—tornado, Jefferson City, MO, May 22, 2019
Trails of debris, rooftops blown into sand, a photograph of a two-week-old baby.
She said, I just wanted someone from my family to call, to see if we’re OK—
and the tornado’s breath came from her, stuttering sobs as loud as the storm.
Michael H. Brownstein wrote this story.
The first drops of rain were a relief; the dry earth lapped them up greedily. Eventually the ground’s thirst became satiated, and the puddles started to grow. When the road washed out we began gathering at the church, not just to pray, but because it was built on a hill.
Tyler lives in Denver, where he works as a bartender, writes, and plans his next adventure.
Grand Prize Winner: “Artistic” Category
“Summer camp, backyard, or wherever; who’s camped overnight in a tent?”
A virtual forest of hands sprang up in the crowded classroom. After hesitating briefly, the foreign exchange student raised her hand, as well.
“You’ve stayed in a tent?” Mrs. Saunders asked her.
“Yes,” Maria said.
“After the earthquake.”
John H. Dromey has had a short story published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, a mini-mystery in Woman’s World, plus fiction online at Liquid Imagination, Mysterical-E, and elsewhere.