Ted’s Tornado

“I do love a natural disaster film or story. The might and power of angry weather is just incredible. Points if you can tell me why my main character is called Ted in this one?

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
Authorworld — Picture – Hand of the Almighty
Word of the Day — Loot

Ted’s Tornado

Ted knew it was coming. He’d been sweating in the tremendous humidity all day. Rising thermals, bubbles of warm air had been rising high into the atmosphere all day. The sapphire blue sky was gone to the west replaced by the ominous grey of the encroaching cumulonimbus wall cloud.

“What you reckon, Ted?” asked Leon working with his camera.  

“Look at the way the wind sheers are shaping that beauty. This is gonna be a big one!” Ted grinned as lightning flashed through the demonic-looking thunderhead. “This is a supercell cloud I can feel it.”

“We already have rotation, look!” Leon pointed to an almost red portion of the boiling charcoal cloud.

Ted followed his direction and nodded. “Yup, partner! This is gonna be a rough one.” Ted had been a weatherman for many years. He knew this was the beginning of a powerful vortex. The unstable weather would cause a downdraught soon and the tornado would be born. “Let’s do it!”

“Okay … In five – four – three – two –“ Leon gave a silent go signal.

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I’m Ted Danson here with an emergency weather report. I’m on the outskirts of the city right now. As you can see above me, the unseasonably warm weather has culminated in the most spectacular of supercell cloud formations. The storm will almost certainly develop tornadoes as it continues on its north-easterly path through the county. I advise everybody to take shelter and I wish you all a safe —”

“Ted, we got a funnel!” Leon interrupted.

Ted gazed at the spiralling tail of condensation reaching toward the ground. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing the birth of one of nature’s most impressive and yet terrifying weather phenomena. A tornado!”

“Yeah, and it’s coming our way!” Leon warned.

Already the wind was picking up. Ted felt small bits of debris whipping past his face as he studied the angry sky. “We must cut our broadcast and move to a safer location. Back to you in the studio for now.” Ted yelled over the now booming wind. Then he handed Leon his microphone. “You’re right. Let’s get outta here!”

The weather and cameramen bundled into their satellite van with a growing desire to be elsewhere.

Ted engaged the ignition and drove down the embankment onto the highway. Making a right he began to drive alongside the storm. All the time keeping his eyes moving from funnel cloud to asphalt with regularity.

“Holy crap! That thing’s huge!” Leon gasped.

“Yeah, it’ll be an F4 to Fi —” Ted swore.

Large hail flashed into existence, hammering the van. It was like a million golfers were pelting every external surface with golf balls. The noise was terrifying, drowning out the sound of the engine.

“Shit! I can’t see a thing!” Ted yelled as he tried to keep the van on the road. His view reduced to exploding ice and pelting rain. The windscreen cracked as menacing thunder rolled across the demonic skies.

“Touchdown!” Leon yelled. His camera focused on a maelstrom of earth and debris caused by the tornado making landfall. The spiralling vortex of condensation and wind began carving a valley of destruction across the landscape.

Ted glanced out the side window in time to see a farm trailer barrelling across the road in front of him. It swiped a car into a ditch with a painful crunch of metal. “Bloody wars!”

“That’s putting it mildly!” Leon was sweating as he recorded everything.

Ted swerved to avoid a flying fence panel. As he regained the right side of the highway, a line of five black vehicles raced past in the opposite direction. One looking like a tank. “Look at those idiot storm chasers heading right into the tornadoes path. They’ll be like throwable loot to that th—”

A tree slammed into the road in an explosion of pine needles and bark. It smashed into a power pole. The line snapped in a shower of blue sparks.

The TV van plunged into the foliage.

“Waaa!” Leon screamed as his head hit the roof.

Ted’s knuckles were as white as a sheet as he gripped and wrestled the steering wheel. The van crashed, bounced and skidded through the tree. Its rear pitched into the air and bounced onto clear road A thunking noise told of a damaged tyre but at least it was still going.

“Too close —Oh —” Leon gulped. “What’s that?”

Ted saw a large square object barrelling toward the road. “Oh no!”

The shed hit the median barrier and rolled straight in front of the van.

The windscreen darkened and then imploded as the van smashed straight through the remains of the roof. Something crashed beneath the van sending airborne.

“Holy craaaaap!!” Ted yelled as the vehicle flew free of the shed smashed back down on the road. It careened into the barrier showing the asphalt in sparks and then Ted was in control again.

“We can’t take much more of this!” Leon cowered as something crashed into the side of the van. Rolled over the roof and tore the satellite off.

“Neither can they!” Ted nodded through the remains of the passenger’s window. The tornado stretching down from the supercell was dirt brown and sparkling with debris caught in its ferocious spiralling winds, now. A yard of farm buildings stood no chance. It was as if the farm was hit by a giants lawnmower, tearing and annihilating everything in an explosion of debris.

“Oh, no!” Leon cried. “I hope nobody was —”

His sudden silence scared Ted. “What!” he yelled while steering through a minefield of debris on the road.

“That!”

Ted looked. The tornado had ejected a large, red piece of farming machinery like a missile. “Get down!”

The combine harvester blade bounced once, then scythed into the vans front wing. The impact tore the engine loose as the van went into a sickening spin. It left the road and flipped onto its side in a cornfield.

The tornado tore up the remaining farmland and plunged through the suburbs of the city.

Ted crawled out of the battered van. His arm was broken and he was concussed as he gazed at the sky. “Woowee, that was windy!”

The supercell was leaving his area. Blue sky was returning as the angry clouds disappeared into the distance. The new tornado had formed as a white shape in the blue sky.  This one would fail to touchdown as the cell was losing strength. “Look at that, Leon. That new vortex looks like a hand of the Almighty.”

“Yeah, it really does.” Leon groaned with blood oozing from a laceration on his cheek. “I wonder if he’ll pay for the damage to our van and equipment?” he added holding up his crushed camera.

Ted grinned, “I doubt it, pal. Still, that was one hell of a show!”

The End


Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerPoetry Nook, and the Short Story Collection

Have a great day!

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