Sirens hummed in a low tone. The power went out leaving nothing but darkness. A great ache tore through my tummy as I sat in a dark room sorting marbles. My grandmother placed her hands on my tiny shoulders.
“I need you to run to the storm cellar,” she said.
“Why Nana?” My dark eyes widened as I looked up at her crouching beside me.
“There’s a storm coming and the cellar is the safest place.”
“Are you coming too?” I pouted my bottom lip.
“I’m going to collect a few pictures of grandpa.” Her nose twitched. She had lost him two years ago to illness. Ever since his death, the photographs and King James Bible he used to preach sermons with were all she had left of him.
“Nana, I don’t want to go without you,” I whimpered.
“Everything will be okay. Remember to pray, and I’ll join you soon. I love you Maricel.” She kissed the crown of my forehead and pulled me close to her. Tears stung my chubby cheeks as she held me.
With a gulp, I gathered the courage to stand and sprint out the door as the tornado roared closer.
Outside, the sky was pitch black despite it being mid-day. Trees, sheds, power lines and homes were uprooted. I covered my ears to quell the unevenness of my pulse, and dashed across the prairie past the golden, high wheat.
Once I reached the cellar I climbed in panting, and shut the door. I waited for her to arrive and clasped my hands together praying for safety, but was unsure of how to pray. It was my first time praying. Unlike my religious grandparents, my mother kept me away from any sort of faith. When I finished, I rocked back and forth, clutching my knobby knees. The sound of walls, and roofing of the house nana was in, being demolished by the powerful whirlwind filled my ears, bringing hot tears to my eyes as I trembled.