» Graphic Narrative

Tesseract

We admitted we were powerless

FORECASTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A FEW STRONG
TO VIOLENT LONG-TRACK TORNADOES

this is called visitation.

 

I made a family of the towers. The one with a heart in her center and the pointed tips of a hat, the mother. In the summer weeks that were his we rode in the car for an hour, backpacks with coloring books and dinosaurs, quarters for vending machines.

 

We followed the power lines out to the river, past signs for evacuation routes. Gas stations with tanning beds, boiled nuts in greasy bags, bathrooms we weren’t allowed to go in. We pretended to work, typing newsletters on typewriters, wearing headsets not connected to the phone.

 

I want to be involved in raising the child/ren.

*

We came to believe

THEY WILL RAPIDLY BECOME SEVERE WITH THE POTENTIAL

 

Only her mother could talk about him in a natural way

 

*

 

Restore us to sanity

THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION

A straight line is not the shortest distance between two points

 

I believe visitation is in the child/ren’s best interest.

*

 

We made a fearless moral inventory of ourselves

STORMS WILL SHIFT

 

“Just what was your father’s line of business?”
“Some kind of scientist, wasn’t he?”

 

*

 

Another human being

THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE

 

“When would you go, if you could time travel?”
“I’d go back and see my parents when they were younger.”

 

*

 

We’re entirely ready

THE MOST INTENSE STORMS ARE EXPECTED

 

I woke up when a man in a black cowboy hat got into the car parked next to ours. The familiar. A slamming door. My sister, asleep in her car seat, a slow drip of apple juice, crushed crackers against her legs. The sign from the building made a pink blur on the back window. Hours later, my mother returned. She smelled like someone else.

 

I have a safe place for the child/ren to stay during visitation.

 

*

 

To remove

A HIGH RISK

 

My mother asked about my dog. A name of some vague relative.

 

She would be happier in the countryside, without fences, away from the apartment with two bedrooms and twin beds.

Years later I learned she was bred, litter after litter. When I was sixteen, my mother pointed out the house as we drove by—a fence and a chain, the grass worn away.

 

*

 

We made a list

PORTIONS OF
MUCH OF
ALABAMA NORTHWEST GEORGIA SOUTHEAST MISSISSIPPI SOUTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE

 

*

 

To do so would injure them or others

STRONG LOW LEVEL AND DEEP
LAYER VERTICAL SHEAR

You and the child/ren will know when you can spend time together.

 

She knew that if her father could not get her through
the wall
he would stay

 

*

 

We continued to take

MODERATELY UNSTABLE

 

I will support the child/ren as ordered by the court to the best of my ability.

*

 

To carry that out

LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS

The court will send you a letter

 

“Do you think things always have an explanation?”

 

 

*

 

To carry this message

FUTURE FORECASTS MAY EXPAND

 

This is not a fairy tale.

 

I swear that I am able

to take care of the child/ren
listed above.

I am

a fit and proper
person.

 

Works Cited
Alcoholics Anonymous: Big Book. 4th Edition. A.A. Grapevine, Inc. 2001. Print.

 

“Figure 1. Single circuit (a) and double circuit (b) transmission line towers for 154kV.” ResearchGate.www.researchgate.net/figure/269101284_fig1_Figure-1-

Single-circuit-a-and-double-circuit-b-transmission-line-towers-for-154-kV

 

“Form PS-06: How to Ask for a Visitation.” Rev. 8/08. Alabama Administrative Office of Courts. eforms.alacourt.gov/Do%20It%20Yourself%20Forms/ Petition%20for%20Visitation.pdf

 

L’Engle, Madeline. A Wrinkle in Time. New York : Square Fish, 2007. Print.

 

NOAA. “Public Severe Weather Outlook.” NWS Storm Prediction Center. Norman, OK.

0423 AM CDT Wed Apr 27 2011. www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/ archive/2011/pwo_201104271035.html

 

NOAA. “Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS): Tornado Watch 235.” NWS Storm Prediction Center. Norman, OK. 145 PM CDT Apr 27 2011. www.spc.noaa.gov/products/watch/2011/ww0235.html

 

Hartley, P. “HVDC Transmission: Part of the Energy Solution?,” James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, May 2003.

 

Siemens. “Typical Transmission Line Structures for approx.. 2000 MW.” www.energy.siemens.com/br/pool/hq/power- transmission/HVDC/applications-benefits/benefits-hvdc-4-b_463.jpg

Jenni Moody

jennimoody.com

Jenni Moody is a fiction writer in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee PhD creative writing program. She holds an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Booth, Strangelet, and elsewhere. She tweets at @moodyjenni.