Somewhere by the road in New Zealand, 2003. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

Somewhere by the road in New Zealand, 2003. Photograph by Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 87

It all began with a slight breeze.

Just enough to pick up a few leaves and send them drifting up the road. Not much to take any notice of. If you did stop and look you would’ve seen a faint twister twirling in the still air. Strange.

After a couple of days, the leaves turned to small thin branches that whipped and whirled moving upwards in the same direction. Slow enough to follow but fast enough that you shouldn’t quite catch up.

A few days after that, after a particularly hot spell, small pieces of paper, food wrappers and the odd paper cup were caught up in the twisting breeze. It was moving with more force this time. The twister was wider and taller. A piece of detritus became caught up in the branches of a tree, rattling in the wind until a strong gust flipped it back out into the turning force.

It was maybe two months to wait for something bigger and stronger to come along. And when it did it took everyone by surprise. Within the now enormous twister of dust and air came bicycles, pieces of building and live animals. The rumble and vibrations resonating for some distance. Always moving in the same direction. Up the road, never down. It continued for several days and many miles. When it stopped it did so with a sudden drop in pressure, a drop in temperature, a trail of vegetation, livestock, cars and buildings lay in its wake along the road that edged the island.

No one lives on the island anymore. All that the wind can gather now is dust and air. The trees, animals, people and buildings have all but disappeared.

Feeling brave? Want to share your own version? ‘Let it go’ in the comments below.