Writing Prompt: write about the time the rain wouldn’t stop.
As I set the table, I looked around the sitting room and sighed. When had it grown so dark? The light filtering through the windows was pale and weak, the corners that usually were bathed in soft sunshine were dark and impenetrable. Even with the silver shined to a brilliant sheen, there was nothing to bounce off it to make it sparkle. After making sure everything was spaced just like Mother had taught me, I wandered to the window and pulled my sweater closer about me. Clouds hung heavy in the sky, blocking all hope of a clear sky for the afternoon. They were thick and foreboding and I tried to shake the sense that something awful was about to happen. I was often told that I let my emotions rule me too much. Finally hearing the front door shut, I hurried from the window and stood by the small table.
“My, you are a dear. The table looks lovely.”
I helped Mother with her coat and hat and we sat down to tea.
“This weather reminds me of a time when I was just four years old. It had been a dry year, until one day, clouds rolled in and hovered over us. They started out as happy little white ones but as the days went on, they became larger and darker until I was sure they would reach out and snatch me up if I stayed outdoors. Father tried to tell me they were only clouds.” Mother chuckled and glanced out the window. “But then one night I heard this tapping on the windows. And then on the roof. I hid under my bed and held my breath. The clouds you know.”
“You thought they were coming to get you?”
“Oh yes. I fell asleep under there and woke to the same tap-tap. It didn’t seem so scary in the light of the morning so I crawled out and found my Mother looking out our big window. We stood there and watched the rain for so long, Mother smiling just a little and I was just mesmerized with the way the drops rolled down the glass. We did that every morning. It rained so long people started complaining about it. But still it rained and rained. Those clouds never changed, either. They stayed the same dark, menacing things they had been right before it started. All that summer it rained. And then into the fall. I had started to forget the feel of the sun on my face or how hot rocks get in the afternoon heat of summer. Pretty soon, people stopped complaining about it.”
Setting my teacup down, I interrupted, “They stopped? But it was still raining!”
“Exactly, my pet. It had been raining for so very long that they had forgotten that it didn’t used to. It went on for years this way. The rivers never flooded, the ground never got too muddy. But still, it rained.”
I sat fascinated as my Mother wrapped her long fingers around the teacup, her low voice continuing, “I was twenty four the day it all changed. A stranger showed up at the weekly market and remarked on the strange weather. Naturally he was told that it had been raining for quite some time. Shocked, he looked around and stated that he’d been traveling for days and only when he topped the last hill had the rain started. And then he told us of the sunshine. And the flowers and butterflies. I was intrigued and listened with all my being. I hurried home to tell Mother and Father but they laughed at what I said. The stranger moved on the next day but I never forgot his words and the things he had described. I knew I had to go to that hill and see it for myself.” Mother sighed. “I don’t know if you can imagine a place where it never stops raining. Day in and day out, night after night in a steady stream it came down. Like everyone else, I had gotten so used to it that I didn’t question it. But that stranger changed everything. I asked my parents to take me to that hill. But they forbid it. I didn’t know what was outside our town, they told me. I tried pleading, begging, demanding. Everything I had stopped doing when I first saw the sadness in my Mother’s eyes at my behavior. They still refused me. So, early one morning, I wrapped a few of my things into my pack and snuck out my bedroom window. No one got up early, what with the gray skies and forever rain, so I didn’t have much of a problem getting out of town. By the time I got to the base of the hill, I was winded, thoroughly soaked and thinking about going back home. But I plodded on, the longing to see the stranger’s sun stronger than the pull of home. And just like he said, at the top of the hill, the rain stopped.”
I stared at Mother, wanting to prod her, make her tell me what she saw but I couldn’t breathe, much less talk.
“In a perfectly straight line, the rain ended and bright grass covered everything in front of me. The morning sun was just over the horizon and I could feel it on my face, caressing me. I wanted to run and shout with excitement. This. This was the world I loved. I stayed standing in the rain for a moment more and then took a deep breath and left it.”
“Left the rain?”
“Yes, I left the forever rain.”
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