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The rain of fate

ted-struts-in-the-rain

©Ted Strutz

They had planned this trip for weeks and they were determined not to allow the weather to change anything. They had packed everything and filled up the car, persuading themselves that they would have the time of their lives.

The rain evolved from tiny drops to thunder and hail.

They were told to turn their lights on and be extra careful at the harbour, particularly when entering the ship.

The sea itself became restless.

“Maybe this isn’t such a good idea?” Matilda already began to worry. Perhaps destiny did not want them on that ship.

It’ll be fine,” he replied.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Something ugly for something prettier

http://www.magic4walls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/water-drops-on-a-white-daisy-after-the-rain-close-up-photo-694x417.jpgIt usually starts quite suddenly, without warning. Clouds settle in, skies darken, lightning strikes and thunder rattles the ground. And it begins to rain. Ranging from light splatter to downpour, when a storm comes it is never pretty.

The good thing about rainfalls, however, is that they give life where it is most needed. Everything seems more refreshed, more rejuvenated, more revived after it rains.

The thunder and lightning may be scary, but the rainbow at the end makes it all worthwhile.

Life is like that too. With its ups and downs; its days of sunlight and days of rain. What matters is that you survive through them all. With people who will stand by you through all the good and the bad.

The coincidental start

Blue umbrella rainIt was raining on that Tuesday morning. But as she prepared to go out, she remembered that her umbrella had been broken by the previous day’s whirling storm. So she had to run to the little store around the corner which she was certain sold umbrellas, because she had her eye set on one particular one every time she passed by – it was large, blue with white polka dots and a curving gold ornate handle. That was the one she was going to buy.

She splattered out into the rain, and ran to the store as fast as she could, trying not to fall head first into any puddle on her way. As she reached for the door handle, raising her right foot ready to step in, the door swung open and she was inadvertently pulled in. A tall gentleman expressed his sincere apologies and rushed out. He had obviously just brought a long black umbrella, which he now put into use. She hadn’t managed to fully retain the features of his face, though. She was still a bit shocked by her own entrance into the shop. What she hadn’t noticed, however, was that her long blue scarf had swished across the nostrils of the man leaving the store. It had the perfume of wild lilies.

As she got ready to pay for the merchandise she happily purchased, she saw that the little old man running the store was reading a newspaper. He had left the page open at the career vacancies section and her eyes fell onto a bold, black-framed ad calling for an external associate for a large tech company. She asked the old man if she could take the ad, and he gladly ripped out the page and gave it to her. On the back of that page was an entire feature on how technology is ruining the life of small children. Yet, technology was the very reason she didn’t read the paper anymore – news was faster and more current online.

She ran back home to send her CV and details for the position. She knew it was silly, but she spent the next couple of hours waiting.

In the meantime, the rain stopped.

But the minute she decided to finally go to the supermarket, her phone rang. It was the tech company, inviting her for an interview the next day. They were in haste to fill the position, as it was an urgent contract.

It was not raining the next day, but she took the umbrella with her anyway. She had to ask for directions twice before finding the building’s location, and realized she was running circles around it once she finally got to the door. She was escorted to the manager’s office. When his secretary opened his door to usher her in, she saw the surprise taking over his face. He was stirred by the smell of wild lilies that infiltrated his office. A smile found its way onto his otherwise strict appearance and she felt relieved. But she had not recognized the stranger from the umbrella store. Her glance fell instead onto his computer screen. He was reading an article that asked, “Is there such a thing as a coincidence? Or is it a carefully devised cosmic plan that has some hidden purpose we don’t understand? Do things really happen for a reason? Or are we the ones who give reason to the things that happen?

Interesting question, she thought, and smiled as she recognized his black umbrella from the previous day, standing tall by his desk. She looked up and saw him gazing at her, mesmerized by the turn of events. “Well this is an interesting start,” he laughed.

Cold Black Hearts

Black black heart

 

 

 

 

 

Black clouds fill the sky
Dark as my heart.
The cold freezes the misty air.

I sit here alone
the snowflakes melting
into raindrops.

There is no warmth,
No fireplace lit. The memories
are burning.

You forgot and so easily
moved on. But my soul
is still hurting.

Shattered dreams
like broken glass
never the same again.

There is no life
in winter’s frost. No love,
no remedy.

It’s time for something
fresh. A new start.
Maybe next year.

A snowy escape

Five-Snow-AngelsNickie was excited. She had spent all week waiting for the weekend because that is when it would take place. A road trip to the mountains! But when Saturday came, she woke up to a cloudy sky with the sun losing at hide and seek. She was despaired, fearing that the trip would be cancelled especially as it suddenly began pouring with rain, accompanied with loud thunder and flashing lightning. She dreaded when the phone rang. She picked it up, while her heartbeats increased to a hundred. “Hey girl, don’t forget to put your boots on and dress warmly! I’ll be there in ten minutes!” That was it! It was still on. Nickie pulled on a warm fuzzy sweater, grabbed her woolen cap and mittens and rushed to the door.

Akira pulled up in ten minutes. Jennie and Edmond were already in the back seat with a huge smile on their face. They were all enthusiastic, despite the rain that was coming down harder now. Akira was a keen driver though and they all felt safe with him behind the wheel.

The town seemed grey and gloomy. There was hardly anyone walking around, not even driving for that matter. People preferred to stay indoors rather than give in to the howling winds outside. It was as if a blanket of depression had fallen over the city, transmitting that very feeling to those underneath it. That is why Nickie was so happy when they were now passing through a forest. The green of the leaves that had not fallen conveyed a sense of freedom. There was tranquility found in the forest, one so different to any other emotion felt anywhere else. It was so peaceful. It almost felt as if this acted as a shield to the hailstorm from which they had just escaped. The rain was significantly less here, and Akira could finally slow down the windscreen wipers, which so far were frantically jumping up and down.

But the magic really began when they reached the mountain. The winding climb up was not Nickie’s favourite. It always made her stomach turn, so every driver she was with knew well to slow down and be particularly careful. The first signs of what awaited for them at the top appeared from the white dots that appeared on the green leaves of the wild plants growing at the side of the road. Slowly the white glimpses overtook the green and the road itself began to be covered by snow. Snow!! Nickie felt the adrenaline rushing through her veins. As soon as the mountain peak appeared and she saw the entire slopes and valley covered with in snow, she placed her cap on, flaps covering her ears. Jennie and Edmond laughed but they too put on their mittens. As soon as Akira parked and said OK, they all ran out, like a herd finally gaining their freedom.

Nickie ran to the middle of a snow-covered plane and fell onto the snow. She loved this feeling, of a fluffy white blanket onto your back, while staring at the cloudy sky above and the snowflakes falling from the trees. She had always seen actors in movies doing this and she finally got to do it too – a snow angel! She felt so liberated, so carefree, so alive!

The four of them spent an entire day up in the mountains playing with snow, to the point where they didn’t want to leave. Akira had a surprise lined up though – they would stay at the mountain cottage tonight a bit further down, so they would have one extra day to play in the snow. Before they left, Nickie and Jennie began building a snowman. Akira and Edmond at first laughed, but soon began filling up the snowman’s belly. He was a cute one. They even placed two big stones for eyes, a twig for a nose and a lien of pebbles for a smile. He even had two larger twigs for hands. It was almost as if he winked and waved as they headed to the car, satisfied at a day away from worries and troubles. As if the snow had lightened up their gloomy moods. “This escape was so necessary”, they all agreed as they made their way to the cabin.

The day the lights suddenly went out

Rainy daysIt happened on an October morning. It was strange because October was always the month that made her more melancholic. It may have been the eventual setting-in of autumn with the cold and rain becoming the daily weather trend, but it may also have been that another end of year was rapidly approaching and it made her contemplate on everything happening in her life as she became another year older.

Anyhow, it happened that morning. The sun was shining brightly outside, despite the fact that it was raining heavily all night. She couldn’t have seen it coming. She had felt weak for days but blamed it on the psychological impact of the particular month, the full moon, the zodiac signs, anything other than what it really was: fatigue. She was clearly overworked and underfed. But she just didn’t stop. She didn’t know how, and didn’t really want to. Because if you stop, you need to face reality. And that was just something she didn’t want to do.

She had asked her mother that morning to draw the curtains because the sunlight was burning her face. Her mother did so, unwillingly, as she really needed this Vitamin D so freely offered that day.

She didn’t have the energy to get up, not even sit in bed. She didn’t have an appetite either. All she wanted to do was remain curled up under the covers. Couldn’t she just vanish?

But alas, nature called. And she was forced to get up. But that was when it happened. All she remembers was washing her face in the bathroom and enjoying the coolness of the water on her scorching forehead. But then everything went black. And she remembers nothing.

Fainting, also known as “passing out” – medical term: syncope – happens when you lose consciousness for a short time because your brain is not getting enough oxygen. It is usually brief, lasting from a few seconds, to a few minutes. Yet, she couldn’t tell how long she was out. It is as if she simply disappeared for those moments. Just as she had wanted to.

All she remembers is feeling lightheaded and a bit dizzy before everything “blacked out”. There was nothing more. She didn’t know where she was or if she was somewhere at all. All she knows is that for those brief moments she was calm, carefree, and invisible.

She opened her eyes to her mother gently slapping her cheeks. She looked up and saw her mother as pale as a ghost – not that she had ever seen a ghost, but she was white as a sheet. And that scared her. She mumbled that she was fine. But she could not imagine being on the other end. Of having to pick up the person who fainted, of not really knowing what to do, of trying to bring them back. It took a few minutes before she could sit up and return to normal, as much as possible that is. But the incident was one she would never forget. Even if there really was nothing to remember.

That night she had soup, slid under the blanket and fell asleep to the rain growing louder outside. She loved being in bed when it was raining. It made her feel safe, because no matter the hailstorm that was going on out there, she was untouchable under the covers.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done

That cleansing free shower

summer-rainThat moment when the first autumn raindrop splashes onto your head. It is remarkable isn’t it? After weeks of scorching heat and often humidity, the rain comes to salvage your water bill. Free showers. Who wouldn’t want that? That’s why you often see people smile when they feel that first cool breeze bringing home the rain.

And when the showers begin, everyone automatically looks up. As if expecting a swarm of vicious drops lining up in those dark clouds, weighing and calculating the distance, altitude and speed with which to attack.

But all that happens is that the sky finally opens up and drowns out the heat that for so many days has been stifling the land underneath. People run in all directions trying to avoid getting wet, but in the end just become all the more soaked, as they are still wearing their summer sandals, their linen shirts (that become see-through wet t-shirts) and have no umbrella. It’s fun seeing all these people so unprepared. Autumn rain does that. Particularly if it comes during a time of summer heat.

It’s just not that fun when you are the one caught on the side of the road where all the puddles are concentrated and all the cars speed by. Or when you are the one caught in the autumn storm without an umbrella. Or worse yet, when you stand under a balcony until the rage subsides, and get splashed by the waterdrops washing off the plants and tents above you. Refreshing as it may be, when it happens to you, it is truly not that funny.

All in all though, we all need a few showers in a period of draught. It helps rejuvenate, revitalize and refresh our minds and souls. It cleans out all the negative feelings and allows you to view the world with a new perspective. It is a regeneration of sorts. A necessary and much welcomed new beginning for a new season that is just starting.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

Something spiky this way comes

hedgehogIt was a dark and stormy night.

It had to be, because nothing remotely as thrilling or exciting happens during a bright sunny morning. For example, you would never expect a thunderstorm to turn into a tornado that would gulp up your house when outside the birds are chirping gleefully, the sun is shining and there is not even a cloud in the sky.

So to set the atmosphere right for what would ensue, it was dark, stormy and all-in-all quite terrifying.

Amy and Adam were tucked up under their fleece blanket with a bowl of fresh popcorn steaming between them on the couch. They were watching a movie they had just downloaded. And outside the wind was howling.

Fittingly, Adam had chosen an action film to watch, and Amy often got scared, so much that she would jump up in her seat and pour popcorn all over the couch. Adam would just laugh and hug her tighter.

Little did they know, that while they were enjoying their night in, there was something creeping into their front lawn.

As the storm receded, and the wind subsided, the night became quieter. That was when Amy and Adam decided to go to bed.

But that was when he reached the outside of their front door.

Spikes all out, he remained there all night.

Until Amy, opened the door early the next morning and screamed.

The spikes had pierced her foot – she was used to walking around barefoot in the house, so it hurt even more.

But she forgot all about the pain when Adam picked up the perpetrator and she stared into his puffy eyes.

Hedgehogs are cute. And they too are scared of dark and stormy nights.

1116 days, 37 months, 159 weeks

Love that never ends

 

 

 

 

It is strange how you find things and people
that will change your life
in places you never expect them to be.

Behind a door
in a conference hall
behind some books you never read.

But that is enough to light a flame
That will burn strong and never cease.
One that will make you braver and better in every sense
That will reinvigorate and launch a dream.

1116 days were well spent
full of a love never before felt
filled with passion and overwhelming care
of affection you never knew was there.

37 months of laughter and smiles
of fun in every form and place
of enjoying life and its surprises
of learning to enjoy whatever came.

159 weeks of fighting the world
of trying to convince people that didn’t care
of putting the view of others’ first
and realizing that was a big mistake.

1116 days of a burning flame
of surviving the thunder and rain
of lasting apart for a number of days
and growing closer and stronger together.

1116 days of sharing
a love and friendship like no other
of experiencing true affection
of dancing under a starry sky.

How can you stop a love so strong?
Just switch off all affection?
For the flame continues to burn
and no matter if the love has ended
it will never stop.

What you can do in high heels

high heelsDiana knew this day was going to be different. Hectic from the very start, she prepared herself for a lot of running around across the city and some sort of inevitable irritation. But she was not at all prepared for what ensued…

The weatherman had said the day before that the day would be warmer than usual and sunny. Yet when she got out of bed, Diana could already hear the thunder and rain battling outside her window. “Was I watching a re-run of the weather yesterday?” she thought as she muttered to herself that these weather people never get it right – “they’ll know tomorrow what the weather was like today, great help that will be”.

She put on warmer clothes than she had picked out the day before, but kept the high heels. She had to look elegant no matter the weather. Her first conference was at 9am and it was already 8.30! She quickly threw everything that she needed into her bag, grabbed her keys and rushed out the door. Within five minutes she was at the bus stop. Yet, as it usually occurs the bus was late. It was a quarter to nine now and no bus in sight. And the traffic was unimaginable. “WTF! Do people lose their minds whenever it begins to rain?

She began walking fast – short to jogging- to her destination but was lucky enough that when she reached the next bus stop, the bus was just pulling up and she jumped on. Of course, it was packed. And of course, you could hardly breathe. But she soon got off. “Now where is this place?” She didn’t really know where she was going, but no matter how much time she tries to leave in advance, she somehow always ended up late. After consulting her digital map (yes, the GPS) she figured she would now have to walk a little further. In the rain. This meant, that of course, a couple of cars skid by not caring she was on the sidewalk and splashed her with the puddles that have formed at the side of the road. Luckily, her anorak was waterproof, and her shoes were out of colorful plastic, so the damage was at least controllable.

She reached her destination only 15 minutes late. But given the weather conditions, she was not the only one late. She stood in the huge queue that she saw forming and waited patiently. What she noticed was that the line was not moving. In fact, it was not even a line. People were coming in from all sides! She pushed her way to the front (being nice was not an option here, if you wanted to get inside). When her turn came to register, the officer in charge told her she was waiting at the wrong queue.

Diana almost erupted. Couldn’t they put signs above people’s heads to inform them where they should stand or ask for assistance?

It took around 25 minutes to get things sorted. She hoped the conference would have been worth the trouble.

But it was not. Half the speakers were unable to make it and the other half were blabbing away about things that turned out to be irrelevant to the reason she (and most other participants) were there for.

Around noon, she left. She had another meeting at 2pm across town.

She decided to take the metro but with luck clearly not on her side, the nearest station had been closed due to a protest that turned wild in the area.

I’m going to need new heels or new feet by the end of this day!” she thought to herself as she sighed and searched for a water bottle.

Diana spent the day running around town in the most uncomfortable of ways and reaching her destination puffed out, flustered and constantly a few minutes late.

She managed to cram into the day everything she needed to do and that at least satisfied her.

It had not stopped raining that day, despite the weatherman’s smiling forecasts of “sunshine throughout”.

When she finally returned home around midnight she literally passed-out on her bed. “Was this bed always this comfortable and fluffy?” she wondered as she drifted into sleep, tired but content at all she had achieved today. And in high heels. That alone is an accomplishment!

Also part of Daily Post: Out of Breath

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