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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

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Nov. 14th, 2008 | 08:21 pm

"Afterward, there was a lot of discussion about what people had thought it was. The noise had seemed to come from all corners of the sky at once.
Journalists, armed with the thesaurus and apocalyptic scriptures, fumbled and were defeated by it. 'A gulfy deliquescent of deranged and harnessed air'... 'A volcano of the invisible, darkly construed'...
To the pleasure faithers with tiktok affections, it was the sound of clockworks uncoling their springs and running down at a terrible speed. It was the release of vengeful energy.
To the essentialists, it seemed as if the world had suddenly found itself too crammed with life, with cells splitting by the billions, molecules uncoupling to annihilation, atoms shuddering and juggernauting in their casings.
To the superstitious it was the collapsing of time. It was the oozing of the ills of the world into one crepuscular muscle, intent on stabbing the world to its core for once and for all.
To the more traditionally religious it was the blitzkrieg of vengeful angel armies, the awful name of the Unnamed God sounding itself at last-surprise-and the evaporation of all hopes for mercy.
One or two pretended to think it was squadrons of flying dragons overhead, trained for attack, breaking the sky from its moorings by the thrash of tripartite wings.
In the wake of the destruction it caused, no one had the hubris or courage (or the prior experience) to lie and claim to have known the act of terror for what it was: a wind twisted up in a vortical braid.
In short: a tornado.
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