April is both fun and busy around here. Not only is it the time of the annual A to Z Challenge, it is also the time for a regularly scheduled blog hop that I participate in. Today’s post is doing double duty! So when you’re done reading this story, consider checking out other stories in the StoryTime Blog Hop. Links are included below. I guarantee you’ll find something to love.
V is for Vortex
It isn’t fair, Darya thought. Her Aunt Ebba and Uncle Wade? They never understood, never believed in her dreams. And now? Now they were taking the word of that horrible shark, Ms. Talulah, over their own family.
So she left. Despite the storms brewing. Maybe because of them.
It was simple enough to slip out. Everyone seemed to be burrowing in as everything darkened around them. Nobody paid Darya any attention at all.
Isn’t that the way it always is? She thought. Nobody even notices me except to tell me what to do.
Without thought, Darya first headed back toward the clam bake where she’d been earlier. Perhaps her friends would still be there. Or maybe she’d get a reading from that old stranger— the one telling stories that made the little ones squeal. She noticed him giving fortunes to a few—some who might not have wanted anyone to see.
Her hopes for a sympathetic ear were dashed back at the community’s center. Everyone was gone. Everything had been packed up before the storm. And now, with the storm starting in earnest, she felt pulled and tugged by the swirling around her.
I need to get somewhere safe. I need…
Darya couldn’t finish her thought as, suddenly, she was spun around and sucked straight up off the sand by a powerful vortex.
Pitched and turned by the storm, she found herself tossed into the atmosphere.
In the clouds, she thought. Surely this is a dream.
As if to verify a dream state, she saw the old fortune-teller whirl past, flipping cards and tossing shells. Just her luck.
Then she saw nasty Ms. Talulah, her teeth gleaming through a false smile.
And her own family. Aunt Ebba’s worry was so clear it fairly pulsed across her skin.
It was a mistake. She knew already, she shouldn’t have left. And now she wondered if she’d ever make it home.
Darya wailed and started to weep until, abruptly, the storm stopped.
She looked up to find that she had been deposited, not back at her own home, but on a sandy beach. The ocean water was just out of reach beyond some rocks.
Maybe, if I try…
Before she could move, a gangly-looking surface-dweller approached.
“Hey guys, check it out! This octopus must have gotten thrown up on the beach by that water spout we saw.”
More humans surrounded her. She had no where to go.
“Poor thing,” one of them said. “We should help get her back to the ocean.”
“Yeah,” said the first, scooping her up with gentle hands. “There’s no place like home.”
(With my deepest apologies to Frank Baum and The Wizard of Oz.)
Copyright Notice: Please note that I fully assert my right to be associated as the author of this story, and while it is complete, it may not be finished. This story may be subject to alteration at the author’s discretion. Please do not copy, quote, or post this story or excerpts anywhere in any format. You are, however, free to share the link with anyone who might be interested.
I hope you’ll take the time to read the other stories in this Hop. These are some great writers and wonderful people. And if you like what you read, I hope you’ll consider joining their lists too. The world is a richer place when there are more stories to tell.
* * YOU ARE HERE * * V is for Vortex by Elizabeth McCleary
Deep Dive by Juneta Key
Bugs by Gina Fabio
Secret by J. Q. Rose
Journal of Anah by J Lenni Dorner
The Vineyard at Mar Mozambique by Karen Lynn
Stealing Space by Barbara Lund
The Day I was Clever by Katharina Gerlach
Never kid a kidder by Angela Wooldridge
The Color Of… by Chris Makowski
Nightmare by Erica Damon
Pick Up Lines by Bill Bush
The Scorpius Gate by Sandra Fikes