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The sirens ripped through the black night. Sara sat up, confused at the noise. She had moved out of tornado alley, that swath of the country where tornadoes are the most likely. So why was she hearing a tornado siren? Sara should be safe here so this had to be a dream.

Reality set in: this was no dream. The sirens were real. So was that rumbling freight train like sounds bearing down on her small house.

Suddenly she regretted opting for the house without a basement.

Panic followed quickly on the heels of wakefulness. Sara shot out of bed, intent on finding the dogs. One was nestled in the bed next to her. The other was no where to be found. At least not at first.

She spied a small white paw sticking out from under the bed, grabbed hold, and pulled. The dog squealed but there was no time to be gentle. With a dog tucked under each arm, Sara made for the bathtub as quickly as possible. She didn't have time to pull a mattress over her head but it was better than nothing.

The freight got louder and the house shook violently around her. Sara prayed fervently. She prayed for everything. For safety. For the dogs. For her neighbors. For everything she had ever done wrong. For every person she needed to forgive or that needed to forgive her. She prayed for everything. It didn't matter what she prayed for, as long as she prayed.

Suddenly the whole world felt weightless. She clutched the whimpering dogs closer to her chest.

As the world slipped away, Sara continued to pray.

Then it happened. Something cut sharply across her frantic prayers. Calm filled her entire being.

Let it go. Just let go. 

She did. She let go of the dogs. She let go of the fear. She let go of everything.

And as she did, the world dropped away beneath her.

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