The sirens came abruptly. It was one in the morning and the window by our bed was still open.

June 22nd, 2015, 1am

Rain came spilling through the mesh screen that separated us from the madness outside. The thunder and lightning seemed to run on an endless loop. We sunk deeper into the bed, hid further and further beneath the covers.

I had been reading too many World War II novels. Do you think it’s an air raid? The sirens were a high pitched squeal. The whole city was awake. Who could sleep through something like this?

Her roommate came into the room. A small lantern illuminated her face. It was solemn — worried but decisive. Come with me to the basement. We huddled downstairs — the four girls and myself — to hide. The sky had turned to sea and the clouds spun in frenzied chaos. Spiders, ants, beetles crawled around on the floor, on the walls, on the ceiling. Everything with a pulse ran to the basement for cover.

When the sirens stopped — the tornado warning called off — we returned to the bed, fastened the window shut, and tried to fall back asleep. The thunder and lightning still flashed and boomed in endless waves of chaos. The four windows high on the back wall provided no relief from the outside.

Childhood fears rekindled. Go back to sleep; it’s just a storm.

Hedaya and Craig said thanks.

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