This is my response to the Friday Fictioneers prompt for July 11.

The challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt.

Play along by writing your own, reading others and/or commenting on the flashes we fictioneers create.

My piece this week weighs in at exactly 100 words.

July 11

Copyright Kelly Sand


Jenny hadn’t planned on spending her evening in a ditch when she left the farmhouse to enjoy an afternoon of cloud watching. She settled into her favorite spot and began to read the stories in the sky. She didn’t mind the rain until the wind picked up.

The sky turned green. The wind stood still. Jenny scarcely had time to dive into the ditch before she heard the sound of a freight train bearing down. She looked up to see a twister racing toward her.

It jumped over the ditch. It didn’t jump over the only home she’d ever known.

46 thoughts on “Ditched

  1. I don’t know how you did it, but I really felt like I was there with her. Great story.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks! Apparently insomnia is good for something. 🙂 I’ve come pretty close to living this story several times–never had to spend the night in a ditch though.


      • I suppose as a Brit, the first thing I think of when I think of Kansas is extreme weather-I guess I have L.Frank Baum to blame for that. No idea if that’s fair, but seeing your bio on your blog, it might explain how you pulled it off so effectively.

        • storydivamg says:

          We have our fair share of storms. Thunder snow is my favorite one so far. It’s so funny to me, having grown up in the Midwest, to hear people so frightened of tornadoes. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a hurricane or tsunami, but tornadoes are always over or gone quickly–even if they aren’t particularly painless.

  2. MrBinks says:

    I really liked the line “The sky turned green”. Nice work.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks, Mr. Binks. If you’ve ever actually seen the sky do that, I doubt you would like it so much. 🙂

      Seriously, thanks for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed it.


  3. This is a great complete story in only a few words. I really enjoyed it.

  4. One of the great masters of haiku once said: “It’s good to suffer misfortune when suffering misfortune.” Great story, really liked the flow.

  5. I enjoyed this…

  6. Sandra says:

    I liked the concept of the sky turning green – I’ve imagined I’ve seen that during the build up to a bad storm. Well done, really enjoyed this.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thank you, Sandra. My friends in college used to laugh at me when tornado sirens would go off and I would look at the sky. If it wasn’t green, I would usually say, “The sky isn’t green. We don’t need to head to the basement yet.”

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  7. Marie Gail, Good and well-written story yet again. I’m from Ohio and it’s called tornado alley, but I’d never seen one until my parents and I were driving in Virginia. We saw it coming when we were on a bridge into the city. It hit just ahead of us. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

    • storydivamg says:

      Thank you, Susan. I come from a long line of rather fearless folks, and we have watched many a tornado from front porches or living room windows. Fortunately, I’ve never had to watch one from a ditch.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  8. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    I had a friend call me once from a ditch in this exact situation. Luckily for them, they were travelling, and the twister didn’t hit anyone they knew. Well captured moment, MG.

    • storydivamg says:

      Wow! Thanks for commenting, Helena. I haven’t known anyone who has had to jump into a ditch in a long time. However, in the town where I grew up, a weatherman once wound up reporting from inside a tornado. That was an adventure, I’m sure.



  9. Nicely done! The freight train thing was spot on.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks, Alicia.

      When I was a little girl, I use to think that people who talked about the sound of a freight train before a tornado actually meant a train whistle. One night, when the sky did turn green and that eerie stillness surrounded us on a drive home, I told my mom, “Well, it’s okay. We haven’t heard a train whistle yet.” Ha!

      Thanks for reading!

      Marie Gail

  10. Lynda says:

    Scary to read about; even more so to live through. You have captured this well!

  11. I live in an area that is not prone to tornadoes. We get the after effects of hurricanes because we are relatively close (300 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean. But a twister is rare here. However this summer we have experienced a series of micro-bursts throughout the area. One hit our small town a month ago. It has given me a new perspective of the fear that must exist living in an area that tornadoes frequent.

  12. storydivamg says:

    “Tornado Alley!” Yes, ma’am! I have spent my life living primarily in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri. My roommates in college used to laugh at me because I wouldn’t respond to the tornado sirens. I’d look outside. If the wind was still blowing, I knew I had time left to take shelter. If the sky turned green and the wind stopped–time to skeedaddle!

  13. Ouch — we really feel the *loss* here. Well done!

  14. Maree Gallop says:

    Very atmospheric and tense, well written.

  15. Ellespeth says:

    One wants to say ‘things can be replaced but your life can’t be’ but…losing your home and all in it…

    • storydivamg says:

      It’s tough. I, personally, have never had to go through this, but I worked at a public library when a twister leveled several homes nearby, and we worked with our friends and patrons who lost theirs. Usually, in a twister some belongings are salvageable, but the relocating and rebuilding wear families down.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

  16. What a punch in that last line! Well written 🙂

  17. You’ve crafted a frightening story. I’ve been in tornadoes, but my house was never blown away. I can’t imagine.

    • storydivamg says:

      My mom’s two grandmothers were First Nations women from Kansas, and they knew well where to build homes that would not be blown away. Following their advice on where to live, I’ve never lost a home, but several friends of mine have had to rebuild. One friend finally moved after rebuilding four or five times.

  18. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Marie Gail, Great story – I live in Kansas too, but grew up mostly in Arkansas and some in Oklahoma. Green skies are always a sign of trouble and I’ve seen tornadoes on the ground and if you’re far enough away from it, then it’s not scary! But, if you can feel the ground vibrate and hear the (I say the noise a tornado makes is more like being at an airport and hearing jet engines go by) noise. VERY WELL DONE! EXCELLENT! Nan 🙂

  19. hafong says:

    Nice writing! I am in the ditch also, reading the sky.


  20. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Marie,

    A great story about weather and life and the freak odds that are a factor in our lives until that day the twister doesn’t jump the ditch. Well done.



    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks so much for reading. Fortunately, my ancestors and I have never known a twister that wouldn’t jump a ditch. 🙂 Although, I suppose there is a first for everything.


  21. pattisj says:

    I can’t fathom the devastation some of these powerful tornadoes wreak. Obviously you have experience with these storms.

    • storydivamg says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Patti. Yes, I’ve been through a few tornadoes, although I’ve been fortunate to never lose more than a vehicle or two in any of them.

      All my best,
      Marie Gail

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