Prologue

            The first tornado shattered the porch swing against the barn. Matt and Sarah were too little to remember much of it. If Matt closed his eyes and tried really hard, he could see the blackness of the root cellar and the smile on Mom’s face in the flickering candlelight. Sarah had been too little to do anything but hold onto Mom and cry. But Sarah always cried then.
            Matt was seven when the second big one hit. That one pulled his favorite tree out of the ground. It lay down on its side with the dirty roots out in the air. He couldn’t believe they were so much taller than him. Once the dirt washed out, he liked to grab them and use them to climb up on top of the trunk. Sarah would get mad because she couldn’t make it yet, but when he helped her, she got scared and cried for Dad to get her down. Of course, Matt was the one who got in trouble.
            The third tornado made the car fly as they drove. The spinning flight felt so much like a carnival ride that Matt and Sarah cheered and laughed as they whirled through the air. They decided they liked it when the winds blew like that.
            After that, the winds came more often. Sometimes they spun, and sometimes even the straight ones blew so fast that anything outside the house was picked up and thrown. As the winds came more and more often, they began to take more than swings and trees. Houses began to disappear into the winds, and so did the people in them. The other kids at school got more and more jumpy. Every time the shutters rattled, someone would scream or cry.
            Not Matt and Sarah. They liked listening to the wind. Mom and Dad would sit with them in the cellar and tell them what each sound meant. None of the other kids would listen to them when they tried to share, and the adults backed away from them like they were scarier than the winds themselves.
            It wasn’t until the town was empty that they understood why.

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