Harry Truman was waiting it out. He sat by the window in his favorite chair, once a nice soft putty color when he bought it back in Virginia ages ago. Now it resembled the hordes of rats that had suddenly appeared from nowhere and scampered across Harry’s feet on their way to who-knows-where. They didn’t even stop to eat. “Hmph,” he snorted, “it’s rat-colored.”
The rats disappeared as quickly as they arrived. Gone, like everyone else on the mountain.
Harry slowly got to his feet. That was the only way he did things now – slowly. If there was one thing he learned in life it was to take your time and follow through. “Do it right,” he always said, “and don’t pay no mind to none who tells you that you wrong.” Some said that he was stubborn, hard-headed, but really it was just that Harry was 83 years old and in no hurry.
Harry retrieved a pack of cigarettes and a rumpled newspaper from the guest-lounge. The paper was dated May 11th, exactly a week old, the last time the deliveryman came. Harry squinted at the headline, “Ah, what da they know? Know-it-alls is all they are,” and tossed it back down. He glanced over at the old transistor radio. There was no point in listening though; news, if there was any, would come soon enough. Anyway, he was pretty sure he’d be the first to know.
Suddenly, Harry felt a jolt beneath his feet. A minute later, the entire lodge began to vibrate as if a train was passing through it.
Slowly, Harry R. Truman opened the front door and removed his John Deere hat.
“Sweet Jesus …” he said and was greeted by a 200 mph wall of molten rock and poison gas from Mount St. Helens.