"From here the skies are clear for miles around," Lex said. He had parked his old pickup on the side of the road, leaving the radio on as an afterthought. Above us, the clouds were whipping past, a blur of gray and purple, with the occasional wisp of green or yellow just barely visible amidst the milieu.
I said nothing in response. He knew how I felt.
After a moment of awkward silence, Lex shot me a bright smile and popped open the door, sliding to the ground. He stretched, his flannel shirt riding up his stomach, and asked, "Could you hand me the camera?"
"Where is it?" I asked, and removed it from the glove compartment upon his instructions. He removed the cap and carefully set it on the worn, threadbare driver's seat, before walking out in front of the truck.
I hesitantly unfastened the seatbelt and opened the door. The wind had been growing more and more fierce, and I felt a shock as it rushed into the cab and out the other side. I was enveloped in its bitter influence, my shoulder-length hair raising from my shoulders and whipping to and fro, much like the knee-high grasses in the prairie by which we were surrounded.
I looked away from Lex as he adjusted the settings on his camera, and looked into the horizon. I could see neither sun nor moon, only clouds, and at the very edge of my sight, the endless prairie met with pure, pitch black. As the sky asserted its domination over the earth, I felt myself trembling, and I had to clench my hands in my lap to deter the shaking.
"Hey, do you know where the tripod is?" Lex called out, unaware of my emotions. I jumped, startled, and reached beneath the bench seat to retrieve it. As I trudged around the car and passed it to him, Lex yelled out--for the wind was far too loud to speak at a regular tone--"Isn't it beautiful out here?" He had a broad grin on his face, and I was all at once struck with the realization that he enjoyed this nightmare! I didn't know how to respond, so I shot him a weak smile and backed away.
The sky was darker now, the black having crept its way across the sky, for all the world appearing as an oil spill in a vast, endless ocean. All at once, as the tumultuous maelstrom began to condense into a single-minded assault, I felt my eyes prick with tears and I sank to the ground.
"Look!" Lex howled in excitement, eagerly capturing every moment of the tempest with his camera, and though I couldn't bear to watch, I looked; and I was overcome.