Daily Fiction Writing Challenge13/6: Tri-State Tornado

Lucinda Gunnin
2 min readMay 6, 2022


Almost two weeks ago, I challenged myself to write a piece of short fiction daily to get myself back in the fiction mindset and to just write more. So far, so good.

On May 1, I started using the #StoryADay prompts, when I didn’t hate them, to inspire my story. Today’s prompt was a flash of light. And this is what happened. For those unfamiliar, the Tri-State tornado in 1925 ripped across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. It was on the ground for about 200 miles and there were a lot of call ahead and warn them options in 1925. It is still regarded as one of the deadliest tornado events in American history.

Tri-State Tornado

Massive black clouds rolled in from the west, taking the hot March day from bearable to sauna in minutes.

Maria looked out at the bright field where her husband was busy planting and hoped he saw the clouds soon enough to head to the barn. Further down the road, she saw the small brick schoolhouse where both her older children were lamenting the final school days of the year.

As she watched, the day went from bright midday sun to pitch black. Thunder cracked and the downpour began, torrential without so much as a warning drop first. As the rain pounded on the tin roof and the wind buffeted the walls of the tiny house, she rocked the baby and sang. Spring storms were a common part of life here on the prairie.

As the storm seemed to get louder and louder, sounding like a coal train barreling down the tracks, she went to look out the window, wondering if she should grab a blanket and run for the storm cellar.

Lightning flashed and she crumbled to the floor, weeping. The moment frozen in time revealed the barn was gone and the schoolhouse a pile of rubble. Everything swept away in an instance.

She wrapped herself around the baby and wept as the monster tornado stole her too.



Lucinda Gunnin

Lucinda Gunnin is a commercial property manager and author in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She’s a news junky, sushi addict, and geek extraordinaire.