“Derecho. No, it’s not the new item on the menu at Taco Bell,” the man on the radio says in the morning, “it’s a short, violent storm that’s due to ravage most of Southeast Ohio tonight.”
This summer is the hottest I remember, last week I showed my brother how to fry an egg on the asphalt out front. Most days my brother and I ride our bikes or go swimming, but today we have to stay at home on strict orders from our jailer.
“Derecho.”, my mom tells me, “So come inside when it starts raining.”
The grass feels sticky from the air-sweats-on-you humidity of the Ohio summer, wailing beetles fly amidst the emerald leaves of the trees. All morning we worked inside, washing the dishes and cleaning the house looking forward to freedom outside. All for nothing. My brother and I recline on our arms in the front yard tossing what’s left of a ball to and fro playing our labradoodle’s least favorite game: keep away. We sit at the end of the yard next to the tomato plants and pick grass to nibble on to pass time, I’ve never felt more bovine.
“At least it’s going to rain later,” I say to Sam.
“Derecho.” he says.
“Derecho.” I say.
A rumble accompanies a sudden gale through the yard, catching the ball and carrying it just out of reach of my brother’s fingers. As if at the beginning of a movie the sky dims, a deep navy cloud descending on the town from the west horizon. A wind carries mist through the yard that makes me shiver and knocks my cap from my head. Tree branches whip about amidst another rumble, a single dull thud, that murmurs from the distance.
“Let’s go inside, man. This is crazy.” my brother says, his eyes glassy and wide.
Ten minutes prior the sun bathed my arms in golden light, twenty minutes post all but one or two sunbeams are sunk by the torrential pour of rain assaulting our red sided house. My brother and I are in our swimming suits standing on the screened in porch at the top of the stairs outside, mist blasting our faces. The only light shines from within our house, throwing long shadows across my Mom’s face. All at once in a clap of cymbal and flash of sky; Darkness envelops the porch. The wind picks up and throws the rain at us, the gale deafening as trees creak and groan in the yard next to ours. I see a tree fell in the street, taking an all-white mailbox to the ground with it. The sun is all but blotted out and I can hardly see the ground outside, my phone reads five o’clock. A few more moments of chaos and then, as if the movie were ending, the sky grew white and the rain slowed to a drizzle.
“Derecho.” I say.
Everybody else nods in agreement.