Last Night’s Tornado


Shards of glass and ribs of jagged metal, splintered two-by-fours, sheets of galvanized roofing from a barn twenty miles away. Wreckage as far as you could see in any direction.

“Look at the trees,” she said, sweeping the vista of twisted stumps and branches with her hand.

“Yet the McDonald’s is unscathed,” I said. “Wonderful.”

We picked our way through what was left of our neighborhood. Some of the houses were utterly destroyed while others had been left untouched. One brick house looked fine until you noticed its roof was missing, everything inside sucked out and scattered by the terrible winds.



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  1. Taygibay

    How about moving that McDo line to the end?

    “Wonderful, I said smiling, the McDonald’s is unscathed!”

    … or some such?

    But appreciated nonetheless, Tay.

    • J Hardy Carroll

      I didn’t want to have it be a surprise at the end. I think doing it that way cheapens it and makes it gimmicky. The meat of the story is really the house at the end, seemingly untouched yet utterly destroyed. The McDonald’s was a sop to the photo. If I was to make this a real story, I would cut it out entirely because it’s a redundant element.

Don't just stand there.