The Storm

Robert P. Herbst

© Copyright 2003 by Robert P. Herbst

There it was on the weather map, like a coiled spring tightened to the max, swirling in the Gulf of Mexico and poised to unleash it’s wrath on Creepon Beach only twenty miles from Mount Perry. This time, our beloved Mount Perry, would not deflect the storm as it has done in the past, but would funnel it’s vengeance on our little town.

According to the weather man on the TV this storm had the lowest millibar pressure at it’s center ever recorded in any storm in the Gulf of Mexico and it was a category 8. Everyone was warned to evacuate from Mount Perry as quickly as possible. This storm was expected to blow the entire snow cap off the top of Mount Perry.

The Mount Perry ski jump would be the only attraction left open but even this would close when the last of the snow was blown from the ski jump. To those intrepid skiers using the jump when the storm hits, — we wish them a fond farewell.

Much to my surprise as the little group of my friends gathered for their morning coffee, the talk was not of fear and taking precautionary measures, but the attitude seemed to be uncontrolled joy. Yodar was especially happy and almost danced with glee at the picture shown of the storm. "It’s agona hit us fer sure this time, there’s no question about it. It’s headed right fer us."

There could be little question in my mind why they called Yodar Hoopelhoffer, the Mount Perry town idiot. Much to my surprise, the usually more reserved Walley Turkey seemed equally happy. Then again he was known as the Worsbrough Dale, England Village idiot. I usually expected better of Walley because of his rather reserved British nature, but here he was also dancing with glee.

The others in the room with us were Sue A. Cidal, Perry Noid and Skitso Frenik. They seemed appropriately ill at ease as they watched this monster edging ever nearer our shores. I suggested we start to load the store vault with survival rations in preparation for the onslaught of, "The Monster in the Gulf".

We quickly rounded up all the corn chips and soda pop we could find in the town as the other less fortunate folks, evacuated their homes, businesses and town. The place was all ours for the duration. I tried my best to get Walley and Yodar to join us in the vault but they seemed determined to watch the storm from the front of the shop.

As I started to pull the vault door closed I made one last desperate appeal to the two young men to join us in the safety of the vault. Oddly enough, all Yodar was interested in was, where I kept my crab net. I showed it to him and returned to the safety of the vault as the wind began to pick up blowing papers and other debris past the front door. Both Walley and Yodar grabbed chairs and went to the front door where they sat down intently staring out the door as the remains of Mount Perry were blown past.

Shaking my head slowly in disbelief I swung the huge door shut. One last time I shouted to them over the howling wind, "I’ll leave the door unlocked for you." The boys just waived goodby and continued staring out the front door.

The four of us huddled closer together as the wind screeched and howled past the building, yet neither Yodar nor Walley even tried to get into the vault. I knew the building had survived many storms without damage but one is never too safe in the teeth of a storm like this one.

We watched the story unfold on the TV as the storm came ashore. Our brave weather team was standing out there in the wind and rain giving us a blow by blow description of the damage to Creepon Beach until, with one mighty blast, they were gone, victims of the howling wind. Like the skiers on their way down the ski jump as the storm hit, we wished them a fond farewell.

It wasn’t long before the electric power went out and we lit the few candles and the hurricane lamp we’d brought into the vault with us. We were sure both Yodar and Walley had been taken by the wind and we feared the worst for them. At long last the wind began to ebb and the howling diminished. Several hours had gone by for sure. Unfortunately it was very hard to read the sun dial we’d brought into the vault with us, in the light of the hurricane lantern

Slowly I pushed the vault door open. We could hear voiced, but it sounded more like four voices than just the two boys we’d left out in the shop. As the door opened further I could clearly hear one voice saying, "Walley, you’re my hero. You saved my life and I owe you everything"

This is not at all what I was expecting. I shoved the door open to find both Walley and Yodar in the arms of scantily clad beauties who were lavishing affection on them, all the while kissing them and claiming they owed them their lived for catching them as the wind pushed them past the front of the shop and tore the clothes from their backs.

Yodar held up the crab net and shouted to me, "Yall shoulda been here. You coulda had the one we missed." I turned around just as the commentator was eulogizing his lost comrades and telling us it was safe to go home again. I kicked the TV as hard as I could kick.

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