There'd been a dampness through the legs up off the concrete for several days now. The weather map again swirls with layered snow squalls. And massive blizzard.
Fast sea air approaches and flails wet snow to dry ground its opaque white wall ferociously blown straight across the TV weather map as high as the highest mountains and spiraling with the velocity of missiles and then vastly tunneling sky-high air burrows blown west to east horizontally unstoppable and mightily.
Elsewhere blown apart homes lay splintered as dark-dawn tornadoes ravaged swaths of mayhem, the hell-hound howled, roared force of deep merciless night caught many folk asleep and then exploded roofs and flew off its own way spinning horses, cattle, goats, chicken coops and tractor trailers and cars and silver SUVs as well as delicate linen that the women had kept clean and folded for decades.
Cellar doors creaked open to a nature zone. Cold rains fell. Translucent black wisp clouds swept ugly and forlorn eastward toward the winds and orange electrical fires where there was no daybreak, the clouds as evil as twisting bevies of manic birds. Familiar merchant signs lay thrashed and giant trees had catapulted from root balls --- the forest had lifted and tossed wild up, down, then randomly strewn, a tossed quiver of multi-ton arrows fallen.
The weight of the devastation,of the clobbered buildings, broken beams and red barns smashed midst fallen winter trees, the rain-sodden pastel insulation, earth-hued littered shingles and thousands of broken walls, and swollen tumultuous raging waters ripe with bobbling dead animals quit the night --- now all gone silent.
Without hesitation the traumatized folk interviewed said they'd rebuild.
He'd been a lonely kid and never ate well. His hair never looked right so he shaved if off with a K-Mart clippers, then looked at himself in the horse collar mirror. He liked the dark clothes, and usually thought what to say to Josie only at night before sleep caught up to him as he dozed in the glow of the black/white muted war movie. His mind was that jungle, that sharp-edged crumbled brick corner where he'd lurch forward spraying his BAR in a reckless sweep of bullets that would wretch him backward before he'd crawl over broken glass and rubble with his sidearm and never give up.
He carried bullets in his black jeans and never talked to anybody about nothing like that. He never initiated conversation, and wondered what texting was, his old man never helped him out with a fancy phone, with a car, or cash really, never helped him and didn't even like him.
"Who'd you call anyway, sumya queer goth buddies?"
He found a stash of dumb waiter weights beneath the workbench and put them in a bucket and worked out alone curling the bucket in fierce repetitive sessions, mindful to count his reps and balance away from the weight of the bucket, then he'd change arms, often losing count, ultimately with his right arm ever-so slightly larger than his left arm, the arm with the indigo outlined yellow/orange leopard.
Last summer he sweated his ass off with an antiquated smokey mower, did lawns whenever somebody called from the note cards he'd thumb-tacked at the IGA and over at Jerome's Sticks and Stones Ace Hardware.
An older guy he knew who lived in an abandoned ice cream truck when it was warm, and then left town when it was cold, Qdoe, he said his name was, just Qdoe...always good to share a doobie with for a few bucks...showed the boy a defensive fighting stance and where to hide in the junkyard. Qdoe talked about combat but the boy never understood which war the bearded usually gaunt, bedraggled older guy spoke of.
Qdoe bought the boy two guns...knowing he'd keep his mouth shut. That day down by the creek the boy and Qdoe split a twelve pack of Falstaff. Then pulverized the cans with shot after shot of plinking target practice until the boy was half-way good at hitting the cans.
Even running and screaming the boy and the deranged aged vagabond got a little too good as they charged the red and white cans--at one point the boy swiveled then rolled to his right and fired dead center into a heart with initials carved into the skinned dank face of a beech tree.
Predictably those interviewed after the shooting rampage said that they didn't know him, until Josie (looking down and to one side) Josie said that he was always polite, quiet...something was bothering him though, can't believe this happened, you know what I mean? He wasn't my friend but I loved him, you know what I mean?
It was too warm for January. There was no snow cover. Minute buds oozed sap beads and what normally would be dead winter brought a gorgeous thaw-day blown in on a giant continuous swoop of fresh southwestern desert breeze. Sniffing squirrels tentatively yawned then stood on haunches like yard ornaments, wide-eyed, confused, gnawing castoff pecan shells, sniffing lava rocks.
"Wanna sneak around. I've got the key", Melanie said to Sandra.
"Whoa, like you betcha bitchin'! Let's cruise over to the park. Christine's home too!"
"We'll have to divvy up and pump in some gas...I don't think she writes down the mileage."
They'd all cut school. By midday Melanie and four BFF girls snugged into the old Taurus wagon that had new brakes and better tires and was washed and spray-waxed just last Sunday. Melanie's mother had purchased the car for her. And now with a learner's permit she imagined herself a natural driver. She was several months away from her real license. Maybe it was the spring-like fascination in the dead of winter that filled her with strange optimism and confidence. Couple more years of 'Boring High' then far away to any college she'd choose. Or off with Rachel and Bobbie right to Hollywood and Vine. Malibu fucking Beach, she sure knew it would be so good. She could not wait. Smarter than all get out. And the boys. She sure knew it. Just marking time and today,bummin, singin and laughin her tush off.
Lettinit all hang out.
She could even parallel park on Main Street. Readily she obeyed when mother scolded her to keep the volume low on sound system. Melanie had noticed that her ride had a slight sway on expressway ramps, but otherwise the proverbial family wagon would be hers, tuned and clean, and Roberto said he and Jason would pop in the shocks for nothing, like whenevah, sure, no problem, if she'd just buy the parts.
Blasting the radio, she playfully jolted the car almost rocking its nose up and down. She screeched the tires as she pulled away from Roxanne's.
Melanie kept to the side streets before finding the countryside as the girls handed around and sipped vodka from a silver flask. Melanie said no thank you as she moderated the volume down midway on the radio.
Melanie again said no thank you as she moderated the volume down midway on the radio. She shouldn't have taken her eyes off the road. There was an ever-so-slight rise and on the other side of it everybody screamed just as it became horribly certain that a young woman on a large horse pranced on the highway's yellow lined edge maybe only a foot out from the gravel shoulder. With her left hand with all her might and best reflex Melanie jerked the pink-fur covered wheel as fast and hard as she could. As hard as she could she yanked left.
For an instant the old wagon crazily swayed but then skidded on its side --- apparently the undercarriage ripped through the horse and rider--- and by now the car slid on its roof at a terrible hellish speed streaking sparks straight away then angled ahead to the gravel on the other roadside where the flattened roof left the asphalt and caught and scrapped the dirt and toppled the car upright with the passenger doors flapped open before it pivoted airborne on its driver's headlight and then-- grotesquely balanced for a second--it clattered and summersaulted at least twice before the old family wagon landed sinking on its wheels upon the cold water of the cattail marsh.
The woman and horse down and the girls in and out of the car.
Within the fiery smithereens the medium loud radio sang on, "...o who's too blame..."
While a startled pair of wild geese from a pond now muscled winging low over the tree tops, off toward the sun.