Tornado - Flash Fiction by Kathryn Trattner
I invited the Tornado inside, because really, where else could he go? He growled, like a train vibrating in the distance and I shivered remembering summer nights with bugs so thick they fogged the stars, a shrill whistle calling out.
Maybe he just needed a good dinner, a second helping, and he sat, joining Winter at my table. Winter drank coffee, black and bitter, two days old and reheated in the microwave. This was the last cup, he said, before the long drive north. Spring lurked, seen in the neon green buds, but had not yet come in, not stopped by, not while everything throbbed with heat and that newness seeped up from red dirt.
I made pasta, only good at boiling water and heating up the contents of a jar, with no patience for anything else. We ate and in my mouth the taste of tomatoes and burnt coffee lingered.
The Tornado complained, desirous of something solid to suck up; brick and stone, two-by-fours and good vinyl siding. But I shoveled a third and fourth helping on his plate. By sunset he'd eaten a second pot and I rolled him through my front door, slow and satisfied, into a night that contained a sharp chartreuse I wanted bring to bed and fall asleep next to.
Inside, Winter promised to leave after one more cup of coffee.