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Cyclone No Silo

Sarah Minor

When the tornadoes came in August Gram opened up the windows. Big Mom taught her daughter that funnel wind chases out the smell of a year. Something about low pressure, how letting the air inside made the cloud skip your house. The TV said the storm was a big one, so we put the cats in the old dog crate and set it up on the washer in the basement. You couldn’t do anything then, inside or out, because the power might go, even digging up worms, so we watched it come in from the porch and each kid got half a beer, like it was a snow day. Saturdays we waited for Allen the Horizons man who Gram liked to flirt with but today he wouldn’t come. Allen would hold the door wide like drivers at the Quikstop whose eyes were sticky like a gumball prize. Mouths closed, eyes open, she told us. We waited for Allen to back out again before knocking down the stairs where Gram would hand out forks and paper bowls no matter if it was sandwiches or chilly. On the porch we waited for the funnel to get hard like Allen’s drill bit. Lee said Silo’s a pretty name for a girl and Carl called her a dimwit. Lisa whined and said she wanted a cereal and by the time we came back out again Gram was sitting funny in her chair. Sometimes she had to lie down to think. She slept with her whole mouth open like she was silent singing, but her face wasn’t like that now. She looked like Pop before he quit drinking and after nobody could stand him so he took it back up. She was awake but looking like a gap where two toes should be. Everyone in town said you’d find anything you told Gram you were looking for, and we still had time to say.

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