In the darkness of his room, Andy gripped his stuffed panda and whimpered. The tornado sirens shrieked, and debris pounded against the window. He shot out of the bed as though he were being propelled from a cannon, and raced down the hallway into his mother’s bedroom.
“Mama! Mama!” he cried.
His mother jumped out of bed, and grabbed the quilt. She took Andy’s hand and pulled him through the hallway and into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. She climbed into the bathtub and sat on the floor. Andy fell into her lap, as she wrapped the quilt over their heads.
Heart pounding, hot tears streaming down his face, he clung to his mother, his fingers digging into the back of her neck.
“Shh,” his mother said, rubbing his back. “Everything will be okay. I’ll keep you safe.”
Andy loosened his grip from his mother’s neck and wrapped his arms around her shoulders. He squeezed her as the tornado rumbled through the house past the bathroom door.
© Natalie Goodwin, 2020