Meet the Fatalities: Natural Disaster, Pele

In THE LAST GHOST, the Death that comes to end a person's life depends on the nature of the cause of death. There are 16 deaths, called Fatalities, in the book. Over the next 16 days, we will meet one Fatality each day, and discuss which heartbreaking fictional character death belongs with each character.

Meet the Sixth Fatality, Natural Disaster, Commonly Referred to as Pele

"On one side, everything was a reddish-orange, representing Pele, the sixth Fatality, the unexpected death of natural disaster—avalanche, hurricane, or her personal favorite, volcano. She had wild red hair of tendrils that snaked down her back to the ground, and wore an orange dress that seemed to bubble and boil. At the size she was at now, the earth quaked with every movement, and her voice thundered as she turned to her companion.”

--The Last Ghost

Pele is credited in THE LAST GHOST as having had the most deaths in total, but it seems that natural disasters frequent less often in the books I have read. Which is strange, because in the television shows that I watch, such as Grey’s Anatomy, there are numerous natural disasters.  


I think Young Adult novels are typically empty of natural disasters because so much of the conflict in YA in internal. If you think of the four story frame man v. nature, man v. society, man v. man, man v. himself, I feel the majority of YA stories are the last two, and the least is man v. nature.

I know that the Baby Sitter’s club super specials used to contain several natural disasters (I personally remember at least a hurricane and a tornado) I don’t recall anyone dying in the super specials.

For me, I think probably the most heartbreaking fictional character that dies from a natural disaster is Sister Husband in Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts.

After pregnant Novalee Nation (played by Natalie Portman in the movie) is abandoned at a Wal-Mart where she subsequently had her baby, Novalee and the baby go to live with Sister Husband. Sister Husband, basically becomes Novalee’s first real family. She is a genuinely kind and helpful person, and tragically dies when a tornado hits their town.

““You ever think about this? Every year you live, you pass the anniversary of your death. Now you don't know what day it is, of course.”  —Where the Heart is, Billie Letts

I chose this for the heartbreaking natural disaster because of the randomness of the Tornado. It seems like it is more of a “adventure in the plains states” type of chapter, and then to lose such an important character.

What natural disaster fictional deaths affected you? What ones am I missing?