Kayleigh Savannah Teal

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story was written about a girl who was killed in the May 22nd Joplin tornado. She was protecting others and lost her life at the Pizza Hut where she worked. Any credit of names or anything like that goes to the Teal family.

Submitted: December 12, 2011

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Submitted: December 12, 2011

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Before I write this, I would like to give any credit to the Teal family for any use of names, events, jobs, etc. Kayleigh Savannah Teal was killed in the devastating Joplin tornado. I don't know why I dwell on this girl and stick to her specific story. I suppose that maybe it's because she was of my own age. She was working at the Pizza Hut when the tornado struck. She was trying to protect people. This is in honor of her. 
Kayleigh Savannah Teal 
March 22, 1995 to May 22, 2011 
I am not positive that this story is exactly how that day went, but I will try my best to write it. Thank you for reading. 


It was an early Sunday morning. Work was slowly coming to me. I awoke to the sound of my parents scuffling around downstairs. I got dressed and went down for breakfast. My dad sat drinking coffee while my mom worked at cleaning the dishes.
"Good morning." My mom always had a smile on her face, just like my dad always had a bandanna on his head. 
"Mornin' Kayleigh." 
"Hi." I said bleakly with tiredness still in my eyes. 
My mom patted my back with her wet hand. I smiled at her. I ate breakfast quickly so I could take a shower. 
After my shower I got dressed for work. My dad was waiting for me with a surprise. I smiled while trying to get him to tell me. 
Then he finally gave in and handed me a necklace. It was a locket necklace. Inside was a picture of my mom, dad, and myself. It was our christmas picture from last year. I smiled and hugged my dad then gave him a fun little punch on his arm. I grabbed my keys to my car. 
"Bye pops! Bye mom. Love you guys. I'll be home around seven!" I left the house and got into my car and drove a few blocks to my work at the Pizza Hut. 
My employees already had the place going. It was strangely busy, but I didn't mind. I saw a few familiar faces from around town and school. Mr. Richards sat at a table near the register like he did every morning. He acted like the Pizza Hut was a coffee shop. 
I smiled and said good morning then got to work. 
Work went fast. Customers came in and out and I served as usual. Mr. Richards left at the usual time. 
Service was starting to slow down which gave me a chance for a break. 
I went outside. The sky was dark, but always beautiful. I breathed in the air and watched as clouds flew by. I waved at a few passing people that I knew. I went back inside when it began to rain. 
A storm was coming through. I knew it because lightning had just struck. 
My manager Judy went to the front of the store. She looked outside at the rain and dark sky. 
"Attention! Everyone! If it starts to get rough out there, I will let ya'll in the back. Okay?" Everyone nodded and there were some okays. 
I went back to working until the tornado siren went off. It was natural instinct to not be scared, so I just stayed calm. 
The customers stood up as Judy led them to the back. 
"Kayleigh, hun, will you go lock the doors?" I nodded as Judy handed me the keys. I ran to the doors and looked outside. It was almost black. I saw a large wall for a brief moment. I was hoping it wasn't the tornado. 
I ran to the back and gave the keys back to Judy. 
"Okay everyone. Stay calm and stay down." I sat on the ground and leaned up against the cooler we were by. We sat for a few minutes until the rumbling began. At first it didn't seem so bad. Then I heard stuff falling. Then I felt stuff falling. The roof was about to come down. I felt for the others and crawled in front of them while spreading my arms. I held my breath and counted to ten. 1. I felt something hit my arms. 2. Screams. 3. The wind. 4. Are my parents okay? 5. Something hit my head. 6. I get dizzy. 7. My head burns as another thing fall on me. 8. I push myself against the others trying to protect them. 9. The ceiling caves in. 10. 



"Is everyone okay?" My husband and a some of our friends had been lying in the basement when the tornado hit. 
I stood up after it seemed to be over. My husband Robert stood up after me along with everyone else. The basement was in tack, but I wasn't sure about above ground. I slowly made my way to the door. It was dark, besides the sliver of light that came from the window. It was a dim light since the storm was still residing. 
I pushed open the door, and destruction rained upon me. The whole house was deterred. Half of our walls were torn down while windows were cracked and the roof had caved in a bit. 
I let my jaw hang, but then I remembered Kayleigh. I reached for Robert and tapped his arm. 
"Kayleigh! Kayleigh!" I ran over the rubble and out an open are of my house. Robert followed and so did the others. They were in shock and so was I. The outside was worse. Already emergency vehicles' sirens wailed. My car was gone. Our neighbors house was gone. Everything was gone. 
I looked around for anyone else. Robert was on his knees. I pulled him up and told him we had to find Kayleigh. 
We walked over piles of debris, stopping at moments in case of others. We walked and walked until we were almost to the Pizza Hut. I was terrified to see what lied ahead, but I kept going. 
I rounded the corner and there it was. The once standing Pizza Hut was leveled. I felt the tears rush up and out. I ran and ran until I reached the rubble. Robert ran too. We both started to look and move loose pieces. We kept going until a firefighter told us to get away. We did as we were told as they went through the rubble. 


Days went by. The damage was horrible. The whole city was destroyed. We stayed in a small camp while people were being rescued. No sign of Kayleigh, but we kept faith. 


It was Wednesday now. We were approached by a group of firefighters. We knew what it meant. 
"Karen Teal? Robert?" We nodded and stood up in horror already knowing what was to be said. 
"We found your daughter. She didn't make it." I was the first to burst out in tears. The it was Robert's turn. The firefighters hugged us. 
"Can--can we see her?" I said still weeping. They nodded and lead us to her. 
It was a long row of cots with bodies covered up on them. Some were empty while others were of the dead. Then we stopped at one of the cots. It was covered with a blanket. 
The firefighters slowly pulled it off. There she was. Our beautiful Kayleigh. Dried blood covered her face. Her blonde hair was streaked with dirt. Her mouth and eyes were closed, and her body motionless. I couldn't stand to look, so I buried my head into Robert's chest. We both stood there and cried. 
"We'll give you some alone time." They pulled two curtains on both side to create a private place where we stood. I look down at my daughter wondering what it was like, where she was. Robert cried and cried. 
Not enough tears could have been shed to express our pain. 
We stood there with Kayleigh for awhile. Her face had a few scrapes on it. 
An hour must've gone by before we had to leave. We covered Kayleigh back up and left the shelter. 


"This damn tornado. It took our baby. Our sweet baby Kayleigh. She was a fun, sweet, daring, girl. She was our "awesome sweet pea". She made us smile everyday and all the time. But this instead made us realize how amazing life is. Kayleigh's journey was short, but amazing. She was our baby and will always be. We could dwell in our loss, but instead we'll make it great. Kayleigh wouldn't want us to dwell. She would want us to...parachute. She would want us to test our limits with life and do the daring. We love you Kayleigh." 


Thank you for reading. It means a lot to me, and I always pray for this girl and her family. R.I.P Kayleigh Savannah Teal.


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