Rockport Miracles Part 1: Episode 3 "The Big Man In The Sky" Fiction by Scott MacGregor

The sun is rising over the east end of Rockport and I’m hunkered down inside the old coal room of my grandfather’s wrecked mansion where I sleep the deepest. 30 years ago Rags Johnson cast his vengeful Creole curse upon Rockport and very little in the way of normal has occurred since. Soon, the dark shifting clouds that stalk our town will appear on Lake Erie’s northern horizon and wait patiently to attack us. Whatever it is that has turned the fates against all who live in the path of these ruinous storms one thing seems certain, we are experiencing events beyond the control of mere mortals. 

The day after Rags Johnson was beaten up and unceremoniously run out of town, strong thunderstorms rolled in off the lake. I’m told a calm preceded the storm and the air all around was tinged with a strange reddish hue. Then, like Thor’s Hammer, a sudden, vicious tornado smashed into the middle of Rockport. 

On the western edge of town, the giant “Welcome To Rockport” sheet metal man atop of the Owego Brothers Heating and Cooling Company became unhinged. Strapped upright to the roof with steel cables, the iconic colossus was being rocked from its moorings by strong swirling winds coming from all directions. Both of the Owego brothers rushed to stabilize the cables holding onto “Donald Duct”, as he was called, when a funnel cloud passed over them and lifted the big man into the sky with the Owego brothers holding on for dear life. 

Meanwhile, a ferry boat transporting 50 Divinity students from Buffalo to Toledo capsized off  Rockport’s coast and sank. All passengers and crew made it out alive but struggled to remain afloat in the storm-tossed waters. The students screamed, “Heavenly Father-SAVE US!!” Just then, a giant metal man streaked across the sky and plummeted into the storm tossed waters with the screeching Owego brothers still holding on to him. ‘Donald Duct’ proved to be amazingly buoyant and the survivors climbed aboard his massive face until they were rescued by the crew of an ore freighter. 

No one died in that furious storm and churches of all denominations declared that fact a miracle. Today, our local agnostics would assign terrestrial explanations while I prefer to believe that the curse of intolerance prescribes its own fate. And, since I believe in fate, then by definition, I believe in miracles. Welcome to Rockport.

NEXT:

Part 2: “A Girl Named Wren Mathews” 

Illustrations by Greg Budgett ©2018

©2018 Scott MacGregor-EOI Media Press Inc. 

Catch up on previous episodes at: http://lakewoodobserver.com/download-issues/ 

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Volume 14, Issue 13, Posted 6:08 PM, 07.03.2018