Moments before, the air stiffens. The foothills steadily darken. The atmosphere’s close, crawling on skin.
Maybe a few drops fall, as an immense up-roiling cumulonimbus front dark as drilled-up crude looms, insinuating immensity suddenly, pouring in from between peaks of the Rockies, blotting out the west.
A hawk cries from a thermal, before taking cover the last instant. No other birds around, no dogs barking, the air’s not moving, or maybe it’s being drawn above into the vacuum where matter’s torn by extraordinary torque.
No one down here will be winning or losing this afternoon, not anyone caught in yards of built-up millennia. The door in the black sky has blown irreversibly away. Weight that’s over our heads won’t be there for long.
Matter’s flattened in the anfractuous dark. What’s nearby goes truncated, tanned into black and white.
An unthinkable bolt pummels what it hits.
A lifetime passes in a flash.
A steel drum player throws everything into what she’s become. Music greater than anyone expected spreads in static over skin of the arms.