“This incessant wind,” Oliver said. “This ceaseless, constant, unrelenting, relentless, blasted wind.”
A small tree flew past in a haze of branches, leaves, birds’ nests, dust, and a three of Dutch Weatherby’s Holsteins.
Oliver and Muriel stood at the window. “The liberal pribles say its like this because we burn coal and eat beef,” he noted.
“It is God’s wind,” Muriel said.
“I don’t care who owns the damn stuff.” Oliver had a rather faltering disregard for deity that his wife did not share. “Whoever it is should just shut it down. We didn’t ask Him for it.
“What God gives, God gives,” Muriel said.”
“Well,” he observed, “I see Dutch sent Molly after the cows.” Molly, the border collie pup, came in, yelping, at about 8 feet, hit the gutter, yelped, bounced up, yelped, and could be heard yelping as she bounced, scraped, and tumbled across what was left of the shingles.
“Hmpf.” When Muriel did not mention God, she was exceptionally, some might say articulately, brief.
“I’d thank Him to leave my wheat alone,” Oliver said. The wheat, accompanied by the harvester and a couple of tons of top soil was, at that point, exiting the ranch in close pursuit of Wetherby’s cow’s and Molly.
“Thank Him for what he blesseth.”
“Maybe we should have paid attention to this global warming BS that the liberal pribles have been spouting,” Oliver said.
“What God will do, God will do,” Muriel said.
“There goes the barn,” Oliver said. It was—had been—a good barn, built and consecrated to God by Muriel’s father in the summer of 2032. As Oliver remembered it, the damn consecration went for a insistently long time—four o’clock until dark. At least, when Oliver woke up it was dark and the prayer was over.
“You’d think with that much prayer for its safety, bounty, and long life, it would last at least until eternity,” Oliver muttered.
And, in fact, until now, it had been quite solid. But, now it was a scatter of scissoring siding, bulleting rivets, paint flake shrapnel, hay bale bombs and four-by-fours, slamming into and slicing through the cottonwood grove, which presently joined the detritus, all of it rising, in one chaos, leaving Kansas and headed for Oz.
“He giveth, and he taketh,” Muriel said.
“I’m headed for the basement,” Oliver said.
“He who is without faith is a fool,” Muriel called after him.
“Well, when He stops this breeze,” Oliver said, “Maybe I’ll thank Him.”
He stepped through the hatch into the dark of the basement, which did not remain dark very long. The basement did not remain dark because it was enlightened. It was enlightened because the house was leaving. Without Oliver’s quite substantial and realistic weight, the house was free to submit to the whims of the wind. Which it did, taking with it Muriel, the cat, the family bible, and all of Oliver’s Scientific American and Western Cattleman magazines to join Weatherby’s cows, Molly, the wheat field, the barn and the cottonwood grove in a mass homage to the insistence of moving air.
“I’d ask you to stick around for supper,” Oliver muttered as he ducked into the shelter of the newly enlightened basement. “But since you Insist. . . .”