Force of Nature

Writing Prompt: “The one you love is a spirit who lives just long enough to save people from disasters before vanishing again. You follow disasters around, hurricanes etc, just to have a few minutes with them, it’s not enough so you create your own disasters, gradually becoming a villain in your own love story.”

The first time I saw a glimpse of her I was in California fighting the wildfires. This year was exceptionally nasty with scorching high temperatures, dry brush, and strong winds. California had faced year after year of terrible fires but this one seemed to set record after record. It was so bad firefighters from all over the country were brought in to fight the fires. I was a part of a team out of Oregon who traveled to the area to help control some of the smaller fires burning through the California landscape. 

One day the winds changed directions unexpectedly and a nearby town was now in danger of being burned to the ground. I took my team to help with the evacuation and get people out of the way of the oncoming fire. That’s when I saw her.

At first I thought it was just some sort of mirage or I had too much ash in my eyes, but as I rubbed my eyes and blinked the image of a floating woman remained. She was like some sort of ghost or phantom floating in the air, made from silver light. She didn’t look at me or acknowledge me at all. She just stood facing the fire with her arms outstretched. The flames seemed to be held back by some sort of force she was exerting. She held back the flames protecting the town and she gave everyone a chance to escape. 

She was some sort of savior or guardian angel and I became obsessed.

Once I got back to my home in Oregon I began doing research. I read through as much stuff as I could about angels, protectors, spirits of nature. Anything that I thought would lead me to her again. I had to prove that she was real and I had to meet her. My research led to a lot of dead ends. Tons of wack-a-doodle people and religious fanatics claiming to see angels or ghosts but none of it was helpful. Maybe some people’s ghost stories were real, but most were just hoaxes and bad stunts. It was like sifting through piles of lies just to find my one truth. I knew she was out there and I knew I needed to find her.

I went back to California several times over the next few months hoping I could spot her again. I walked through the burned ash that remained from the forests and towns I fought to protect. Maybe she was lingering her somewhere in the woods. After wandering around a bit, I started yelling out for her. Maybe I could summon her. Maybe she would listen. But she didn’t show. I just confused the neighbors who became concerned there was some crazy man yelling about ghosts while standing in a burned out forest.

Returning to California led to nothing and I was beginning to lose hope. That is until I was coming through a blog and found imagery that I recognized. The blog post was from a farmer from Iowa who claimed an angel had saved them from an EF5 Tornado. A massive funnel cloud touched down outside the small town and threatened to wipe it off the map. But a silver woman appeared and seemed to direct the tornado around the town. Many places suffered wind damage and a few livestock were killed, but the town was spared. That sounded exactly like the woman I wanted to find.

After I found that blog it led to a web of others. I saw posts from people claiming that a silvery spirit saved them from an Avalanche in Nepal, a cyclone in India, and an Earthquake in Ecuador. More and more I was able to connect the points and see that this Angel or Spirit seemed to go to people in need during the worst natural disasters.

If I was going to find this guardian and speak to her again, I’d have to go toward some sort of disaster. Of course this would be incredibly dangerous. Not every storm seemed to summon her. It had to be the strongest of strong storms or natural disasters. I would have to travel into the worst disasters to find her.

I thought long and hard about where I was going to go or how I was going to find her. Something like an Earthquake I ruled out almost immediately. There was no way I was going to predict seismic activity and have enough time to travel there. Tornadoes also seemed unlikely because I would just have to drive around tornado alley hoping that a tornado big and strong enough would touch down. Who knows how much warning I’d have with a Tornado. There was another type of storm which I would have a better chance of predicting: hurricanes. Without how good we had gotten at tracking hurricanes, I figured that I could get to the location of a strong hurricane and find her.

I got the chance a few months later when tropical storms started building up in the gulf of Mexico. I wanted to immediately get on a plane and fly across the country, but I knew I had to be patient. I needed to wait for the big storm. The hurricane of the decade. That’s the storm she would appear for. Eventually a category five hurricane was predicted to move through the carribean islands and hit the United States. Every state along the gulf of Mexico had states of emergency and the East Coast was prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Meteorologists predicted that Florida would be in the middle of its path and would be the hardest hit. That’s where I had to go.

Due to the oncoming storm I could not fly into Florida itself so I took a plane into Georgia on the last flight available and drove down to Florida. By the time I got there, the storm was less than 24 hours away. I was so nervous. Not for the storm or for the destruction it could cause. I was nervous in the way people are nervous before a big date. I knew I was going to see her again and I could not stop thinking about her.

Many Floridians evacuated with as much as they could put in their cars, but others hunkered down. I always found it odd that people in the pathway of destruction would rather just stay put and hope that it’s not that bad. But here I was in the path of destruction hoping that it would get bad. The worse it got the better chance I had to see her. 

The hurricane grew and grew as it sat on the coast of Florida. High winds and heavy rain were matched by large waves slamming into the peninsula. I stood outside wearing my heavy rain coat watching the dark clouds grow larger and larger overhead. The wind was so strong that I could barely stay up on my feet.

“Where are you?” I called out to her. “I know you are here! Show yourself!”

My yells and screams were almost drowned out completely by the sound of whipping winds and heavy rain. Walls of water fell from the sky as the arms of the hurricane hit Florida and nature unleashed its fury. 

My eyes were wide as I fought against the winds and the storm. I looked around but she was nowhere to be seen. Instead I saw roofs turn off of houses, trees toppled over, and streets flood with water and debris.

“Where are you!?” I yelled out again. 

This time my voice did not fall on death ears. As I wiped water from my face, I saw her. The shining woman made of silver light floating in front of me.

“You! You’re here! I knew you’d come here!” I yelled out with a big smile on my face. “I came here for you!”

She looked at me with eyes of pure light but did not speak to me. She just stood there unaffected by the raging storm around here.

“I want to know all about you. I want to know why you are here and what you are. Why do you help us? Are you an angel? A spirit? Tell me!” I yelled out.

She continued to stare at me with unblinking eyes. Then she raised a hand up like she was reaching out to me. I mirrored her movement and reached out my hands to her. I began to take a step toward her, I felt this pulse of energy. It was like the storm’s wind but even stronger. The energy threw me into the air and I flew back about twenty feet from where I stood. I landed hard in a shallow river flowing through the street. There was a loud crack and where I stood, a large tree had fallen and crashed into the street and a nearby home.

I stood up quickly.

“You saved me! You saved me!” I called out as I ran forward.

However once I got back to where the tree had fallen, she was nowhere to be found. The spirit had saved my life and vanished.

The massive hurricane swept through Florida before turning away from the United States and residing in the middle of the Atlantic before falling apart. Even though it was one of the worst hurricanes Florida had experienced in recent history, the number of injuries and deaths was very low compared to similar storms. It was like the spirit had blessed the people in the middle of the path and kept them safe as they hunkered down. 

After seeing her in person once again my obsession grew more and more. I knew I had to see her again. Maybe next time I’d be able to talk to her. Really get to know her. I’d show her why she should fall for me the same way I fell for her. But chasing storms or disasters hoping to catch a glimpse. That would not work. I couldn’t wait for that. I had to find her again. I had to bring her to me.

When I returned to Oregon I planned out what I was going to do. I would go out into the forest and start a fire. If a fire brought her to me the first time then a second one would bring her to me again. It was the perfect plan. The only thing I had to figure out was how big. A bonfire wouldn’t bring her to me but I also didn’t want to burn down all of Oregon. I didn’t want to hurt anyone or kill anyone. I just wanted to see her again. I needed it to be dangerous but not too dangerous. 

Eventually fire season was starting all across the west coast. Heat warnings were put out and people were warned not to have any sort of open flame. This was my moment. I put some gasoline into the back of my truck and drove out into the Oregon forests. I found a nice place that was not too far from several towns and villages. I would start my fire here and she would have to come. I knew it.

I parked out in the middle of the forest. The same nervous energy I had before the hurricane came to me and I knew this was the moment. I got out of my truck and grabbed two plastic containers of gasoline. I took a deep breath and took a few paces away from the truck. Before I began dumping the gasoline on the dry underbrush of the forest a sparkling light out of the corner of my eye caught my attention.

I turned quickly and I saw her there floating in the air.

“You came! I’m so happy to see you! I was…I was…” My voice faltered off.

The calm and kind face I was used to seeing now had a look of intensity. Her silver eyes were still unblinking but there was seriousness behind them.

“I wanted to see you. I would do anything to see you,” I said as I started walking toward her.

She did not speak to me. Instead she held out her hand to me and I froze. It was like her power was keeping me there, unmoving.

I opened my mouth trying to speak but no words came. I felt the energy tighten around me. I felt an intense pressure all over my body constraining me to the point of pain. 

I tried to scream out but I could not catch my breath. I was just frozen there as the pain spread and I heard small pops and cracks as my body was squeezed and crushed by her. The entire time she just floated there looking down on me. A look of anger and disappointment on her face but no words. I looked on her and her beauty as blood started pouring from my ears and eyes. The last thing I remembered was her face and into her intense eyes. My vision was an intense white light until it was nothing but darkness. 

My body slumped to the ground and I was left there in the middle of the forest. The guardian or spirit, whatever she was, took no pity on me. She did not love me or care about me. She was just doing her job. Stopping tragedies and standing as a barrier between natural disasters and the innocents left in its path. I chased her wanting to see her and talk to her, but this obsession turned out to be my downfall and I died by her hands.  


Header Photo Credit to Pexels.com
https://www.pexels.com/photo/big-waves-under-cloudy-sky-753619/

Writing Prompt submitted to r/WritingPrompts by u/LozB4

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