Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weather Thou Goest

I’m a Weather Channel addict, so it goes without saying that I use weather to enhance scenes in my stories. Actually, if we're being honest--I have a bit of an obsession with thunderstorms. I think it's the lightning (or maybe it's the comforting rumble of thunder).

Case in point:

A rumbling growl overhead diverted his gaze, if not his thoughts, from the trim lawns and tidy houses lining the block where his latest mark had resided. Above him, a roiling blanket of clouds stretched across the horizon. He stumbled over level ground as he experienced the same instant of vertigo as always when faced with a view of their darkened underbellies rather than their luminous crowns. (Wicked Kin)  

Here's another:

Wind whipped at my skin as it drove solid pellets of rain in stinging slaps on my neck and face. Thunder crashed as lightning brushed veined fingers across the sky. The dim glow of light called to me from a few hundred yards ahead. I ran, slipping and sliding over ground undecided whether it wanted to refreeze or melt. (Everlong)

I can't help it. (Yes, I know I use that excuse a lot.) I’m fascinated by the workings of something greater than humanity and wildly out of our control. I picture weather as a sentient creature. If you’ve ever seen a tornado, ever survived one, then you know what I mean. Some people say a tornado sounds like a train. I can see that. My argument is this—a train is a hunk of metal hurling down its own track. You get in its way, and it runs you over. Tornadoes don’t give you that luxury. They hunt you down. And you know what? They get pissed off when you’ve hidden well enough they can’t find you.

(The most fantastic picture of a supercell thunderstorm I've ever seen. Came from here.)

There’s something to be said for the way that particular beast grabs a house and shakes it, as if the people inside are delicious treats just out of its reach. Sometimes, it grows bored and moves on. Other times, it punches through the roof or rips the walls from the foundation to reach its prize. Always, it bellows this inhuman roar that plugs your ears and makes your pulse skyrocket while you wait to see how hungry it is this time. Will it leave you and your home intact? Or will it rip aside the barriers humans have constructed and consume everything in its path until its hunger has been sated? You never know. Each time is a gamble. Every siren, a cause to hide in your storm cellar or bathtub and pray this time the beast is well-fed and you don’t look like dessert.

March is coming on fast. Sirens lay dormant, for now. Let the beast come, I’ll be ready.

4 comments:

Joann said...

Hailey, what a picture! Great post and loved the story pieces.

Annie Nicholas said...

This sounds like an interesting plot bunny! *ducks*

Hailey Edwards said...

Joann, I love that picture. I have it as wallpaper on my computer. lol

Annie, one day I will finish writing Dry Spell. Then you will realize how deep this obsession goes. O_O

D L Jackson said...

I survived a tornado in Ogallala NE when I was six years old. My family lived in a trailor park and it hit so fast I barely had time to dive under the bed. (which would have done zero anyway) When it was over, the doublewide across the street was without a roof, peeled open like a can of sardines, the trailer behind us was gone, except for the sewer and water pipes. a motorcycle, the deck that had been attached to our home, the cap off my father's pick-up, but not the truck and huge petrified rocks from the yard were gone and dropped into a field ten miles down the road.
To this day, I both love and respect nature and the power of a storm. Ocassionly I'll still dive under the bed. LOL PTSD. Don't know so much if it sounds like a train or what. It's terrifying. It roars and the world shakes around you--that's all I can say. Like a giant beast.