Old Man Weather
By Cait Collins
“If you don’t like the weather, stick around for five minutes and it’ll change.” I used to think that statement applied only to the Texas Panhandle. Now I know the statement is pretty typical of the entire country. We all have issues with the weather. But as writer’s we can make the local weather a supporting character in our works.
Let’s start in the Texas Panhandle. After one really good year of rain, the clouds have been all show and no blow. Let’s correct that. There’s always blow. Gusts up to 70 miles per hour can do a real number on the landscape. But when there’s been little or no rain, those winds can whip up a small spark into a raging wild fire. In this case, Mr. Wind Storm traps a young mother and her small child in the midst of a fire storm. Seeing no way to escape, she finds a dugout and shelters in praying for a miracle. And then…
Our next scene is a tropical island in the western Atlantic. Honeymooners are enjoying the white sand beach, snorkeling, and wandering the streets of quaint villages. Toward the end of their week-long stay, the clouds begin to turn dark. Winds increase and the tide rises. Hurricane Odin approaches the island. Our newlyweds follow the evacuation order, but as their ship heads toward the mainland, ash begins to fall from the sky as a long dormant volcano awakens. And so…
One more scene. A fishing vessel heads to the Grand Banks in search of schools of fish to fill the empty cargo holds. Not one storm but two storms and a hurricane converge to create an unprecedented monster storm. The ship’s captain attempts to turn back but he and the crew are trapped between rains, winds, and the waves. The ship goes down with all hands. Sound familiar? You got it..The Perfect Storm. The movie was based on the fate of the Andrea Gail and her crew as they attempt to return to port. The cast was magnificent, the screenplay top notch, but the main character was a storm and not a man.