Twisted Fate - Part 1
Pop always said when the strong rains came the twisters wouldn't be far behind. Pop was a good man, a caring man. I'd laugh as he'd yell "Barak you stay away from them thar twisters, you hear me boy, they'll eat yas live." He'd turn to us farmhands looking for our agreement and we'd laughingly agree. Whenever the bitter cold hard rain would come he would look at Bar, you could see his concern. Bar never listened though, he was drawn to them, like a moth to flame.
When the fields were ready for seed the ground would be thirsty and dry, waiting for the summer rains. Dirt Devils would dance about the field in their lazy rain dances. As a child Bar would join them and almost instantly be covered head to toe in fine dirt. Then that dirt would find its way all through the house. No matter how much punishment the boy received he never stopped his summer dances.
Maybe it was his name, Barak (which no one but Pop used) that determined Bar's fate. The name means, simply, lightning. Maybe his fate was predestined, or perhaps it was events from his childhood. First time Bar ever saw a twister, a big one, Pop told him it was heaven and earth colliding. That the power was so great it was the closest a person could get to understanding the things greater than themselves - as if you could talk to God face to face. Maybe Pop was right.
The bite of winter was still in the late spring air. Bar felt a cold chill crawl across his exposed skin and down his back. He lifted his greasy Sox cap off his wet brow and looked skyward. He silently swore. That wasn't winter, that was a storm. Darkness was quickly swallowing the sun. The cold air was going to bring in one hell of a storm and he knew it. He threw the ratchet he was holding at the limestone driveway in anger. The weatherman had lied. He needed to get to the last field and get the seed in the ground. The three day window they had for planting was about to close early.
The tractor was just going to have to do without an oil change. Bar hopped in the cab of the old 6030 John Deere tractor. Quickly sliding into the seat, in a fluid motion, he pushed the brake and clutch with his feet, turning the ignition with his left hand while the other hovered above the throttle lever. The oil pressure light came on and stayed on. He slid the throttle forward a hair and the light went off. "Close enough," he sighed. He took another look at the sky, released the clutch, quickly found a higher gear and pushed the throttle completely open.
Sam, Bar's dog, heard the tractor and bolted out of the nearby barn. Sam was a big old German Sheppard. According to Bar the smartest one to ever live, he always took care of business in the woods, never in the yard. I think the dog just didn't realize he was a dog. The second the tractor door opened Sam jumped into the cab immediately finding the impromptu seat that he had made next to the driver's seat, otherwise known as a pile of rope covered with dog hair.
"Out," Bar scolded while pointing back to the barn with his thumb.
Sam folded back his ears and his eyes got big. Bar continued to stare until Sam, head slumped, slowly got out of the tractor and began going back to the barn, every few steps the dog would look back only to meet Bar's stare. Finally, in what seemed like forever, Bar followed and began to close the barn door. The dog popped his head out and dropped a toy at Bar's feet.
An old flat basket ball. It could never hold air again, mostly because of all the dog bites in it. Bar picked it up and threw it into the back corner of the barn. Sam retrieved it and was returning in time to see the door slam shut. For a moment he waited. He heard the door lock click. He dropped the ball.
Like whales, a pod of Gigantic 9400 John Deere 4 wheel drive tractors slowly glided across the brown plains. The monsters stopped and circled around the 6030, dwarfing it with their immense size. The center monster stopped its growling and began to speak. "Bar, what are you doing?" it asked.
A short little bald man was now visible in the front seat of the lead whale. He held a microphone to his mouth and then he took it away and placed it back in its holder. He slowly rose to his feet and popped open the door to the beast and came outside. "Barak why the hell'd ya bring out the 6030? Where's the 5020?" the man yelled and realized he still couldn't hear his own voice. The man looked about to the other monsters around him and gave a kill motion across his neck. A moment later there was only the sound of the cold wind and the cracks and pops of the hot metal hearts of the being cooled by it.
"Pop it takes three people to put the duallies on the 5020 and it's still waiting for someone to take the time. the time which we do not have." Mace took a deep breath. "Haven't you noticed the clouds moving in? If I had messed with that bigger tractor it would have been too late. That seed doesn't get in the ground now there'll be no point."
"Pop, kid's right, that storm is moving in fast. Barometer just jumped up. We'll barely be able to finish what we've already got before the rain starts."
"You've got so much weight on the front of that thing to keep it from tipping with the planter - the second the rain hit's it's gonna start sinking. You'll need a four –wheel drive, the two wheels won't cut it." said Pop.
Bar patted his father on the shoulders and laughed, "I don't want to be just a farmer for the rest of my life. I'll drive faster."
Pop sighed and walked off grumbling under his breath. I could barely hear him but it sounded like "you stay away from those twisters," and for once his words were truly prophetic, but he was never one for following his own advice.
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