Carter slammed the front door closed, and looked to his little sister, Taylor in resentment. His Mom said that he had to take her with him if he wanted to go play baseball. Taylor is 8, and the annoyance of a sister two years younger was more than he could handle. The sun was hot on Carter’s skin, and he began to sweat as they ran along the sidewalk. He turned the last corner, Carter saw the other kids waiting by the diamond to pick teams. Carter watched as Taylor was picked to be on his team, and they began playing. A few kids were watching the game, and chanting, “Swing batter-batter swing!”
During the first two innings, Carter showed off his skills as a pitcher and tried to forget that his sister was stumbling around in right field. Mid-way through the third inning, Carter began to feel the wind pick up. It was hot and stagnate before, but now if felt chilly on his skin. The clouds were moving and changing slightly, but he didn’t think much about it.
While sitting in the dugout waiting to bat during the fourth inning, Carter noticed Taylor looking troubled. “Carter, doesn’t the sky look a funny color?” she asked.
“Be quiet, Taylor,” Carter replied, “If it starts raining, then we’ll go home.” The game continued, but the wind was getting stronger and the clouds continued to shift rapidly. Carter was ready to return to the mound as the other team got the third out – it was Taylor. “Of course it’s MY sister,” Carter said under his breath and rolled his eyes.
In the fifth inning, the sky began looking green, and the wind got stronger. It hadn’t started raining though, so the game continued. After a few pitches, it began sprinkling. “If it starts to rain harder or there is any thunder or lightening, we’ll call the game,” Carter instructed the other players. He didn’t want anything like a little rain to get in the way of his pitching.
At last the rain picked up, and Carter saw a large lightening bolt in the distance. The thunder followed very quickly. “I’m scared and we should be at home,” Taylor whined.
“Ok, everyone, it is probably time for us to head home,” Carter said. He tried not to seem worried, but he did think that the clouds looked a lot like tornado clouds.
Just at that moment, the clouds started to spin, and the sky looked very green. Carter heard Taylor scream, and he realized that he was responsible for his sister’s safety. “Hurry Taylor, get your things,” Carter barked. “We’ve got to hurry before the wind gets stronger.” It was only two blocks to their house, but Carter knew that tornadoes were very unpredictable.
Carter pulled Taylor along as they dashed toward their house. Carter looked up at the sky and saw the funnel starting to form. Anxiously he knew he had to get Taylor moving faster without scaring her. He turned to ask her if she wanted to race home, and saw tears streaming down her dirty face. He stopped for a moment guessing she saw the funnel too. “Taylor, it’s going to be alright, we only have a little farther to go. We will go straight to the storm cellar, and we’ll be fine.” He reassured her.
“Ok, but let’s run the rest of the way,” she urged hesitantly.
“Yes, HURRY!” he shouted.
They ran as fast as they could the rest of the way home, and Carter could hear their Dad calling for them before he had even reached that last turn. As he turned the last corner Carter saw their Dad waiting in the doorway of the storm cellar. As they ran into the cellar, Carter heard a loud crack…the tornado had touched down somewhere close by.
As he made his way into the cellar, he saw their Mom sitting on the floor with a worried look on her face. Instantly, she got up and ran to sweep the two of them into a big hug. The look on their Dad’s face was one of relief but disappointment too. “Carter, did you not see the weather changing while you were out there?” his Dad asked.
Carter knew he should have taken the weather more seriously earlier in the game. He had studied tornadoes in school and knew the warning signs with the sky color and cloud movement. “Next time, you head home at the first sign of a storm. Understood?” his Dad instructed.
“Yes, sir, I promise never to get caught in weather like this again.” Carter said as tears started pouring out of his eyes. His Dad gave him a hug, as they heard the tornado plowing through their house. Carter was relieved that he was home, even though the family was frightened by the noises they were hearing outside.