storm shelter

On Saturday night I left work very late – during Finals at Rice University the library stays open extra hours on the weekend.  Crossing the parking lot, I noted winter stars shining, the temperature dropping like a rock, a slightly eerie yellow quarter moon low in the west, and a north wind whipping across the pavement of the Stadium parking lot.  I happened to be on the cusp of a dry cold front.

So many cars were gone for the holidays that the wind had few obstructions in the expanse of asphalt.  The wind picked up sand in bursts that peppered the sole pedestrian (me) in a kind of sand storm.   Heavier particles visibly slithered just over the asphalt.  With the deserted emptiness of the lot, the lowering moon, the cold wind, and most of all several tendrils of sand slithering directly toward me, I felt a twinge of superstitious alarm.  I made a beeline for my car and never felt more grateful for the trusty machine providing shelter, a responsive engine starting up and familiar dashboard lights coming on.  Whew.

Interesting special effect, that night-blowing sand, how it looked almost alive if not enchanted.  I can use it in a novel!

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