The Tornado and a Vase Full of Flowers

Thirty years ago fourteen tornadoes swept through Southern Ontario, Canada in a six hour period. They left a trail of death, destruction, fear and shock. The city of Barrie was the hardest hit.

I was one of the young and naive volunteers that responded that night. The Canadian Red Cross had immediately opened a communications centre in Toronto. Short wave radio operators sent updates as we handled the influx of calls. People from around the world were phoning in after their news media reported the devastation. They were worried; they had been unable to contact their loved ones living in what they understood to be the disaster zone.

Late that first night, a small team of us drove up to Barrie to gather some firsthand knowledge of what had happened. We didn’t see much; the area had been cordoned off and was patrolled by the military. The whole thing was surreal. I was awe-struck.

One of images that has stayed with me to this day is the razor like sharpness with which the tornado struck in certain places. It was something I could not explain. There was a house, the back wall gone, yet nothing – and I mean nothing – had been touched in the room. Even the teddy bear was on the pillow, undisturbed against the inside wall.

Charli suggested to the Carrot Ranch Community of Rough Writers on February 3, 2016 that we to poke around the question of power and see where the force takes us. The force took me immediately to love. You will find my post about the power of love here.

My contribution to the flash fiction challenge incorporates both these forces: love and nature.


Gerry pulled Maggie closer. The floorboards rattled above them.

Their living room window shattered, walls crashed and Maggie’s heart sank. The roar of pelting rain continued. Then came silence. Deafening silence.

“Let’s go,” said Gerry getting up. Together they gingerly climbed the basement steps and entered what once was their kitchen.

Maggie grasped Gerry’s arm as she looked around in horror. Suddenly she giggled.

“Look Ger!”

She pointed to the vase full of flowers and their wedding photo on top of the bedroom dresser, both untouched by the storm. “Even the tornado had some respect for love. Imagine that.”


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17 thoughts on “The Tornado and a Vase Full of Flowers

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  1. Fourteen tornadoes in six hours! That is definitely a powerful force. The image that sticks in your mind, of the house intact but for the exterior wall is puzzling. I love the way it has contributed to your flash. It’s a great story. Love is a powerful force.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Norah. Nature is powerful and mysterious – so many different forces at work. I’d make a terrible scientist – I’m happy with having some things remain a mystery. Glad you liked the story. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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