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'Once she was slim.' - A Tribute to the Victims of the U.S. Tornados, April 2011.

Once she was slim.

A short fiction.

Thinking about the phone conversation with her daughter she’d had not twenty minutes before, wondering if her advice had been taken onboard, even though she already knew the answer, there came a sound like a reversing truck.
A moving ‘disintegration’ if such a thing were possible. A noise that had no comparison in her seventy six years, though enough to charge her veins with adrenalin.
Before she could cross to the stream of daylight through the front window in search of answers and possible escape, she was rising from the floor and the roof twisted and the wall crumbled.
Gravity shifted and she was carried sideways and something hit her so hard that she almost didn’t feel it, an overwhelming numbness that left her with the knowledge that the right side of her body was now useless.
The light was shut out and she felt wet, soaking, as though having emerged from a pool, though she had not been in one for over a dozen years because of a child who had stared at her in her hair cap and goggles and at the lumps in her costume from her age and the reminders of her four children that had been left on her body and the boy’s stare was intrusive as though she were not a real person and just a thing of curiosity and more than likely repulsion but it was not his fault really as he was just a little one but it was enough to guarantee that she never went back to that pool or any other one as it was not a pleasant thing to have your body betray you even though you know it’s inevitable for all and was one of the more disappointing things in life as it’s the same body that was once universally adored and doesn’t that feel like a lifetime ago. Yet she knows that it’s not water that swirls around her but the debris of her shattered home and the wetness must be coming from her and it can only be the fluid of her life and she closes her mouth and her eyes to protect them and that’s all that she can do even though this is not real, cannot be real, and if it is, then perhaps this is what death feels like. A pain like piercing blades shoots through her chest and surely something has hit her in the dark and the reality of being so vulnerable scares her coupled with the noise like a jet plane hovering above and perhaps one has crashed into her home or more likely it’s the worst of nature or the finger of God as her punishment for having left her children’s father years before despite his consistent emotional cruelty and this is a mistake of sorts, a fatal one and she coughs and splutters and is rolling or flying and if that be true then whatever may come in the next few seconds will surely be the end.

As of May 3, 2011, 354 people were killed as a result of the tornado outbreak in the southern states of the U.S. in particular Alabama, from April 25 - 28. Many people are still missing.

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My Books

Next week,

A Poem, What's in Her Name.

Followed by one of the Greatest Written Films.

Soon, A Video Poem - Sun Drenched Rosy Days.

Until Then,

Count your blessings and enjoy life.
I know I will be.



  1. Indeed. Lets be thankful for what we have and enjoy it fully! As i was reading your story, i could see this happening. My heart goes out to those poor people.

    Hugs to you! :)


  2. 4th para. 2nd sentence. Wooooahhhhh! That's one long sentence! One big breath, before the last breath...Was very effective too.

    It is so sad though that so many have died as a consequence of tornadoes. The world everywhere has experienced many losses of late. I hope that there will be no more.

    I like how you keep trying different approaches in your writing. Keep up the good work...


  3. I feel like anything I'd say would be inadequate. How you got into a victim's mindset, the pictures, and the free-flowing nightmare you describe - just Wow. Thank you, Anthony.

  4. Thank you Arielle, Gina and Robyn. Though we've never met, you consistently support me. And that really means a lot.
    I feel much empathy for people in this situation, or indeed, any terrible situation. Life can be over so quickly and it can be cruel. We should all try and find the good in every day. And I get frustrated with some 'miserable' people who actually have rich lives but with a bad attitude. Life is a gift, but a temporary one.

  5. So true, Alex.
    Hugs to you.
    PS I'll email you soon with a personal update.

  6. Great and powerful writing!
    Those photos and videos gave me the the chills.
    So tragic...

  7. Amazing story - your great writing really brought me into the reality of being there, the pace and words and structure all added to the impact


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