‘Wind’s blowin’ up a gale,’ Jason said, closing the door and heading for the kitchen.
‘Yeah, I know. The telly said we’re in for a storm tonight,’ Stella said reaching for the kettle. She sighed as she pushed wispy strands of hair from her face.
‘It’s just so hot,’ she said.
‘Fat lot of good that comes from a storm these days. Lots of lightning but no rain. The creek bed’s as dry as Death Valley. All that’ll happen with this lot is more heat and flies,’ Jason said. He took two large mugs from the overhead cupboard and handed them to his wife. She filled them and placed them and a plate of biscuits on the table. They ate in silence, listening to the steadily increasing wind and occasional rumble of thunder. Twenty minutes later, Stella picked up the mugs and empty plate and walked to the sink.
‘Oh, my god.’ She said, letting the china fall with a clatter into the sink. ‘Come and have a look at this, Jase.’ He joined her at the window.
‘Look at the colour the sky’s gone,’ she said. ‘Have you ever seen it go green like that?’
‘Never in all my days. Looks like we’re in for bigger drama then we thought.’
‘Have you locked up everything? Did you put the chickens in their pen and the dogs in the shed?’ Stella asked.
‘I reckon so. Jesus Christ, listen to that wind. I think we might lose the TV antenna.’
‘I’d better go and unplug the computer,’ she said turning towards the office.
‘There could be some lightning about.’
Jason and Stella stopped in their tracks and turned towards the direction of the noise.
‘Jesus! What was that?’ he asked.
‘Sound’s like the storm’s already here,’ she said, trying hard not to show panic. ‘I’d say lightning’s taken out one of the trees.’ As Stella spoke, they heard a new, more terrifying sound. Hail, large stones, pummelling their old roof with so much force, they threatened to penetrate the tin at any second. Jason rushed to the window and placed his palm on the glass. To his horror, the pane was convex.
‘Run!’ he shouted to his wife, who was by now, obviously hysterical.
‘Where?’ she shouted to make herself heard over the driving wind.
‘The hallway. There’s no glass there. Just go!’ They both fled down the inner passageway and climbed under a large side table.
The storm was right over them.
The house was falling apart. Jason climbed protectively over his wife and held his head. If we survive this, it’ll be a miracle, he thought.
Then, as suddenly as it started, it stopped. After twenty long minutes, the couple climbed out of their temporary shelter.
‘What the…’ he said, feeling a drip, drip, drip motion on his neck. Stella raised her eyes and gasped.
‘Look!’ she said.
Their house was destroyed, but the storm was followed by drought-breaking rain that continued for weeks to come.