Saturday, July 2, 2016

Dark Cloud Hovering


She couldn’t remember the last time she noticed the clouds. One day, like a magician’s trick, they disappeared – poof. Rain? She missed its metallic smell, and scarce didn’t begin to describe what the country was experiencing. The first and last words on the radio or news channels were, “The worst drought since …” Blah, blah, blah.

Shit, for that matter, all the heat made it difficult for her to remember the year. Her brain felt as fried as the landscape. Dead shrubs, grass that crumbled into sawdust under your feet, and flowers with their blooms bowed and shriveled was all that was left. A rose is a rose until it’s no more. Damn, that sounded sad.

Sweat beaded on her forehead and trickled down her sides. She slipped on her sunglasses, moved to the curb and raised her hand praying for a cab and the comfort of air-conditioning.

Her hair fluttered across her face in the same instant a gust of wind lifted her shirt, and a breeze tickled her sticky thighs. Wind!

The air turned nippy and the sky darker. She removed her sunglasses and watched as the dark cloud moved overhead and hovered. The whole country had prayed for rain. Maybe, God heard.

She checked for the small pocket umbrella hiding in the bottom of her bag; it wasn’t there. Why add the weight of something you don’t need to an already bulging bag? Who cares, at this point, she’d’love the chance to dance in the rain.

The cloud grew darker and expanded. Something about the way it swirled and danced made her shiver and nervous. The electricity in the air was palpable making the hairs on her arms stand at attention. Bouncing on her toes, she scanned the streets for her rescue. Jesus, where were the cabs?

The earth shook with a sudden roar and rumble. The sound was deafening. The wind rushed against her back, pushing her into the street. Flailing against the invisible assault, she dropped her purse and portfolio into the street. Papers flew into the air and scattered. Jesus H Christ!

She scrambled for the papers littering the landscape, grabbing what she could and running after the others and then stopped. Her ragged breath echoed in the middle of an empty street and fear, like a snake, slithered down her spine. Everyone was gone. The storefronts blackened as if they’d never existed.

She whirled around searching for anyone. She let the last piece of crumbled paper fall from her fist and covered her ears as the dark, angry clouds roared. Her heart was pounding.

The ground shook, knocking her to her knees. She clawed at the pavement and tried to hold on as the darkness of Hell enveloped her, robbed her of oxygen and the rain of a thousand years drowned out her cries. Why me?

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