We buried one of our own.
That was all he wrote in his journal; that and the date. Any other words seemed useless, and more than useless, false.
And, of course, he never mentioned the twister.
She was gone, buried, dead; one of our own. She was young, thirty-seven. They said that she was young, although to a thirteen year old, it was an unimaginable oldness.
The funeral had been in wet grass, but the sun had been bright, and the clouds hadn't closed in until after the service. He had seen them, the clouds, crouched on the horizon, waiting for some unfathomable reason, unmoving in spite of the wind.
The service had barely ended, the casket lowered with its cross of soil on its helm, when the first cloud had passed in front of the sun. The sudden shade had sent a shiver down his back, the thought forced its way into his mind, was it returning? The twister?
He sat in the dark with only his desk lamp for illumination. It lit his journal, his hands, and his face; and little else. He thought of adding the word 'today' either to the end or beginning of his entry. He decided against it, it was obvious that he was talking about today. He knew that he was done for the night; that nothing more would come to him.
Eventually, he would express his fears and doubts about this new concept, death, in his journal, just not yet. But he wasn't ready to turn the light off, he wasn't ready to face the dark, and all it held, especially the nightmare.
Twisters had been a part of his life for as long as he could remember. First they had come to him in recurring nightmares.
It was always the same, simple, terrifying nightmare: a dream of futility. He was running, running but not escaping, from a twister. He wasn't even sure when they had first started to haunt him.
His first real memory of any knowledge of twisters was in grade three. They had had to make up a story to go with a picture. The picture was of a stagecoach rushing through town, the horses hot and foaming. Why, the teacher asked, was the stagecoach in such a hurry?
They had praised his story for originality – he had said that they were fleeing from a twister – but he could tell that they were, well, if not displeased, upset. There'd been a parent-teacher meeting over it.
They didn't understand, and he learned an important lesson. If they don't understand, then don't tell them.
So he kept his nightmares of twisters to himself.
The nightmare had intensified over the last few years, always growing with him, and incorporating the new elements of his life. When his family had moved, and he had made new friends in school, the twister took them in his dreams.
He would be standing, facing a picture window. Through the window, he could see a strangely familiar prairie landscape, and roaming across the landscape was a twister, or two twisters, or occasionally, three.
In the room, with him, were any number of people; always people he knew, friends or family, and they would have their backs to the window, and they would be having fun.
None of them would notice him, just as none of them would see the twister.
He would be dazed at first, and would babble. They would laugh at him, or ridicule him, none bothering to look over their shoulders.
It was at this point that he either mastered the dream or it won out. Sometimes he could maintain his senses, and know he was dreaming. Then, he could force himself to act, and grab one of them and turn him around. That was all it took, then the dream moved in a blur.