Friday, February 08, 2008

The Tornado

Gigi giggled uncontrollably at Mummy’s funny faces. She was a happy little child. Her curls evoked memories of those perfectly proportioned, porcelain-skinned dolls with cascading blonde hair. Except that Gigi’s curls were black as the night. Anna fed her precious little daughter, burped her and put her to bed.

Gigi was the answer to Anna’s prayers. She remembered clearly the day she was brought home.

The wind shrieked like a temperamental old aunt as the leaves tore themselves away from their floundering canopies. Doors were blasted open as though with the unwavering hand of a cattle gun. Some roofs sailed into the sky like Aladdin’s magic carpet, only it seemed as if the carpets were in a tearing hurry to travel through time. The streets were emptied of their residents in the blink of an eye: now you see them, now you don’t. Tornadoes leave most places looking like ghost towns, didn’t you know? And this one was just getting started.

The house seemed eerily silent when Anna descended into the basement to escape the fury of Nature. She thought she was alone in the house till she noticed the crib in a corner, and then, as she approached it tentatively, Gigi. The helpless little infant had been wailing in her crib for hours, inaudible to anyone in the din of the tempest. The weather seemed to have zapped everyone who cared for her into thin air, temporarily anyway. Her loneliness was palpable.

Anna took one look at her face and fell in love.

A few days later, as she delicately sipped her coffee in a well-appointed room some five hundred miles away, she read in the newspaper: ‘Industrialist and wife mourn the loss of their newborn daughter in last week's tornado. Her body was never found.’

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