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Short Fiction: Seven Sisters and the Storm

Dear Readers,

9/27/22:With my text alert wildly warning of Ian's arrival, I prayed about what to blog this week. In an instant, the unexpected answer came: "Post that short story about hurricanes." Years ago, I wrote a collection of stories, Waterworks: Modern Tales of Redemption & Grace. This is a collection of twelve short inspirational stories for women, including reflective prompts and prayers for spiritual growth. I never published them, though one was featured in a literary anthology. I confess I'm not even reading this again before posting it. If you like it, will you let me know? I sure do hope you'll enjoy it!

9/30/22 UPDATE: I scheduled this post earlier this week. As of this morning, all is well. By the grace of God, Ian was a nonevent for us here. We were serenely hunkered down at my house. Grateful! Thanks to all of you who prayed and reached out.


It was just starting to rain now, clouds materializing out of an innocent, early morning August sky. Caroline rushed to shut the windows in the house against the coming storm.

She ran the headcount in her head. Betsy was pulling soggy laundry off the clothes line across the way. Raylene was playing with the rabbit ears on the TV. Her twin, Ruth Ann, was still down at the truck stop along 37. Sistah Sally, as they called her, was at the church preparing for the worst. Mary Pat was our running somewhere. Little Kitty was splashing in the muddy puddles quickly forming from the flat, grassless stretch of earth before the little compound they called Sisterville. All seven of us accounted for.

“Betsy!” Caroline called out the window. “Betsy!”

“What?!” Betsy answered impatiently, as she lifted a damp sheet off the clothes line to find her sister’s face. Already soggy from the light shower, Betsy stood with the plastic laundry basket resting at her feet and wet clothes slung over both shoulders.

“Get the rugs out back, too,” Caroline hollered. Betsy shrugged a reply.

It had all started three hours ago. Roused by a strong breeze early that morning,

Caroline had hurried to hang the wash and air rugs. Nobody said anything about rain.

The storm was supposed to pass far east of Cypress Creek, population 700. At eight a.m., when she finally sat down for morning coffee, her younger sister Raylene burst in the screen door.

“Talula’s comin’ this way,” she announced breathlessly.

“Talula?” Caroline asked indifferently, lighting a cigarette.

“The hurricane.”

“Right.” She answered absentmindedly, remembering. “They’re really dredging for names aren’t they?” Caroline got up to pour herself another cup of coffee. “Want some?” she asked, lifting the pot.

Raylene crossed the small living room to the old console TV in the corner and switched it on. “I’m serious, Caroline,” she said fiddling with the knobs, “it’s coming straight for us.” Raylene smacked the side of the television, hoping to jar it into compliance.