Chapter one: THE CYCLONE

Dorothy lived in the middle of the great western plains, far away from any other fans. She was a very lonely little fanne, who could not afford to go to the annual World Conventions, and had been only to one Oklacon. She lived with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em on a poor and simple farm in Kansas, with no newstands nearby, so that she only got stfmags when James L. Quinn sent her If every other month, and now and then when Ray Palmer sent her sample copies of Other Worlds with pleading form letters. But since the farm was so poor, she couldn't afford to sub to Other Worlds, and she was very unhappy. And then one day she heard that Other Worlds had folded, and she sat down and cried.

Presently she fell asleep, and while she dreamed of meeting lots of fans and being very fannish, the sky darkened and the wind began to howl from all directions. The house began to shake, and Dorothy awoke to find Aunt Em gathering up clothes and running for the storm cellar. "Your Uncle Henry is looking after the livestock," she shouted to the sleepy girl. "Come save yourself!" But Dorothy ran to save her precious collection of If and the stencils she had typed for her fanzine. She put them all in the storm cellar, and then ran back out for her beanie.

All of a sudden, the howling winds became a great cyclone, with its center right in the center of the house, and the small house shook so hard that she lost her footing and sat down suddenly upon the floor. The house began to rise, and it turned around two or three times. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon, and she thought to herself, "This must be what it feels like to see your name in print."

The house was carried miles and miles, as easily as you could carry a feather, and looking out the window, Dorothy could see Kansas getting smaller and smaller behind her. Hour after hour passed away, and slowly she got over her fright; but the wind shrieked so loudly all about her that she nearly became deaf. It was almost as bad as listening to Sam Moskowitz talk. But as the hours passed and nothing terrible happened, she stopped worrying, and resolved to wait calmly and see what the future would bring. At last she crawled over the swaying floor to her bed, and lay down upon it; in spite of the swaying house, she soon closed her eyes and fell fast asleep.


(Data entered by Judy Bemis)