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Black Saturday

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It was all I could hope for. Fields brimming with golden wheat, waving slightly in the wind. My family had moved out to northern Texas, and we were enjoying the farm immensely. I fell into a routine soon, up at the crack of dawn to tend to the fields, while Johnny tended to the animals.

During the late hours of the day, I would swap with Johnny and get some sleep. I never knew how long it took him to finish the work, but he was always there, sleeping in every morning. I guessed he worked all night, so I didn't bother him.

It gave me inexplicable happiness, the open field, the wind on my face, just the overall feeling of freedom coursed through my veins. This was the perfect life. We didn't need anybody else to provide for us either, just get the food from the fields and the animals. And every drop of sweat I would spend was worth it.

I got up, tilled the fields, sowed my seeds, and worked this farm under the harsh light of the blazing sun, scorching the back of my neck and hands. My wife and children would stay inside, do household chores, and make the best of the crops. It was a happy little life we had, simple, but hard working.

We continued this routine until one day, after the morning oatmeal, my wife Julie came into the house, obviously in a panic. She reported the devil had come, bringing a giant explosion made a dust. One of the plagues against humanity, she thought. The kids, named Johnny and Sarah, rushed outside immediately to see what was going on, as I calmed down Julie with a few passages of His word.

She was right, there was a giant dust storm coming at us, but not like the stuff we usually get, this was far larger. I felt a knot in my stomach and my muscles tensed up as I started panicking. This initial reaction would the first of many, as it was reported parts of other states had gotten the storm too.

For days we had dust everywhere, in our food, in our teeth, in our hair. But, it got worse. That wasn't the only storm. A few months later the dust storm struck again, with reddish dust, and from a different direction. The first storm had grayish dust. The dust storm count rose each year, and I was starting to wonder if we had read His word wrong, and this really was the end of man. These storms were just the appetizer for the feast that came next though.

It was another dusty day on the farm, I was standing mute in the fields. Everything was gone. The plants were dead, the topsoil blown away, the ground hard and not fit for growing. As I mutely stood in my fields for hours, I had the feeling that the worse was still to come, and soon. The government had come with sympathy checks and food, but for the longest time, I refused. We weren't that weak. Some did take the offer though. Eventually, I broke down. My family and I had to eat, so, head down, I went and accepted a sympathy check.

It was the next day, that all of Hell broke loose. I woke up to the darkness, possible a few hours before dawn. It was usually the rooster who woke me up, but the rooster was killed. I walked outside, hoping for a calm breeze. The breeze came, with an amount of dust, albeit. Still, the breeze soothed me. I stared at my destroyed field, the familiar feeling of sadness tingling my nose and getting caught in my throat. I stared out at the horizon, seeing faintly what looked like night returning by the dim moonlight.

After a few moments of staring, I realized that the night didn't work like that.

I ran inside the house, screaming at me family to get up and get to the car. Confused and yawning, they all slowly made their way to it. I rushed to the car to myself, and started driving away from the massive storm. This was no regular dust storm, this was much bigger, and made of pure black dust. The storm was gaining on us, but I noticed something that made me stop in my tracks. I noticed a family, sick from the storm, trying to flee to their car. One of the ladies was sick, and they weren't gonna leave her behind. I stopped and helped the lad to the car, then rushed back toward mine. I had shut the door, and now struggled to open it. It seems dust had gotten stuck in the hinges.

I was stuck outside of our only means of transport, and the storm was almost among us. I yelled at Julie to take the wheel, and ran around to the passenger's seat, but that door was stuck too. The kids tried to force the doors open, but to no avail. There was one still moment, but I made my decision. I said my goodbyes, and wished my family the best.

I told Julie to drive away, and that I would catch up with her later at her sister's house, on a hill over yonder, hopefully out of the blast zone for the storm. Julie wasn't the best at driving, considering she never learned, but what else could I do? They drove away just in time, leaving me smiling weakly and waving at them from behind. The kids screamed and begged for another way, but Julie understood.

The storm was among us.

And with that, I was gone.

Lost in the storm.

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