Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tornado Trailer Park


This is part of a much longer manuscript and I've decided that it deserves a little special attention. So for the next month or two  Tuesdays will officially be changed to Trailer Park Tuesdays. Please adjust your calendars accordingly. -Rich

Tornado Trailer Park
Part One

ripping the battered trailer home off of its cement slab and flinging it into the swirling, debris choked cyclone.
“Oh God, no!” Clem wailed as he clung to the worn brownish carpet that covered his floor. Tears ran freely from his eyes and collected in his bristly black beard. “I regret every bad thing I done! No, that's a lie! I don't regret sleeping with Arlene! She was a fine woman and her husband was a turd! Please don't kill me, Jesus!”
Deep down though, Clem had always known he was going to die in a tornado. He had joked about it when moving into the Sleepy Grove Mobile Home Park seven years ago with his bitch of an ex-girlfriend, but in his marrow he knew it was no laughing matter. Whenever anything good had happened to him, like the time he won fifty bucks on that scratch ticket or when his bitch of an ex-girlfriend finally moved out, he feared that that would be the time a twister would strike down from the sky and wipe out whatever joy he had. Clem knew that when a man was on top of the world it just meant he had further to fall when when the world decided to fuck him.
The problem with Clem's logic though was that nothing particularly good had happened to him lately. His plasma screen had started making everyone on it look kind of green. The water company was threatening to shut off service if he didn't pay up. His truck had started doing a funny little shimmy thing whenever he got above sixty. Yet still, a tornado had touched down just a few miles south of his home and tore a path directly to him, as if God Almighty had decided to personally flick him off the planet.
He had been having a pretty good nap though.
Clem looked up, prayers and vows to every god he could think of (and a few he may have made up) screaming from his lips, and looked around his rapidly disintegrating trailer. Maybe he could find some place to hide and somehow avoid death. He'd heard stories of babies and puppies being lifted up by a tornado and placed gently back onto the ground miles away from where they had started and without a single bruise or scratch on them. Of course, he'd also heard more stories about people finding other people's heads in their rain gutters or cats being driven through oak trees as if they were nails. As Clem crawled toward his television cabinet, hoping that he could move the old VHS tapes out of its bottom drawer and crawl inside, he decided to focus on the happy puppy side of things.
The wind and sound of the twister's scream got louder as his front door was ripped off its hinges. He looked at the gaping hole just as his neighbor's tireless Ford Festiva went hurtling by. The new hole created a vacuum within the trailer and Clem felt himself being dragged towards his doom.
“You go to hell, Baby Jesus!” Clem screamed, rage filled him as he clawed at his filth encrusted carpet for purchase. “Vishnu, Odin, Hammurabi, ya'll can kiss my ass! You go to hell and you die!”
As his body was dragged inexorably toward the howling chasm that used to be the front of his house, Clem began to hear a deep rotating sound come from the middle of his living room. Looking up, he saw that somehow his glass-topped coffee table still stood perfectly still in front of where his pull out couch used to be. His back issues of Oui sat peacefully, their worn covers flapping gently as if being whispered over by a gentle breeze. The rolling sound was coming from his Budweiser commemorative pewter stein, which he mostly drank Milwaukee's Best out of, as it rotated slowly on the table. It stopped for a moment, then seemed to float above the table for a moment.
“Oh crap,” Clem managed to say before the thick cup hurtled towards his face at remarkable speed, the eyes of the its Clydesdale's seeming to pass judgment upon him.
Everything went black.

He felt a gentle breeze blow across his body, gently tousling his hair. Opening his eyes, he saw that he was laying face down on a sheet of rusted metal siding. An ant crawled slowly by an inch or so away from his face, it seemed as amazed by its own survival as Clem was. Dazed, Clem slowly wiggled each of his extremities to make sure that he wasn't paralyzed. Relieved that everything was responding appropriately, he started to see if he could make it to his feet. He made it into a kneeling position before he noticed the maelstrom wall of the tornado not twelve feet in front of him.
At first Clem thought that he had survived being tossed out of the tornado only to have it run him back over but then he noticed that it wasn't getting any closer or further away from him. Standing, Clem looked up and saw the wall curved around him, stretching up as far as he could see and extending to either side for what looked like miles. It curved slowly around him, encircling him in a swirling chaos of debris and dirt.
“I wouldn't get much closer to that, buddy,” A voice shouted behind him. Clem hadn't even noticed that he had started walking towards violently swirling wall. “A few more feet and you'll be shredded to bits. Seen it happen before.”
Clem turned around to see who was talking to him. A man, white bearded and looking like an old hippie, sat on a lawn chair that was set up on top of a vintage Airstream trailer. He was holding a worn out transistor radio in one hand and a clay jug of moonshine in the other. A smile that had said goodbye to more than a few teeth cracked his windblown, red face.
“Welcome to The Eye!”

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