiting for us. I pulled my hand away when I noticed Laurence hiding in his car.
"Come on, take my hand," I yelled, reaching towards Laurence.
He shook his head. "I can't."
"Take my hand," I insisted.
He did, and I help him climb out, then we both ran for the warehouse.
Everyone had gathered into the pit inside, all sitting on the floor, holding onto those dearest to them. I ran towards my mom. We held onto each other's hands tightly.
The whole warehouse began to shake, and the windows break. I heard Bill yell something, but I didn't hear what. A high pressure air hose came loose, and Preacher grabbed it, only moments later, a hub cap flew down cut across his forehead. My mom let go of me and crawled over to him, placing her hand over the cut.
Melissa was only a couple feet away from me, and she was screaming. I put my hands over my ears to block her out.
With my hands over my ears, I couldn't block my head, and a beam fell down, and sliced across my head. I could feel the warm blood oozing out, and it made tracks down the side of my face. Bill left go of Melissa, and crawled to me.
"Its okay, Kari," he said, putting his hand over my injury to keep it from getting dirty.
I couldn't reply, because all that would come out would be a moan from the pain. This wasn't the first time that I'd been hurt because of a tornado, actually, it wasn't even the second. But the worst was when I was fourteen.
In a few minutes, the tornado was gone. People were already getting up and leaving the warehouse to go check damages. Bill helped me get up, and walk outside.
My mom hadn't seen me get hurt, and when she saw me, her face went pale and she rushed over. "Kathryn, oh, my god, are you alright?"
I nodded, a little annoyed that once again, my full name had been used.
Bill disappeared while my mom got a wet cloth and pressed it against my head. I held it there while she cleaned off my face.
"That's all I can do unless you want to go to a hospital," my mom told me.
"No, I want to stay with you," I answered.
My mom just nodded, and began cleaning up the wet cloths. I walked over to Dusty who was sitting in his van, watching weather reports.
"Can you tell where it's headed?" I asked.
My mom came up behind me, just before Dusty answered. "It's backing northeast…um, Jo? It looks to hit Wakita head on."
"I'm goin'. I'm goin', let's go, let's go!" my mom began to head for the truck.
Everyone began getting frantic.
"Where's the phone?" I asked.
"The lines are down, I already tried, Kari," Beltzer answered me.
I turned and headed for the truck, passing Bill and Melissa on the way.
"You know, I can't compete with this. I don't even know where to start!" Melissa had a fake smile on her face.
"Wait, don't do this now, please. Please," Bill pleaded.
I didn't wait around to hear anymore. I climbed into the backseat of the truck, choosing the middle seat so I could see better. My mom climbed in next, along with Bill.
It only took us around an hour to get there, maybe less because my mom was speeding. When we drove into Wakita, it was a familiar memory for both me and my mom.
"They had no warning," I whispered.
"Oh, my god," my mom said, jumping out of the truck, and running towards aunt Meg's house, which now looked like a one story house.
I climbed out after her, and ran to the base of the house. My mom was climbing up, looking for a way in.
Bill climbed up after her, and they both disappeared into the house. I stood still waiting for them to return. Every time the house buckled, I flinched.
Finally, an they came out, each helping Meg walk.
"Somebody get an ambulance," Bill yelled.
I don't know who ran to get it, but a moment later, it was there, with Meg inside.
"Is she okay?" my mom asked when Bill ran back to the house to get Mose, Meg's dog.
"We'll probably keep her overnight, just to be safe," a paramedic told us.
Meg snorted. "Overnight? Forget it. I'm all right."
"You're going to the hospital," I told my aunt.
Meg gave in. "Okay, I'll go, but I'm gonna drive myself."
Rabbit looked a bit disappointed to be the one to tell her, but someone had to. "Honey, your car in is a tree around the corner."
I sat on the step of the ambulance, staring at the ground. I saw Dusty's feet, and looked up.
"Jo. I'm sorry, uh, I was listening to the radio, and, I mean, I don't even know if you wanna know, but I, it's happening, the NSSL's predicted an F5," Dusty explained.
To give them a bit of privacy, I walked back over to Meg's house, staring at the sculptures. I thought hit me.
"What is it?" Haynes asked me.
"I know how to make Dorothy fly," I answered.
Bill looked at the sculptures. "Of course, that makes sense."
I turned and looked at everyone. "Okay, we need every aluminum can you can find. Along with duct tape, and cutters."
Now it was Bill's turn to order something. "I want the last Dorothy's on the back of my truck."
All the sensors in Dorothy now were all equipped with pinwheels, to help them fly. I sat in the middle seat in the front so I could help my parents better than sitting in the back.
We drove quickly down the empty road that the twister was following. When Bill stopped the truck, we all jumped out to get Dorothy down on the ground, and ready. We all got back into the truck, and got a good distance away to watch.
Dorothy was moving back and forth across the road. Bill and my mo had both gotten out to watch, but I stayed put. I watched as a tree branch knocked over Dorothy, and the tornado headed straight for us.
They both jumped back into the truck, and Bill tried to drive away, but a large branch slid under the truck, holding us in place.
"Get us off this thing," I yelled.
"Come on," Bill was stepping on the gas pedal, hard.
"Bill, kick it! BILL! Let's go! Right now! Hurry!" my mom yelled, right in my ear.
Then with Bill still trying to get us off the tree, I heard something. "What was that?" I asked.
There was a pregnant pause before someone turned to see.
Something metallic was flying towards us. My mom was still yelling at Bill to get us off the tree, when I saw what the flying object really was. A tank truck.
The truck snaps forward, pushed my the tank truck, which laded in front of us, exploding. Bill drove right through the flames.
"Son of a bitch!" Bill said, to no on in particular.
"Jo, Bill, Kari? You all right? Fact, can you guys hear me? You okay?" Dusty's voice came in, crackling over the radio.
I grabbed the radio to answer. "We're okay."
Now Dusty's voice turned excited. "Did you see that explosion?"
"Yeah, we saw it," I answered, no humour in my voice.
"This one, she's still moving northeast on 80, you copy?" Rabbit's voice came in.
Bill looked at me, then my mom. "This is it."
"Last one," my mom said.
"Last time," I finished.
Then our attention was turned to Jonas. He was driving up along the road, parallel to the tornado.
"They have position, they could make it," Bill commented.
I shook my head. "Not unless they've anchored the pack."
My mom grabbed the radio. "Jonas? This is Jo. Can you hear me?"
Jonas sounded annoyed when he answered. "Not now, Harding."
"Jonas, listen to me. The pack is too light, the twister will toss it before it reaches the core, you have to anchor it," Jo said quickly.
"Oh, sharing valuable information, Jo? I'll consider that, thank you," Jonas replied flatly.
"Jonas, listen to me! Don't be a-" Bill looked at my mom. "What? Do you see them?"
I took the radio from my mom. "Jonas, what's your position?"
"Oh, howdy, Kari. We are heading northeast running parallel and about to pull ahead of it on the left, why?" Jonas didn't seem thrilled to hear my voice.
Now Bill took the radio from me, he was staring out the window at the tornado. "Hang back a minute, we've got a pretty good view from back here. She could shift her track, and if she does, she's gonna come right at you! D'you copy?"
Jonas ignored my dad.
"Jonas, listen to me. This is not-" Bill was getting a bit frustrated.
"Get off this frequency, Bill!" with that, Jonas turned off his radio.
"Mom, she's shifting," I whispered.
I was right, the tornado changed direction, heading straight for Jonas and his crew.
"Jonas, I'm telling you…. Eddie, I know you can hear me! Turn around now! Get out of there!" Bill yelled into the radio.
But there wasn't any answer. We watched as all the black Windstars were pulled up into the air. A radio tower crashed into the windshield of Jonas' car. When it fell and crashed into the ground, I flinched.
My dad threw the radio onto the dash, clearly pissed off.
"We tried. There was nothing we could do," my mom tried to sooth him.
"Yes there is," was my dad's reply.
Then the radio buzzed to life and Beltzer's voice crackled in. "Bill, Jo, ground speed is increasing. Get ahead of it as fast as you can or she's gonna bury ya!"
Bill started driving.
"Debris! DUSTY, WE HAVE DEBRIS!" Jo yelled.
Cars, tractors, road signs were falling every where. My mom was directing Bill on driving.
The truck swerved right, while I held on tightly.
The truck swerved to the left, narrowly missing a tractor.
We missed yet another flying object.
Then, I yelled. "Duck!" just as a tyre hit the windshield.
"What now?" Bill asked.
I shook my head, while my mom spoke out loud. "I have no idea."
Just then, a house rolled onto the road, right in front of us.
"Oh, my god," I commented.
"I think we're going in!" Bill yelled.
The truck crashed in through the house. It only lasted for a minute or two before we were clear.
"Maybe we should get off this road."
"I think you may be right," Jo replied.
I looked out the windows.
"Kari, can you get her ready?" I heard Jo ask me.
I opened the back window and slid out. It only took me a couple minutes to turn on all the switches. I slid back into the truck, and climbed into the front seat with my parents.
Bill set the cruise control, then looked at us. "Ready? On three."
"One," my mom forced her door open.
"Two," Bill had his door open.
"Three," I said. My mom jumped out, and I followed right behind her.
We all stood there, watching the truck being picked up by the twister, all cheering when Dorothy flew.
"Oh, no, run!" Bill yelled. He grabbed onto my mom's hand and pulled her away. We set off running away from the twister. My mom and dad just a couple feet in front of me.
"The barn!" I heard someone yell.
We ran up a hill towards a barn, Bill forced the door to open and we ducked inside.
"Oh, my god, who are these people?" I cried, looking at all the sharp pointy objects hanging from the ceiling.
"I don't think so," Bill replied.
We got out of the barn and ran for the next closet building. An old pump house. I tried opening the door, but it wouldn't open. Bill got it though; he pushed me inside before pulling Jo with him.
"These pipes go down at least 30 feet. If we anchor ourselves to it, we should stand a chance." Bill said, grabbing some rawhide straps. He connected three of them to the pipes, and we all wiggled out way into the, holding onto the pipe.
The walls, and roof only lasted a couple more minutes, and within a couple minutes, the twister was right above us. Looking at it, it pulled me back to my worse memory.
Mom was away for a couple weeks doing her job. Aunt Meg was sick, so Ethan and I had to stay with gramma. I had just settled into bed when gramma rushed into my room.
"Hurry, Kathryn, we need to get to the storm cellar, the news says we've got an F5 headed this way, I'll get your brother."
I grabbed my teddy bear, and followed my gramma out of my room. I waited at the top of the stairs for them. Ethan held my hand as the three of us ran out to the storm cellar. I climbed in first, then Ethan, and lastly gramma. She shut and locked the doors, but I could see that it wouldn't hold.
Ethan was closest to the door, gramma always said he was just like grampa. When the tornado hit, we weren't prepared. I was curled up I in the furthest corner, I didn't expect the door to be pulled off, and Ethan and nothing to grab and was sucked up with it. Gramma tried grabbing him, but she got too close and was pulled up too. I was in the corner screaming.
When it was gone and I crawled out of the cellar, the nearest neighbours came running over to me. It was Les Arnolds, and his wife and daughter. They wanted to be sure that gramma was okay, but they froze when they saw me crying.
When I saw mom a couple hours later, she was in shock. I had to live with aunt Meg for a couple months before I convinced mom I could be home-schooled, and I could go with her that way nothing like that could happen again.
The twister slowly faded away. This time, taking none of my family away. I heard music playing as the crew pulled up.
"That was amazing!"
I wasn't listening to my parents argue, instead, I got up and looked at the sky. It was completely blue, not a cloud in sight, and there was a rainbow across the sky. What a beautiful way to end the day, I thought.