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157 Miles Per Hour

by PKMichelle

The sky outside had grown dark, with clouds that only wished pain upon the city. The trees swayed with angry winds that howled like wolves to a full moon. Debris flew through the sky with colossal force, hitting houses, cars, trees, and every other thing that lay in its way. The lights in every home were off, and most windows were nailed shut with wood that wouldn't hesitate to snap under almost no pressure.

Only a few houses still had warm bodies crawling around inside, and from the perspective of those warm bodies that decided to cower in their homes, the world was at bay and as silent as it had ever been. They knew something was coming. They knew it would be devastating.

* * * * *

A young boy, barely older than eleven years old, sat alone in front of a TV in a dark room, the news playing loudly throughout the house so everyone inside could hear.

His dad, roughly in his early fourties, was scouring the house, looking for any cracks that could let the hellish violence from the storm come inside to ravage his family.

His mother, significantly younger than his father and clearly out of his league as well, ran around the house panicking and pacing, as anyone would if they knew their life was soon to be in the hands of an inexorable brute.

And lastly, there was his sister. She was the youngest of them all, having just enough revolutions around the sun to call herself five. She stood alone, unbothered by the terror, peering out of a crack in one of the windows that hadn't yet been covered.

She saw Mother Nature in her most ferocious form, but she didn't blame her. She couldn't blame her. The poor girl has seen what all of the hairless apes in the world have done, and she has grown to resent them for it.

They stole everything she loved and beckoned it to turn to fire and flames. The trees she loved to sit under and climb in, the animals she loved to watch and admire, the water she loved to swim in and drink—all victims of those who claim virtue but never show it.

And this resentment led her to crave the carnage of gruesome storms and high winds. So much so that her worry appeared on her face as joy, even while staring down the gullet of a devilish predator.

What she didn't know was that the predator didn't discriminate and most certainly didn't care who or what caused all of the problems on Earth. It was just out for blood.

And it was going to have it.

* * * * *

"Dad! Something's happening!" yelled the boy in a higher-pitched voice than usual.

The TV had started blaring an alarm with words that said "category five hurricane," and just a few short seconds later, it was cut off with the sound of loud static. The power was out. The storm had stollen the power lines. Now everyone was left without updates, facing the storm blind.

"It's okay, buddy!" the father shouted in return, uncertainty emmitting from his voice. "Just start heading to the basement. Make sure everyone gets down there. I'll catch up in a minute."

The boy, with a trembling voice, was hesitant but rose from his spot on the couch and said to his mother, "We have to go. Dad says."

The mother was frozen, in a state of fight or flight that was actually freeze. She just stood there in silence, taking in the sounds from the outdoors—all the clinging and clattering, the sounds of life being destroyed.

"Come on, Mom!" he hollered, able to break her trance and get her to move.

"Okay," she muttered, clearly still not all there.

"Maya," said the boy to the younger girl, his voice now quivering to hide the weight of his tears. "We have to go!"

She just stood there, gazing out the crack, watching the rain, thunder, and lightning pour down demolition on the city. "No," she whispered. "I wanna see it."

"You can't! It'll kill you!"

"If that's what she wants."

"Who? What are you talking about?"


"Dad! Something's wrong with Maya!"

The conversation ended with a gust of wind so powerful that it shattered the whole window Maya was standing in front of and cast glass shards in her face and body, knocking her unconscious in the process.

Water began pummeling inside, soaking everything and everyone.

"Dad!" The boy's yell turned to shrill screams as he could no longer mask his fright. "Maya's dead!"

The dad came running over, fought the rain and wind, grabbed his daughter and ushered everyone to the basement "Hurry!" he yelled, obnoxiously loud, trying to overpower the sound of the sky's lethal tears. "Before we all drown!"

Everyone ran to the basement door, thrashing it open. The dad, with the young girl in his arms, slowly becoming covered in her blood, was the last to make it down. And he was the first to recoil at the sight of his daughter's body.

The door had slammed shut behind them, but not because they shut it. It was the wind's last warning, making its presence known.

* * * * *

The dad cradled the body of his little girl in his arms, looking down at her distorted and disfigured face, slowly beginning to weep.

Everyone else in the room was silent. Only the sound of torrential rain and sobs could be heard in the cobweb-filled basement.

The man slowly pulled himself together, realizing his wife and son were watching him do what they’d never seen from him before: cry. And he placed his daughter’s body in a blanket under the stairs, hoping that they would be able to make it out and give her a proper burial.

He walked away and sat against a wall on the opposite side of the room, the rest of his family following him. He placed his head in his hands as his distraught wife tried to comfort him, the reality of all that’s happened still not setting into her mind.

They all sat there huddled in silence, grieving, when the outside fell silent and there was no audible depiction of the storm.

The man stood up, looking around, when his eyes finally met his daughter’s body. Except she was no longer there, or anywhere to be seen, for that matter.

* * * * *

Outside stood the mangled girl, barely identifiable from the glass in her face, and in so much pain she couldn’t even cry. The adrenaline had taken over her body. Pulsing through her veins, it made her feel indestructible and immortal.

But she was far from it.

She was merely vincible, and the storm was not over yet. This poor girl was simply looking into its eye, thinking it was the most glorious thing she had ever seen and being fooled by its charm.

And just as quickly as she thought she had found peace, she was picked up by swift, withering winds and tossed into a neighboring home that was just barely still on its feet.

In this moment, adrenaline could only provide so much relief from the pain. It was debilitating, and the girl could not rise back to her feet. All she could do was try to let out a scream. But even that was impossible, as her open mouth was met by bullets of rain trying to drown her just for taking a taste.

She abruptly closed her mouth, curled up into a ball, and began coughing up what started as nothing but water but slowly turned a dark crimson red.

* * * * *

Back inside, the dad has turned frantic, looking for his daughter’s body. He ran around the basement, screaming that something had taken her. Coming up with delusions like someone broke into their home and kidnapped her.

It went on and on, his son screaming, trying to stop him, but he was unstoppable. He was so out of control that he ran back up the basement stairs, tossed open the door, and let the water come pouring down to their only place of safety.

The water came down so powerfully that it flung him down the stairs, his body hitting every single step on the way down, causing blood to leap from his body and onto the now drenched floor.

His wife began screaming, calling him crazy, and saying he was going to kill them all. All the while trying not to let the water touch her feet.

The son was now the one in shock; having never seen his dad so crazed, he felt as if he was in a completely different world—a world he was trapped in, never to escape.

But none of this stopped the dad. He leaped to his feet as soon as his body hit the ground and trudged up the slippery steps, almost falling back down multiple times, only to make it to the top to be suckerpunched by a gust of wind that sent him flying into another room.

But nothing was going to stop him now. He rose to his feet once more, fighting the wind and rain—both blinding him with their ferocity—and steadily, like he’d done this before, lumbered to where the front door had once been, now dismembered and thrown throughout the house.

He tried to walk outside, but the pressure around the opening in the house didn’t let him. It forced him back in, causing him to trip over all of the debris that had been tossed inside his house.

And in that moment, he heard a scream. A familiar scream. One he recognized. It was calling out, begging for help or mercy.

Now there was nothing on his mind but saving his daughter. And with that, he rose once more, this time jumping out of the doorway before the wind could shove him back in, only to be hurled into the bricks that support his house.

But at this point, he had made eye-contact with his prize and all of its glory. Through the pain and the weakness from blood loss, he ran—he sprinted to his daughter, diving and wrapping his body around hers, using himself as a human shield.

Cradling his daughter, he climbed to his feet and turned around. Looking towards his house, he was met with blackness.

* * * * *

He had thought that saving her would be the win-all, but he was far from correct. Mother Nature had other plans—plans that spit whole, uprooted trees in the direction of seemingly innocent people.

But he was far from innocent. He was one of the hairless apes that worked to destroy the planet, and his daughter knew it—calling him out there only so the Great Mother Nature could have her most magnificent revenge, sacrificing herself in the process.

She was a martyr in her own eyes and a savior to the natural world order. She would be remembered by Mother Nature as an endless tree, growing in the place of her death, getting bigger and bigger every year, until it was finally chopped down.

The story begins from the beginning.

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159 Reviews

Points: 16439
Reviews: 159

Thu Nov 23, 2023 1:46 am
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...

Hiya! This is Orabella, here with a review.

I'm so sorry for how long it took me to get to this. I was hoping to read this the day after is was published, as I was busy the day of, but wo, I was overtook by the mountain of homework seeking to strip away all my time. ;)

My overall impression: Woah. This is a little bit dark, there, ey? A family trapped by a hurricane in their home and the misfortune caused by it. I'm just realizing that the only name we knew was Maya's, and the rest of the family was called "husband" or "father", "son" or "boy". I wonder if there was a purpose to that, or if that was entirely random and not important?

Here are some lines I wanted to add commentary to:

They knew something was coming. They knew it would be devastating.

Oooh! Foreshadowing! Wait, is it considered foreshadowing when it's in a short story? Because there's not a whole lot of time before the fore-shadowed thing comes to pass...
Anyway, right from the beginning here, you create a setting as well as a sense of dread to keep the reader interested. I especially liked the descriptions; they were well worded and made sense, and it painted a clear picture in the mind of the reader.


This isn't so much as commentary as it is... a comment. I'll be honest with you, I had to look this word up. (You'd think as I writer I'd have a bigger vocabulary, but no. 'Tis not me.) But I love this word here. It perfectly describes the storm.

It was out for blood.
And it was going to have it.

More foreshadowing! And it sure does get blood... oh gosh I didn't think you meant that literally, first reading that. But again, amazing job sparking the reader's interesting! It's fun also to go back and see that that was meant to be taken literally.

"It's okay, buddy!"

I like that the dad, even in such a horrible situation as this, is still trying to be calm for his son and still calling him, "buddy." Who knew death could make him so crazy later on... but I mean, who could blame him? His 5-year-old daughter just died.

I'll catch up in a minute.

Wait did I miss something? What's he doing and why does he need a minute? Why's he sending them to the basement before him? Maybe he's checking outside to see how bad it really is? Is he turning off the gas so a pipe doesn't break and leak and make their house explode?

"Maya's dead!"

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OHMYGOSHSHE'SDEADNOOOOOO!!!!!!!
That was my reaction when first reading this.
If I was to give constructive feedback, I'd suggest adding a bit before to make the reader think she's dead or dying first. I don't know if it's just me, but I thought she was just hurt, not mortally wounded. If her brother checked her pulse or her breath first, I feel like that would cushion the reader so they're not shocked when she "dies".

It was the wind's last warning, making its presence known.

Personification! I love personification, and I love your use of it here. Instead of saying "the door slammed shut because of the wind," you added a bit of personality to it. It also fits with the overall theme you're going with here, in that the storm is a monster or predator killing innocent (or not innocent) people and creatures in its path.

Except she was no longer there, or anywhere to be seen, for that matter.

I love how casually you wrote that. "Oh, yeah, the dead body moved by itself. Nothing interesting to report."
This kinda freaked me out, but also brought me hope. Is she alive? Does that mean she's okay?? She was fascinated by the storm... Does she have something to do with it?

...gust of wind that sent him flying into another room.

Whoa wind can do that?? I didn't think it could be that powerful. If it can't do that, then this truly must be Mother Nature punishing the hairless apes for what they have done. If it can do that: Oh wow that's so cool I didn't know it could be that powerful!! And also a bit scary if it can...

Cradling his daughter

Aww! It's so sweet how much he loves his daughter. It's like she's a little baby, with that imagery.

I love how throughout the story you made Mother Nature almost like a real person or being. It adds such an interesting thought to your story. I've always thought of natural disasters as just that: natural. But with climate change and global warming, I suppose many of the "natural disasters" that are happening/will happen/have happened are at least somewhat influenced by humans.

It's like, what you do to the planet, it will eventually take back on you. What you have done wrong, it will negatively affect you. Like you're doing it to yourself.

But with the "Mother Nature" seeming to be the cause of all this, it's like the little apes are blaming what they've done on something greater than them and that's what should take the blame. They've done wrong things, but the justice of the world will solve it. But it's really themselves that put themselves in that situation, and they are the only ones to blame.

Okay I might have read a little too far into this. All of that was speculation. (And who knows if it even made sense)

Although there were a lot of sad and dark themes running throughout, I really enjoyed reading this! I love the imagery throughout, the story progressed very clearly and it was very interesting!

Thank you so much for sharing, and please keep writing. I don't usually write this long of reviews, but I was especially interested in this work. Please never stop writing. There's always room to improve, of course, but you have a special gift.

Have an amazing day/night! ^^

PKMichelle says...

Thank you so much for the review and the small criticisms along the way! I will definitely take each and every one into consideration when working on my next project!

I also want to say that it's always so cool when someone dissects your writing the way you just did, so never think that you read too far into it! I love to hear what you think as a reader!

Anyway, thank you once again, and I hope you're having a wonderful day!

OrabellaAvenue says...

No problem! Please let me know if you ever have another work of yours you want me to review. (Or just read) I truly enjoy your work.

I hope you also enjoy your day!!

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147 Reviews

Points: 26479
Reviews: 147

Mon Nov 20, 2023 9:04 pm
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Rose wrote a review...


Beyond my beloved horizon, I'm setting sail into uncharted pages with an itch for adventure. Through binoculars, I spy with my little eye a captivating story titled “157 Miles per Hour” that deserves a good review. So without further ado, let’s begin.

I. It all Begins at the Beginning
The beginning of a story is one of the most important parts of the story, not only does it serve as a sort of short explanation of what the reader can expect from the story, but with the introduction the reader decides in less than a second whether or not to read on. Thus, it really does begins at the beginning.

And I must say that your beginning definitely created a mysterious atmosphere that could fill an entire room like thick dust. Your descriptions awakened a sense of intrigue and absolutely made me curious about what would happen next?

Not to forget, your title fits perfectly with the theme of the story but also the moral. It perfectly "portrays" an image of the speed of the hurricane and suggests a potentially life-altering event.

II. Plot Development
As mentioned before, your atmospheric descriptions as exceptional and perfectly convey the impact and intensity of the hurricane. It also sets the stage for something threatening, even suspenseful.

The incorporation of the environmental theme adds depth to the narrative and definitely adds a thought-provoking layer to it all. As does the emotional impact, which by the way goes really deep.

However, you could perhaps consider clarifying your characters their motivation, this will improve the character development. For instance, you could dive deeper into Maya's motivation, the reason behind her decision of staying.
As stated before, this might enhance the character's development by adding depth to each character. Providing a sort of background could also work well with that.

Furthermore, you could consider adjusting the pacing. At some parts the writing seems a bit packed into each other while you could expand it a bit. For example, when the father is holding the lifeless and cold body of his daughter, the pacing goes a bit to fast. It doesn't feel as if they've had time to mourn.

You could also divide this story into two parts, this will leave you with the opportunity to add a suspenseful line at the end of part 1 to pique the interest of the reader.

These suggestions are offered with the intention of boosting the depth and impact of the story, so I hope they are helpful.

III. Seek Inspiration Beyond
Feel free to check out The Apocalyptic Events of Fearlessness by @Serrurie and for some extra inspiration and ideas to spice up your own storytelling!

IV. All In All
Everything in all and all in everything, you've created a mysterious and remarkable story which I found incredibly captivating. It was simply a genuine pleasure to dive into it.

That's it, that's all.
Hoping the review has been of value to you!

With Rose-tinted regards!

PKMichelle says...

Thank you for the review and all of the kind words that came with it! I will absolutely take your advice and work to improve my character development, as well as check out the story you recommended!

Once again, thank you! And I hope you're having a blessed day!

Rose says...

You're very welcome! I'm glad to hear my review has been of value and the feedback helpful. Good luck with your future writing projects, hope you have a blessed day as well!

To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.
— Tony Dorsett