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My hand is submerged in two feet of water as I scrape some algae off the side of my fish tank. Coldplay’s new album is pumping out of my stereo. (On which, the verdict is still out for me. I’m honestly not so hot on it. But I always hate their albums the first 5 or 10 times I hear them. Still, I’m skeptical).

I hear a dissonant chord on the CD. Wait. Or is that the tornado siren? No. Dissonant chord. Or…

I drop the scraper and stick my head out the front door.

No, definitely the tornado siren. It’s sunny out. Or it was 3 minutes ago. There’s a black wall on the horizon, and it’s advancing swiftly.

I grab a laptop and start heading to the basement, when I see Harvey walking across the lawn with his laptop. I set it down and open the door. I try to think of some hokey line from the Wizard of Oz, but my wits are too slow. He walks in.

We stand in the entry way for a moment discussing where we think the safest place in the house would be. The basement, we both decide. Upon ascertaining the safest location in the house, we (like any intelligent human being) promptly walk out on to the front porch. The siren drones a frantic warning

A monstrous cloud dragon is serpentining right above our heads. It’s gnarled and twisting. “It’s right on top of us,” Harvey exclaims. We ease into the front lawn like uneasy kittens. Two steps out. Pause. I’m on the balls of my feet, ready to dart. Another step. Look around hesitantly. A plank of wood flits like a gull 500 feet above my head. I get startled by a leaf brushing my face. We retreat to the ‘safety’ of the porch.

I watch the board soaring through the sky like a kite. Suddenly, the beer bottles on the front porch leap from the table and tumble across the porch at us. The trees are straining at their roots. “Time to go inside!” Harvey yells. We’re pushing each other through the door. It sticks for a moment from the pressure of the wind. Harvey uses all of his strength to get it open.

It is gone in a matter of minutes, as quickly as it appeared.

Harvey and I return to the porch. “Is that the best you’ve got!?” I scream. “No wait, just kidding.”