Black Friday

“It was the spookiest thing I ever saw. I was workin stock at that Safeway over at Clareview, there, and the skies were blacker than night, you know, even though it was pret-near middle of the afternoon. The tornado come in—I mean, I never saw it—too busy takin cover and keeping the customers safe in the store after the storm warnings—but I go out after and everyone’s still indoors and the road’s just empty. Empty. Stupid thing for me to go, but my wife, you know.

“Thing I remember most is the cars in the fields. No drivers, no tracks out there, eh—just these cars. It was spooky. You know they was just—plop—dropped down, but it was like a ghost town, eh, with these ghost cars settin in fields with no tracks leadin to’m. Like they was grown from the ground.

“No, you’re probably too young to remember all that. Ah, y’know, there was crap everywhere—debris—from trailer parks and buildings pulled apart and glass from windows. You could see the path it cut, like a big fuckin shark or something went swimmin across the city with its fin slicing up on through the streets. Somethin like that—I don’t know. After all that, I wished I did see it—the tornado, you know. I don’t have a death wish or nothing, but it’s like what these bible-thumpers are always on about around here. It’s like God. Big scary son-of-a-bitch God. He can kill you if you try to look at Him—no one’s meant to look—but you want to look, eh. Like looking at the sun too long. You’re just not meant to look. So you don’t.”




Day 309’s three random writing prompt categories were, “The calm before the storm,” “All dialogue,” and, “A brand new car!”

Something an older coworker told me about the Edmonton tornado of 1987. I was one year old and out of the city when it happened. We called the day Black Friday, but shopping crazes have dulled the name.

– H.

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