The sky was getting darker and darker. There were balls of ice, which looked like marbles, shooting out of the sky making pounding sounds on the roof. The TV had a little map in the bottom corner that said there was a tornado warning. The man on the news was telling people to "take shelter".
D.J. was usually a brave boy, being the big brother of two siblings, but this was something he had never been through before. His family had just moved to Missouri from South Dakota, and there were not many tornado's there. D.J. had heard about tornados. He had even seen them in movies, but this was scary.
"Mommy, I'm scared. Will the wind take away our house, like on The Wizard of Oz?" D.J. asked.
D.J.'s mom squatted down and looked him in his eyes. She could see the tears starting to come. D.J. could tell that Mommy was a little bit scared too.
"Well son, all we can do is pray and follow the instructions that daddy gave us, if this should happen." Mommy gently responded. "Do you remember the rules, D.J.?" she asked.
"Oh yes, I do! We need to unplug stuff, turn on the radio with batteries, and go to the hall away from the windows." D.J. energetically answered.
Impressed by D.J.'s response Mommy said, "Very good, you listened very well."
"But Mommy, Devan and Raevan are scared too. How are we going to keep them in the hall, Devan will try to run away?" D.J. inquired.
"Well son, that is what I need your help with." Mommy responded, "You can get your brother and sister in the hall, while I unplug the appliances."
As Mommy went through the house gathering the flashlight and radio, D.J. went right to work. He was a five-year-old boy on a mission, and he had an idea.
When Mommy got the things that she needed, she started toward the hall, which is when she noticed Brother and Sister's toddler mattresses in the middle of the hall. The children were giggling, and then started to sing Jesus Loves Me.
"What is this?" she questioned, as she peeked in.
D.J. looked up with a big smile on his face, "This is our cave; we are camping." he explained.
"Would you like to come too, Mommy?"
"Why certainly, it sounds like fun." Mommy responded, trying to hold back the laughter. "Did you remember to bring the hotdogs and marshmallows?" asked Mommy, as seriously as she could, while entering the imaginary cave.
Happy to see Mommy smiling, he answered, "I sure did, and Devan brought graham crackers and chocolates. We can have smores!"
They pretended to roast the marshmallows for the imaginary smores. They started telling knock-knock jokes and singing songs. They were having so much fun, they forgot about the tornado. They felt so safe in the cave that they didn't even notice sun had come back out.
...This is the story I sent to my instructor at the Institute for Childrens Literature. Keep in mind this is just the first draft. It is modeled after a real situation. I hope you enjoyed it.