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Fear and the Mighty Chinook

Updated on June 19, 2013

The Chinook Arch

The Chinook Arch is a beautiful yet terrifying force of nature that can be seen in the Pacific Northwest from Canada to Northern USA. The mention of a Chinook can cause panic for some and awe for others. Although the event rarely causes problems, some do experience torrential rain, wind, or snow storms however these generally end in a matter of minutes or hours.


Amy awoke with a start; it was pitch black and cold as the Chinook in January. Her cheek rested against the cold hard floor boards. Her eyes strained to focus and peer through the dark, but she couldn’t see a thing. All except a dull arch of yellowish-gray glowing between the floor and what must have been a narrow door. Slowly she up-righted herself, rising to all fours and finally hiking up one leg as if to stand, shivering all the while. She was dizzy, confused, and stiff from head to toe. Something bristled against her face, and instinctively she batted her arms towards the thing. She hoped to frighten it away. For some reason she instinctively felt it was not a good idea to scream; maybe uncertainty about who or what was on the other side of the door. Instead she continued to beat away the thing with quiet jerking blows. It wrapped its self around her arms and face. It was then she noticed it was nothing more than a thick wooly coat. The damage was done, adrenaline coursed through her veins. Her breath was hesitant and shallow and terror seized her. She dared not breathe too deep in case ‘they’ hear, but who were ‘they’? The rough coat swayed back and forth on its hanger like the ticking of an old fashion grandfather clock. Amy groped in the dark. Off to one side she felt like a small squat dresser with thin poorly made drawers. On the other side were even more clothes hanging, as well as a shoe organizer filled with women’s pumps. It was then she noticed the dull ache from the back of her head. Gently she fingered the place to find a sticky wet lump. The spot beat, beat, beat beneath her fingers. Possibly from fear, loss of blood, or the result of blunt force trauma to her skull, she found it impossible to stand. Her body drifted slow motion back down to the cold floor as her eyes shut.

Chinook Arch

The Arch creates a large flat bank of menacing clouds that appear to be an approaching storm of epic proportions, however it rarely result any problems. One positive feature of the Chinook Arch is that it can display a beautiful sky filled with vibrant colors ranging from pink, yellow, orange, blue, and even red.

Chinook Winds

While the Arch is an awesome sight to behold, the Chinook winds can create momentary problems for many. Warm, moist air from the Southwest (aka pineapple express) collides with cold icy air. This clash can result in rapid weather changes from several feet of snow, great amount of drenching rain, and even hurricane force winds for a brief number of hours.

It was the throbbing that awoke Amy once again. The yellow-gray arch had turned to a hint of pinkish orange. The colors slowly evaporated into pitch black. It seemed like stars sparkled beneath her lids as she attempted to rise to her feet again. This time she decided to call out for help. Maybe if she politely asked to be freed her captors might take pity. “Hello, hello?” she whispered. “Is someone there?” No answer. Again she cautiously called out, “Hello, please, help me” Again, no answer. She stopped to think what to do next. The ooze had slowed and the sticky fluid was drying with clumps of her hair in its grasp. Amy’s thoughts were racing. She wondered why she was held captive, what did she have that anyone would want? This frightened her. She knew that her bank account was overdrawn, and she had nothing of real value that anyone might need. And, she was a small person. Not physically speaking, but in terms of wealth, influence, and personal power. If she could not offer her captors anything in return for her life, she knew there was little chance of bargaining her way out. In fact, they must have wanted something different; something more final. There was no way she could overpower large men, and especially the type who would probably try to hold her captive for days, just to torment her with silence. She knew she must find a way out. Softly she called, “hello, please, please, is anyone there? Please, let me go, I won’t tell anyone a thing.” No answer. Terror seized her again as gruesome thoughts raced through her mind. She crumpled her knees tightly against her chest and silently sobbed. In a last ditch effort to save herself, she sat still and prayed... “God, please, please get me out of this.” Time passed slowly as she fell to sleep once again. It may have been hours, Amy was not sure anymore, but her eyes were drawn again to a yellow and orange hue peeking through, just beneath the narrow door. It seemed to be calling her to rise and try.

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    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Hi Steff, this is interesting, I have never heard of a Chinook being a storm. I know that a Chinook fish is a Salmon/Trout. I learned something new. Thank you.