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We never even saw the storm comin’.

Ours is- well, was- a mining town. There was this big ol’ gold mine just outside the town borders. You shoulda seen it, like a big gaping mouth in the earth, the sounds of mining always comin’ from it. Some said that was why the storm came. Like it was some divine retribution for robbing the earth of her treasures. I don’t know, though. ​

It all started with the cowboys. We should have listened to them. They rode out of the desert into town, acting terrified. They described the storm and how it was comin’ our way, and how they’d never seen anything like it, and that we’d better run for our lives before it leveled the town.

We didn’t believe. We laughed at ‘em. We’d heard about their type: find a boomin’ mining town, make up some story about how they should all get out, and then collect all the gold sitting in the mine. We told ‘em to ride on outta here with their tails between their legs. They did, saying whatever happened to us would be our own fault. We told ‘em to tell it to the tumbleweeds.

A few days later the storm struck.

At the time, there was nothin’ we could do except flee inside our homes or whatever building was closest. There, we huddled in circles to keep each other company as we tried to wait it out. If you looked out a window, you couldn’t see nothing except flying sand, and you couldn’t hear nothing but the storm’s howl.

This lasted for, I dunno, a day and a half or somethin’?

Anyways, sometime later, it’d cleared up. Well, we thought it had. It’d been so frightening, none of us wanted to go out and see what was, or wasn’t, left. Bob Lewis, he’d been the first to go out of his home. Poor Bob. All of us nearby watched him out our windows. We watched him look around the collapsed bank, and some other building I can’t remember. Maybe it was a barbershop. Anyway, the storm had demolished them both. The street was littered with rubble and the bodies of some poor animals who had gotten caught up in it. There was sand in all the water barrels and troughs.
Bob was just calling to us, telling us to come on out, when things grew dark again. There was a loud rumble. We all yelled at Bob to run back indoors, but he wouldn’t. He always was a stubborn one. I think he didn’t want to let the storm intimidate him.

Well, it didn’t intimidate him. It killed him.

There was a loud bang, a flash of light, and a cry. When someone gathered the courage to look out again, poor Bob was lyin’ on the ground, smoking like a campfire, dead as a doornail. The storm had struck him down. We all went back to huddling, scared.

The storm never left. Eventually, we realized that somebody had to leave their building sometime, or we’d all starve to death, if we didn’t run out of drinking water first. We decided that we’d go out in little groups, and if anyone was killed or hurt the others could bring back any water or animals they’d taken for food.
Some made it. Others didn’t. The storm would get violent again a lot, and more buildings were knocked to the ground like twigs. We could save some of the folks inside them, venture out and rush them into structures nearby, but some of them we couldn’t save. Over half the town must be demolished by now.
All that destruction, all that disaster. The Storm did it all. I guess that’s why we decided to call it the Storm, we couldn’t think of any other name that would fit the thing that devastated so much…

Sweet merciful heaven. The Storm is right outside my window. I can see its glowing eyes looking right at me. I tighten the grip on my gun.