Weather/Whether, Pt. 2

Posted on January 5, 2009


(Part 1 is here.)


I immediately dropped my controller and went the window. It was like someone had used a dimmer switch on the weather. The sky that was a pure blue just minutes before was now a flat, dark grey. The sun was still in its place but it looked like a ball of wet black paint. Still no clouds. The level of light outside was the amount that usually occurs after twilight but before it’s truly dark.


Everything started to flicker. One second the world outside was back to a pale and bright morning, to the deepest shades of night, and point everything in between at random. This lasted for about ten or fifteen seconds before it settled back in the post-twilight atmosphere again.

And then came the smoke.

A four foot wall of dense, dark grey smoked came rushing in from the horizon and covered the ground.


There hadn’t been much change for a few minutes. The smoke was still billowing in and surrounding the house like a displaced flooding river. Thankfully, none of it had seeped into the house.

I had my laptop on the kitchen table. I was watching video satellite feeds from three different locations on my computer, I had the local four channel on the tv instead of the video game, and I had two news sites open and was refreshing them every minute or for headlines. Somehow the internet and satellites were not at all disrupted by the otherwise disrupting weather.


I decided that if I watched any more news or stared out the window for much longer I was going to lose my nerve. To keep myself from panicking, I went upstairs. We had family friends staying at the house for the weekend so I went to see what they were all doing.

Everyone was acting almost normal. The youngest of the three daughters was playing with some dolls in the doorway of the room to the left. She was too young to understand what was going on, so she continued to play with the dolls unbothered, using her little voice to give them words. The middle girl was in the room in the corner styling her hair. Her hands were shaking a little bit, and any time she was a tiny bit clumsy she scolded herself under her breath. The eldest was perched on the top step reading The Great Gatsby. She eyed my look of panic and simple said in a casual voice, “What’cha think of all this?” I shrugged and sat down next to her.

At first I was mad at them because they weren’t reacting. But then I realized that they were only trying to maintain equilibrium. They were trying keep the panic under the surface.


I heard the front door open and my sister’s voice rang through the house. I ran downstairs and gave her a huge hug.

“Don’t do that to me! You had me so worried!” She said.
“Oh, sorry. I left my phone in the other room and forgot to turn it up from vibrate from earlier today.”
“Just like every other day you don’t pick up your phone.”
“Something like that.”

We both uttered a half-hearted, nervous laugh and went into the kitchen.

(To be continued.)

Posted in: weather