support groups that planned for multiple scenarios of crisis. They wisely managed their precious resources.
The conditions intensified as towering strong trees began to uproot and parts of a field tractor became missile projectiles that could saw a barn into two. Heavy snow started to fall as if it could be the blizzard of the Century. Lightening pivoted in every imaginable direction accompanied with thunderous booms. Aggie knew that the town shelter would not be possible to reach, and remembered that The McAllister Farm was a mile down a gravel paved drive. There the McAllister family have a decent underground storm shelter that Phillip recently contracted and completed its construction. Wham! A tree collapsed in front of Aggies SUV and the car hit it like a bullet and ricocheted over the farm fence. The SUV miraculously landed on all four ultra high performance tires. But all that could be heard was the howling, thundering wind. Aggie felt a nudging and licking upon her cut up face from Prince. She was able to turn and view that Sandy and Tom were still strapped into their seats. However, both were in shock but fully functional. Prince whimpered and displayed his sprained paw. Thump, thump, thump, the SUV bounced up and down as if it would take flight.
The McAllister family and ranch hands reached the heavy thick steel door leading to the shelter and proceeded to file into a massive elevator to descend into the comforts of their underground residence. The shelter was partially housed inside a concrete silo that
embellished every modern amenity. A fully serviced gourmet kitchen, sauna, steam showers in two full-sized bathrooms, a living room adorned with thick brown leather pull out sofas, equipped with every electronic entertainment gadget, six bedrooms and a mess hall that included living quarters for their staff. Exterior cameras gave them all a complete spectrum of the ranch. A console that came right out of NASA technology was at their fingertips thanks to Phillips engineering skills. Little did they know that their neighbor Aggie was in such danger and heading to the ranch for shelter until Andy McAllister junior
spotted on the surveillance screen their neighbors SUV in the field. “Well I’ll be darned, what the heck”, Andy blurted out as he scratched his head in bewilderment. They all gathered around the screen while Andy zoomed the camera in for a closer view. With the latest technological software, Andy was able to remove layered storm elements and focus on the automobile to see the family trapped. Swoosh, the twenty-foot silo door smoothly rose and a bright yellow snow caravan emerged to make its twenty-minute trek.
Aggie bundled up Sandy and Tom with woolen blankets. Prince nestled in-between the two for added warmth. The front windshield was partially missing and the cold wind was blowing almost uncontrollably inside the vehicle. Then there appeared a yellow hazy dot moving towards them and with a partial sigh of relief Aggie knew that help was on its way. Back at the underground shelter Mrs. McAllister was preparing a hardy beef stew dinner. Everyone was settled in after unpacking, taking showers, chatting about the storm and expressing their dramatic experiences. Aggie had a fresh bandage wrapped around her head and the children appeared to have lost all signs of trauma after playing computer games. Prince was asleep on a pillow. The New York cheese cake, brightly colored cupcakes for desert and frothy mocha drinks ended the night. After-all, it was a life threatening long day. They all decided to call it a good night. Aggie lay in bed under two white down comforters staring up at the luxurious cedar paneled ceiling trying to sleep. For hours she tossed and turned until the bare silence in her bedroom broke. It was a stifling, deafening, sharp metallic rippling sound that echoed throughout the shelter. She jumped up from her comfort zone and ran directly to the living room where everyone met at the console to view the screen display. The storm had stopped and a bright blue sky appeared framed inside a huge funnel of puffy white clouds. Out in the storm laden field over by the black SUV sat a very strange object, and it was not from this world. … (to be continued)
‘It is an absolute necessity for me to cycle trails. It is a similar experience to a drive through movie but more interactive because the bicycle is in constant transit and you get to commune with natures screen.’
Local communities often have meet-up groups for singles and people who just enjoy the same interest. Luckily a trail is within a stones throw from where I reside and today I took a short spin to enjoy the sounds of a babbling brook. It was quite peaceful and serene. The ground still casts some snow cover but it is melting because the weather is changing to a more enjoyable comfortable climate. People are starting to venture outdoors with dogs in tow to enjoy some fresh air and I spotted a few. The woods still appears bare but tranquil. Babbling brook water is crystal clear from snow melt as shown in the short video posted below.
Corner Candy Store To Dancing Class – sketch a doodle series
by elizabeth mclaughlin
My grammar school was located at the Grand Concourse and the silver round metal bell that dangled from the cemented brick-faced wall rang with a deafening loud noise. Students in woolen dark green plaid uniforms piled through a door, out of classrooms, formed single lines and into wide hallways. Brown leather Oxford’s shuffled down stairs and out onto the street. Classes ended for the day and for this latch key student it was a time to explore the neighborhood. The El rumbled above on a grey but rusting towering steel structure obviously put together with large bulging rivets. Screeching ear-piercing brakes could be heard scraping the tracks in the distance. People charged up and down the stairs frantically hoping not to miss their ride into Manhattan or to travel further Up-Town. A man stopped to assist a woman with a bulky baby carriage.
Sams corner candy store was open and this is where I was heading. Earlier after breakfast I was able to slide the white lacquered wooden kitchen chair over to the refrigerator. This is where dad usually left twenty-five cents, enough to purchase a vanilla cherry coke. Sam was a bald-headed man who wore a starched stiff white shirt and apron. He looked professional, cheerful and ran behind the counter, bouncing from soda fountain to soda fountain, squirting into glasses,thick syrup and seltzer. Andy the newspaper boy assisted me onto a twirling leather round seat and I placed my quarter onto the hard red linoleum counter. A tall coca-cola glass magically appeared accompanied with paper straw. Teens congregated in the back of the shop where they could mingle in talk at red leather booths. I slurped the sweet syrup down my throat and observed the people ordering grilled burgers, thin fries, and chocolate cream sodas. Sam came up to me and offered a licorice stick upon leaving. The door swept closed and the weather was changing to a light rain. I turned the corner and started to go up the hill, as we called it, but piano music guided me alongside a brick building.
In the wind a metal sign squeaked back and forth, it read, Patties dancing lessons. I dropped my school bag to the ground and peered up toward the dusty second floor window. Children chattered and their thumping prancing feet bouncing against wooden floor could be heard from outside the wood framed window . I could only imagine tiny dancers dressed in elaborate costume, gliding and flying across a studio floor being directed with prompts. Within minutes the instructors voice stopped her classes movement and a head peered out the window. A woman with gray hair, bun on the top of her head looked down upon me with a frigid grimace. I felt discovered and ran as fast as my little legs could run up the street.
by elizabeth mclaughlin
Times Square was busy as usual, flooded with tourists and local street artists trying to make a living. The cell phone chimed as I brushed through crowds that collected in front of theaters and shops. I slid my hand into my multi-colored polka dot rain coat and pulled the phone out to see that Steve was on the line. ‘Steve darling where are you calling from?’ And, what are you doing this weekend?’ I pouted. He did not hesitate with a response to me that an exclusive London client offered their corporate getaway for his use. A horn honked and I had to think fast to bounce back up onto the curb to avoid being hit by a taxi cab. ‘Listen Steve darling, talking and walking is not going to work for me now, how about sending me a detailed text message about your plans.’ “Absolutely, love”, he responded and the phone line clicked closed.
The Paris Baguette was not too far away, only on 7th Avenue, theater district. There I could unwind at their upstairs dining room, sit comfortably, enjoy a Green Tea Latte , refuel with a chocolate, blueberry/cheese, cheese pastry and chicken pesto sandwich. It sounds like the perfect setting to read the text message from Steve. I pressed my index finger onto the phone and opened up the text message.
“Stacey love, I know that it is your birthday this weekend and I want you to be my guest and be with me that special day. If you say yes, Charles, my chauffeur will be at your disposal, please, do not bring a thing, just you! Just telephone Charles at 868-xxx-xxxx, now!”
This was too good to be true, but fairy tales do happen, especially in New York City. It is a fast city, fast crowds, fast relationships, however, Steve and I have been dating for quite some time. Before I knew it the silver limousine was whisking me away to an undisclosed location. Charles made contact through a rear seat console speaker phone and divinely offered me a glass of Moet from the limousine bar. I did not reject this offer. The limousine approached a hand crafted black iron gate that automatically opened upon Charles voice prompt. We escalated up to a mountain top and perched upon it was the most spectacular modern mansion with views. The golden sun was setting and reflected this beautiful sky array against the glass structure. The clouds swirled around like the chilled impressions made against my glass of Moet. Pools of water softly swirled into the distance as the low tide drifted to meet the large river currents. This was an amazing find because it was just a few hours drive up the New York State Thruway. Steve welcomed me at the stone arched entry, we hugged, turned our faces towards the Hudson River view and watched with amazement the silhouetted foliage against the tranquil sky. Our weekend was set.
This page created for Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo Thursday photo prompt…