Storm Chasers by Ashley McAtee
In this town, the houses are close together. If someone sits on his front porch swing, he can watch the baseball game through his neighbor's window. If a house phone rings in the summer, the people next door know about it. When there is a big storm coming, people creep out in front of their houses; put their hands on their hips and bend back to look up at the sky. "TV says it should start in about twenty minutes." When the rain hits really hard, the women go inside to gather up their children and dogs and battery powered radios. They travel down to their basements, yelling up the stairs to their husbands to come in out of it. The husbands hesitate. They linger in the rain, some even into the hail and thunder. They know why, but they say nothing of it. Each of them just stands out there, face to the clouds, avoiding the truth that lives in the basement of every house in this town. They avoid eye contact with each other, but it goes without saying. The men tarry in the streets, tempting the lightning to come, to strike close enough that they might feel something, anything that might resemble the fire they so miss. That is why there is a truth hiding beneath the surface, threatening the foundations of every house. Each man is waiting for a storm big enough to blow him away, and leave his wife and kids and the dogs and the battery powered radios behind.