3. Al Amok
This wind begins innocently as a scirocco drifting harmlessly along the western coastal hills of Sicily. Moving westwards it quickly achieves storm force and whips the Mediterranean into a furious, seething froth. When it strikes the North African coast, fish turn ravenous in the gelid, foam-whipped water, and an army of crabs emerges from the sea and marches inland, each with its right-hand claw lifted in salute to the Crab Leader.
Meanwhile birds are stripped naked in flight and blown featherless to the earth, victims of appalling aerodynamic savagery. Masts snap and cables part in the harbor: fishing fleets are obliterated. The wind overturns automobiles in the streets and hurls children into canals. Books shrivel in people’s homes, and the furniture makes cracking noises.
When night falls, the fellahin attack each other with knives.