Its goIng to be a long night.
Storm Stolen
Mary’s Story
Grey storm clouds swirled overhead, blocking out any hopes of sunshine. Solemn were any birds that dared fly past the foreboding sky. All houses were locked, windows boarded up, and no person was to be seen outside. The animals had gone into hiding too, for the same reason. They could sense the storm.
Not a single car chugged down the ever barren street; and the corn plants swayed in the growing strength of the howling wind. The tree branches bent, and swayed, threatening to come crashing down on the Pistado Household. I watched all this from a crack in my boarded up window. You see, my family had been preparing for a Tornado ever since September. But It wasn’t that unusual for there to be solitary movement in the streets of Shillingville. Shillingville is a small town in the middle of Oklahoma. It’s not on most maps, for many reasons. If you go to my school, it mostly explains itself.
Shillingville Elementary is a one room, one teacher school, that teaches Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Our teacher, Ms. Mirabile, deserves to work as a tutor for the queen. She is the kindest, sweetest person I have ever met (sorry mom). But I wouldn’t want her to get promoted, because then she’d go work for some fancy Prep school, and I’d be stuck with Mr. Vanderbilt.
Mr. Vanderbilt comes to teach us whenever Ms. Mirabile has to go away. He assumes we have more fun with him, than Ms. Mirabile, but he thought wrong. He makes us do college level exams, says that they “boost our level of knowledge”, but they actually just lower your self esteem, especially for the 5th Graders, when you get a -100 on your test. the K-2nd grade haven’t learned negative numbers’ so they’re ok. But still.
My best friend, Patrick, has been rapped on the knuckles twice with a ruler. Since its still legal in Oklahoma to do that, Mr. Vanderbilt won’t go to jail, to my great disappointment, but he does get reprimanded by the parents. A lot. Last week, there had been the start of some of the hottest weather Shillingville has ever seen in Autumn. Not the whole tumbleweeds, cactuses, and sandstorms, that you may be picturing. But the temperatures started soaring up into the hundreds. Last Thursday, it was 108 degrees outside. Just an hour ago, a tornado warning was broadcasted, for most of Oklahoma.
Everyone scrambled to board up their windows and doors. We stocked up on food, and bottled water, and we made room in the basement for the family. We have a small basement, so making room for my parents, me, my brother Phillip, and my terrier Donald, wasn’t easy; but this wasn’t exactly a new thing, living in Oklahoma. Then, at 10:34 pm, the tornado struck us. We all scrambled into the basement, as the winds screamed bloody murder, tearing up plants and trees by their roots. I imagined the tornado tearing up my house, and smashing it to bits on the dead grass. “Don’t worry, Donald,” I whispered to him, as he whimpered; but I was mostly trying to reassure myself. I squeezed Donald tighter and reached out for Phillip’s hand as the Tornado plowed through Oakland County. Even though I had been through hundreds of Tornadoes, living one was really scary. I needed some reassurance from a friend right now. I dug through the jumble of people until I found my phone, and dialed Patrick’s number.
“Patrick?” I whispered.
“Yeah?” He answered back. He sounded like he was in tears.
“How’s it going over there?”
“Not good,” he replied.
I braced myself for the terrible news.
“What happened?” I asked.
“My front door fell off its hinges.”
Seriously? I didn’t get it. This shouldn’t have upset Patrick. And I should know. We had been best friends ever since we were 3 years old. I knew that the only thing he might get really teary-eyed over, is books about Dolphins, and...
“But that’s not even the worst of it,” he said.
I held my breath for this one. Whenever Patrick gets super determined, scared, or sad, he speaks in a dangerously low voice. And this voice was dangerous, and the lowest of the low.
“Gracie’s missing.”

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