a novel by
Copyright 2002, revised 2011 Wayne Benham
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Nature in its infinite wisdom, or utter foolishness, sees fit to bring a peculiar set of atmospheric conditions into convergence near a large sun cooked mudflat. Small but powerful eddies of air begin to whip across the almost bare landscape of this quietly neglected area.
For unmeasured seasons this low spot had been the location of an unremarkable little pond that lived and thrived for eight to nine months of every year, until recently when someone illegally diverted the flow path of the small stream that eventually fed this pond in order to obtain an additional source of crop irrigation. Now all that remains is an expanse of dry, cracked mud, the smell of death and decay, and one slowly dissipating pool of stagnant water thick with too little oxygen and too many tadpoles and newly graduated frogs.
The whipping winds continue to compress, compact and organize until a miniature twister forms. The twister tilts and dips a spiraling funnel into the stagnant pool, sucking up several gallons of water along with a few dozen amphibious bodies and injects them into a small airborne pocket of violently spinning air.