Friendship turns romance when a tornado traps them. The yellow-green-eyed panther/woman of Cyan’s nightmares prowls their lives. Revengeful, jealous, obsessed-- she begins her reign of terror against Nathan and anyone close to him.
When an accident doesn’t kill him, escalating, lethal attempts ensue, what price will be extracted?
The billowing cumulous clouds seemed to stack anvil-like upon each other. They crept higher and closer together by the minute. While they were still off in the distance, the gap was rapidly closing in on them. There was no point in worrying about it. The intense heat made waves across the blacktop, but they were headed home and should get there well ahead of the storm.
Cyan was asleep in the seat beside him lookingso peaceful. She had grown to hate storms. Her once placid love of them, her grandparent’s influence, had faded since the days when Darien had represented the storms that roared through her life. Nathan wondered what it would take to ease that fear again.
He didn’t want to disturb her tranquility by waking her, telling her of the potential danger following them, threatening to overtake them. He put the accelerator to the floor of the Camaro. He had tried to outrun the law several times and succeeded, even though their radios were faster than his car, it helped to know the territory –where to get off—where to get lost. He never tried to outrun a twister before, he thought as the wind tugged at the fully loaded trailer behind the Camaro.
Since Cyan’s divorce, she had been hauling the remnants of her life around in a small trailer, storing it in sheds wherever she had been living until she could retrieve it. He had done the same. This trailer was at least twice the size of their individual holdings now, containing the lives of two people. Funny how the sum totals of your life can be contained in a 6 x 4 foot trailer when your life is more than that multiplied.
The sky ahead and the sky behind separated like day and night. The sudden drop of the funnel cloud caught his eye as it scraped by black and ominous on the edge of the rear-viewmirror. There was no outrunning this baby. “Cyan, Cyan, sweetie wake up,” he called gently at first, trying to wake her without startling her.
A mind numbing sound of breaking wood sounded in the trailer behind them and Nathan saw the heavy oak lid of the antique sewing machine ripfrom itshinges and flung across the road, like a piece of paper. Luckily the load was tied down, or the machine would have gone too. He saw a dirt side road that veered off at a sharp angle from the path of the funnel cloud and made a sharp turn onto it.
“Cyan,” he screamed to be heard over the roar of the freight train noise closing in on them. He needed her awake in case they had to make a run for it, in case he couldn’t veer off far enough not to be engulfed in the storm cloud.
Cyan jolted awake, “My God Nathan what is it, you scared the hell out of me.”
“I meant to—there’s a twister hot on our tail. We lost some stuff out of the trailer already and I don’t know if we can outrun this thing.”
Cyan turned and looked out the back window. “Jesus H., get us out of here Nathan,” she screamed.
He tore down the dirt road looking for somewhere they might take refuge; a deep ditch, anything – like a miracle, the wooden door of a mounded root cellar stood out like a lighthouse to a storm-ridden sea captain. There were no other buildings around. Nathan whipped the Camaro into the field, it bounced across the ruts, the trailer dragging bottom, threatening to break off at the hitch. He slammed to a halt in front of the mound of dirt, “Hurry, in here.” He yelled to her above the deafening roar that followed them.
They slid through the door of the dirt mound and fell down the stairs into the black, musty smelling earth of the root cellar. The door above rattled and slammed open then smashed shut. “What if it sucks us out through the door,” Cyan screamed, tears clearing streaks down her dusty face.
Nathan raced back up the stairs, pulled the door shut tight and latched the inner latch. It creaked and groaned with the force of the suction from the wind outside, but it held.
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