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The Sound From Hell

The Sound From Hell

Jun 20, 2023

November 2013 the weather in Illinois was being its usual moody self, of not deciding should it be Winter or Fall. It was November 17th, a week before Thanksgiving. My husband and I were dropping some items off at the Prison Ministry he worked at in our town. I looked up at the sky and saw the ominous clouds swirling. I urged my husband to get going because I wanted us home before the rain hit.

As I waited by our van, I heard the distinct sound of what sounded like a train. Not that it was a big deal, since railroad tracks ran next to the ministry. I looked for a train to barrel past, but nothing appeared. The noise became louder. I suddenly realized where the noise originated from, the sky, and not the tracks.

I heard story’s about the approach of tornado’s and how it sounds like a train. I lived in the midwest most of my life. I’ve seen my fair share of green sky’s and observing funnel clouds float by, but never the sound of a train. This is my first time and the noise sent me in panic mode.

I yelled for my husband we needed to get home now. We probably should have sought shelter at the ministry but there was no basement and our duplex had one. The brunt of the storm was still forming. I foolishly drove like a madwoman to our home. Thankfully, our place was not far from the ministry.

We got inside and things were quiet. No loud train sound or rain coming down. The sky was dark as ever. No sirens were going off so we stayed upstairs, sitting on the couch. Then the drop in barometric pressure hit me instantaneous.

First, the feeling of pain hit my left elbow. The pain traveled up my arm in to my shoulder. Nauseousness hit next, then the sensation of wanting to pass out. I tried speaking to my husband who sat on the opposite end of the couch. I heard the loud rumble of the rain beating against the window. The wind tore through, making it rain sideways.

I tried to get up but my I was too weak and ill to get up. How in the hell my husband didn’t notice me moaning the whole time? I tried keeping my focus on anything so I wouldn’t pass out or throw up. Every core of my being was frightened knowing I was feeling the effects of a possible tornado about to hit. Again, husband seemed oblivious to me or what was happening.

Teetering between throwing up and passing out, my body crushing from the intense barometric pressure, I began to focus my eyes on the window. I vaguely remember mustering up my voice, saying some sort or prayer or begging for mercy. As my vision started fading, a light began to form by the window.

It may have been from nearly losing consciousness or something else but as I kept speaking out loud, the light intensified. I swore I saw a shape by the window. As I kept shouting, my nauseousness, lightheadedness, and pain began dissipating.

I closed my eyes for a moment. My husband never moved the entire time as I struggled. When I caught my bearings, I opened my eyes, seeing the sun shining through the window. The wind died down, the storm was over.

It was later that evening on the news we saw that a tornado touched down in the town about five miles east of us. A huge swath of the tornado took out most of main street. It destroyed many businesses and homes. The miracle was no reported deaths or major injuries.

It would take nearly a year to rebuild the town. Many in neighboring towns helped provide the townspeople anything needed. The troubling part of it all, there were no sirens heard that day. Not where we lived at least. Many in our town complained to the village board, demanded answers as to why no sirens went off. No viable answer was ever given.

After that day, I became hypervigilant when warnings come across my phone about tornados. Paying attention to the signs and warnings when storms rip through can be a matter of life and death. My ears perk up, waiting to hear the roar of a train in the clouds.

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