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Chapter Text

June 1969

A thunderstorm rolls in across the prairie and lightning flashes across the sky. A thunderstorm rolls in across the prairie, in the foreground, a fence. Lighting flashed across the sky and is accompanied by thunder. In a bedroom, two young girls sleep on the bed with a dog. Jo, her cousin Dani, and her dog Toby at the foot of the bed. Suddenly, the lighting watches them up. Jo’s mother rushes into the room. 

“Jo? Dani? Common',” Jo’s mother said. 

“What is it, Mommy?” Jo asked. 

“What’s wrong, Auntie?” Dani asked. 

“Common' sweeties, let's get up. Common'. It's okay,” She lifts Jo and Dani out of bed. Toby is left on the bed, “It's okay.”

“We need to get down to the storm cellar right now,” Jo’s father told them. 


"Toby?" Jo called.

"Common', take Jo, let's go!" Jo's father urged.

“Toby!” Jo and Dani called. 

"Okay, Common' sweeties," Jo's mother said to Jo and Dani as they leave the room to go downstairs

“Mommy?” Jo said, confused about what is happening. 

“Common', Honey, hurry!” Jo’s father urged them.

“Don't be scared, Jo. Mama's gotcha, Mama's gotcha. It’s gonna be okay, Dani. your Auntie won’t let you get hurt,” She comforted the two young girls.

“TV. says it's big. Might be an F5,” Jo’s father informed them ad they walked down the stairs. 

“Okay, we're going to the storm cellar,” Jo’s mother told the young girls. 

“Toby? Toby! TOBY!!!!” Jo and Dani screamed as Toby begins to bark.

They run out of the house, things exploding and falling all around them.

Father: Hurry, we've got to move! Hand her to me!! Common', let's move!!

The mother gives Jo to the father while she holds onto Dani, they keep running. They get to the storm cellar, a door in the ground. 

“AHHH!” The mother screamed as things exploded, “ We're almost there, we're almost there!”

“Take her, take her! I gotta get the door! Hurry! Let's go!” Jo’s father pries open the storm cellar door. They yell at each other to get inside. Once they were all inside, Jo’s father slams the door and closes the latch.

“Daddy, daddy, Toby's still outside!” Jo told him. 

“Common' Toby, common' boy!” He opens the door again, Toby jumps inside. He closes the latch again.

“It's okay, Toby,” Jo said as she and Dani comforted him. 

Jo’s mother lights a kerosene lamp.

“Daddy!” Jo called her father. The four sat down and tried to hunker down until it was over, but suddenly, the door begins shaking.

“Grab Jo and Dani, honey!” Jo’s father said to her mother as he goes over to the door, pulling the handle toward him keeping the door closed, “Take Jo and Dani!” 

She does so. It becomes harder and harder for him to keep the door shut. Harder. The strain becomes terrifyingly obvious.

“I can't hold it!!!!! DEAR GOD!!!!!” Jo’s father cried as he tried harder. The strain is becoming painful, “OH, GOD!!!!!! I CAN'T HOLD IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Suddenly, the door flies off, pulling Joe’s father with it. He screams as he disappears into the twister. Jo, her mother, and Dani are screaming in horror. 

Jo runs forward to the doorway flailing her arms at the now open doorway, “DADDY!!!!!!! MY DADDYYYYY!!!!!”

Jo’s mother pulls her back. In the morning, the devastation is sobering. The silence is ominous.