Clara was accustomed to meeting exotic and odd characters in the magical realm. Most of all, the Wurzel, for whom descriptive words failed her. But when she found a mysterious book at the bottom of an old basement crate, little did she realize it would take center stage as the pot of gold at the end of a dystopian rainbow.
Clara fixed her bright eyes on the sky. It was blue over the house; but in the distance, coming rapidly nearer and nearer, was a terrible black cloud–a cloud almost as black as ink–and already there were murmurs in the trees and cawings among the birds, the breeze growing stronger and stronger--the prelude to a great agitation of nature.
For days the weather people on TV have been saying that the city should expect heavy rain, wild winds and snow in the mountains. They say it will be the biggest storm this winter and there may be damage done.
But Clara had an odd feeling about the ominous black clouds bullying the sky as they thundered in. She had a feeling that Krygzyk may have something to do with this sudden and unusually violent storm.
Deciding it best to head indoors and join everyone inside, she moved swiftly to the house. What she did not expect to find was Aunt Flora huddled on the living room floor with her arms tightly around Fauna who was sobbing like a baby.
Patches stood his ground in the corner, hissing and pacing. When the animals go kooky, there is definitely something strange happening.
Her aunt, with terror in her eyes, sought Clara out and yelled, “SIT DOWN SOMEWHERE ALREADY. WE’RE DIGGING IN FOR THE LONG HAUL!”
“Where’s dad?” Clara yelled back.
“NEVER YOU MIND, MISSY. DO AS YOU’RE TOLD!” Not even when everyone was pulling together and fighting for their lives could Aunt Flora speak in a soft, kind voice. Clara wondered not for the first time if her aunt even had such a voice.
She thought that maybe such a voice, if she indeed had one, was kept locked up tight in a crusty dusty jar in a deep dark closet full of squeaky nasty things.
Things got kinda fuzzy after that as the storm raged on with a force highly unusual for a place with consistently mild weather. There was much fretting and hand holding and rocking in place with Aunt Flora more than once yelling to the ceiling, “Please make it stop!” in exasperated tones. In this high stress situation it seemed the only thing cousin Fauna could do was whine, sob and hug her mother.
Rain water was pouring through the closed windows; the trees were bent in half. There was a huge crash as a ceiling fan smashed to the floor.
Everyone had surrounded themselves with mattresses and huddled in the crowded living room which had now been turned into a makeshift command center. Aunt Flora took cover as if her and her daughter were the only important things in the world.
Gee, Clara thought, I can see what she thinks about ME!
Clara did the same in the basement as she fended for herself. Nobody from upstairs came looking for her, like she was better off down there.
The storm raged on causing each second to morph into minutes of sheer terror. Aunt Flora kept shouting at the ceiling as if expecting and answer from there. All one could see was a plump petulant woman screaming her head off while holding a sobbing girl, voicing strong words and commands to a rather unresponsive empty ceiling.