The coming rain

            It was a cold day. Winter was just around the corner, bringing cold winds, drafts that ran through the body as if it wasn’t there, leaving everything cold or frozen. With the winds usually came rain, snow, and although the snow was fun, days after days of it were always a nuisance, an annoying reality that came with the winter. In days like that it’s best to stay inside with a hot cup of tea or chocolate milk.

Peter sat on the sofa staring out the window at the dark clouds that were forming in the sky; it looked like it was going to rain soon. The days of playing outside in the sun were now officially over.  

“I hate this” muttered Peter. “Why does it have to be cold? Can’t we have a warm winter?”

“Don’t be stupid, who ever heard of a warm winter?” retorted his brother Floyd

“If at least there was lightening it would be cool”

“With your luck you’d probably get electrocuted” Floyd laughed a hollow laugh.

“No I won’t I would not be in a place where I would get electrocuted”

“Oh yea? So where would you hide if there was a lightening storm next to you?”

“Ehh… I will hide in the house”

Floyd sighed. “I mean if you were outside!”

“I err… would hide under a tree?” Peter tried.

“Under a tree? That’s the worse place you could hide! The lightening will hit you for sure if you hide under the tree” Floyd replied knowingly

“No it won’t the lightening can’t go through the tree”

“Exactly, that’s why it would go through you! Didn’t think of that, did you”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure, if there is lightening you need to find an open place with almost no trees so the lightening won’t go through you to the ground.”

Peter mused on this. He wasn’t so certain his brother was telling him the truth. Floyd always thought he knew everything but some of the things he told him before turned out to be wrong, this could be one of those things. From the kitchen their mother’s voice called them to prepare the table for dinner. In the distance the sound of thunder echoed, grumbling like an unhappy child.

 

                                                                        ***

 

A few kilometer away David bourne was not thinking about laying the table for dinner, in fact It was about a day or two ago that he had anything to eat at all. He sat on the floor outside a cinema where he was hoping that some kids will give him some cash to buy something to eat. It wasn’t a good night however, not a lot of people came. He couldn’t blame them, it was cold he would have to start looking for a shelter soon if he wanted to get out of the upcoming storm. He was tired and hungry; he had just about given up when a girl gave him 2 dollars. He smiled and thanked her. The girl smiled back and walked away. Perfect enough for a hamburger at least he thought. He got up slowly his joints creaking; they were hurting more and more now. He stumbled towards the fast food restaurants, they were always open he could get some food there and find a shelter in one of the old empty buildings in the suburbs.

Small rain drops started to fall from the sky, when he finally reached the fast food restaurant he was soaked. He took no notice of the angry glares he was getting, and continued to order one burger. He still had some change he might be able to get something else later. He walked out of the restaurant into the rain and ate his sandwich. It was a long walk to the deserted buildings he might as well start now…

 

***

 

“Hey mom!” called Peter “The sun is coming out!” his voice filled with glee.

“What? That can’t be right, it was raining just a second ago” came his mother’s calm voice from the kitchen.

“Can I go outside then?” asked Peter

“Of course not, it’s nearly bed time for you”

“Oh but mom please?”

“No begging, its late go to bed, I’ll come tuck you in, in 10 minutes”

Peter sighed and walked up the stairs. He went to the bathroom, brushed his teeth and was all ready for bed when his mother finally showed up. She kissed him on the forehead tucked him in and wished him pleasant dreams.

 

***

 

The sun shone high and strong, pushing all the clouds away, creating a heat that was pleasant but very unnatural to this time of year. Marc was just walking back to his apartment, he just finished school for the day and he was supposed to meet June. He rushed on home and put his school bag on the floor. She should be here any minute now he mused. He sat down looking at his room, it was relatively clean he had made the bed early that morning, and he already cleared the garbage. He stood up and took a look in the fridge, except for some beer, cola and cold pasta bolognaise the fridge was empty. Maybe I should get white whine he mused, the door bell ran. Oh well too late now. He opened the door and smiled at June. She had brown hair with streams of dark blond and beautiful hazelnut colored eyes. Her face was smooth and white with a tint of brown; her dark eyelashes matched perfectly with her eyes. She was wearing a skirt with flowers on it and a small sleeveless red shirt.

“So you gonna let me in, or are we staying outside” she asked.

“I think I will just put you on my wall so I can look at you everyday” Marc said smiling

“Stupid” June walked passed Marc and went to sit on one of the chairs in the middle of the room.

“Aren’t you cold like that?” Marc asked looking at her critically.

“I have a car you know” she replied casually “and anyway it’s not that cold now”

“Want something to drink?” Marc asked

“What do you have?”

“I have cola, beer or tap water”

“I’ll take a beer than thanks”

Marc got two beers out of the fridge and handed one to June. “So how did your physiology exam go?” he asked.

“If you don’t mind I really don’t feel like talking about school” she muttered

Marc sat beside her and touched her cheek. “That’s fine with me” he said and bent closer to her, the scent of her sweet fragrance surrounding him. He kissed her on the lips. She kissed him back…

 

***

 

David bourne was still searching for a place to sleep when he saw the sun shinning brightly in the sky as if the rain was nothing but a dream. At least he wouldn’t have to hide from the rain now. The sun would probably still shine another hour or so, might as well continue on to the deserted building. He walked for about an hour until he finally saw the building. The sun was setting by then, and a cool swift wind started blowing. Clouds were forming again in the sky; they seemed dark, nearly completely black. David hurried to the abandoned building and climbed above the fence. Lightning struck from the sky hitting the fence just as David fell from it. He stared at it in shock, his hairs all loaded with electricity stood up in all the directions. The loud sound of thunder shook his senses up from the near encounter he had with death, and propelled him to run for cover. He ran inside of the building gasping for breath, his lungs burning from the lack of oxygen. Each gasp was a painful reminder he shouldn’t have run. When he had finally regained his breathe he sank down beside the wall, the dark building seemed imposing, frightening somehow. The thunder was now in closer intervals and the lightning shed some light every now and again on the otherwise dark building. He was in a hallway, he couldn’t really make anything out but the occasional lightning and thunder didn’t really make things any better. Fear crept up on him, he felt stupid for being afraid but he couldn’t help it. He started counting the time between the lightning and the thunder. The time gap kept shortening, and for some reason he had the creepy sensation he was in danger. He couldn’t explain it but something felt wrong, something that caused him to sweat and shake like a kid. Rain started hitting the building hard and the noise drowned everything, he couldn’t hear his own heartbeats anymore, his thoughts were drowned by the never seizing raindrops. Some drops came down through cracks in the walls. A drop landed on his hand. He stared at it in astonishment as a searing pain was shot out from his hand all the way through his body. The drop slowly dissipated into the skin, the pain was stronger now and he couldn’t stop himself from screaming out in agony. It was only after several moments that he noticed that no voice came out. He tried moving his hand and was surprised that he couldn’t move. Not just his hand but everything it was as if something was keeping him completely immobile. Surprise gave way to fear and panic.

More drops fell on him and the pain was everywhere now, he stared at his hand where the pain was now dimmed. A flash of lightning revealed his hand to be dissolving, as if it was a leaking tap. David stared in shock at what was left of his hand and felt like fainting, he let out another soundless scream, not a scream of pain but a scream of anger, a scream to let out all his frustration at his failed life. He never wanted to be a beggar things just turned out that way, and now his life would be over without being able to achieve the things he wanted. His last thought before his mind drifted into blackness was that it wasn’t his fault it was the people around who didn’t care. No one cared…

 

***

 

“Mom” screamed Peter again. The lightning was frightening and his mom wasn’t answering anymore. He got out of bed, he knew she would be angry but she wasn’t answering so maybe it was ok. He went to the kitchen searching for his mom. The house was empty; she was nowhere to be found. He looked at a bucket of water that was standing in the living room. That wasn’t there when he went to sleep; he stared at the small drops of water falling from the ceiling and into the bucket. He bent down to have a closer look at the water when Floyd shouted “Get away from there”

Peter jumped backwards “Why what is it?”

“Just don’t touch the water” Floyd replied angrily

“But why? Where is mom?”

Floyd’s eyes were red his mouth tight shut it almost looked like he was crying. Floyd shook his head and the angry glare returned to his eyes. “She’s gone. We need to take cover”

“Gone? Where to?”

“She’s…” Floyd’s voice broke “She’s dead” he whispered

Peter stared at Floyd waiting for him to laugh and say it was a joke; all he could see however was Floyd’s serious and sad face. No it couldn’t be… Peter jumped up tears running from his eyes. “You’re lying” he shouted “She can’t be dead”

“I’m sorry…” whispered Floyd

Peter ran to his mother’s room. It was empty, he ran through the whole house searching for his mother when he searched all the rooms without finding her he came back to where Floyd was still sitting motionlessly on the floor. “She’s not here” Peter said

“The rain it eats you up like acid or something. It must be acid rain I heard someone telling us about it in class but they never said this could happen” Floyd continued mumbling.

Peter didn’t understand he stared at the raindrops falling from the ceiling; he bent to touch the water. A scream of terror came from Floyd’s lips; he jumped and grabbed Peter pushing him away from the water. “Don’t touch it” He screamed “Don’t you dare touch it!”

Tears fell from Peter’s eyes. “I want mama” he cried.

“I know, I know” muttered Floyd “I’m sorry, let’s go upstairs ok?” He held Peter in his arms and carried him to his room. He sat on the bed Peter was still clutching him tightly. What should he do now? He had to call someone let someone know what was going on. “Peter I need to make a call ok? Just wait here I’ll be right back ok?” Peter didn’t let go, he was still holding onto Floyd crying, afraid to let go. “I’ll just take the cell phone and come back here, it will be a second” He pried Peter’s fingers loose and went to get the cell phone. He sat back on the bed next to Peter who hadn’t moved. He stared at the phone annoyed, there was no reception. Of course, when you actually needed a cell phone they were no good. He walked through the house towards the house phone. At first glance the house seemed the same, the red sofa was in the middle of the room next to the tv, looking closer however revelied the sofa to be nothing more than pieces molted down into rubble everything in the house was slowly breaking into pieces because of the rain. Damp spots were slowly covering the entire house drowning everything in a sea of water.

He reached the house phone was and picked up the headpiece. He waited to hear the monotone beeping sound and was surprised he couldn’t hear a thing he hung up and tried again. There was nothing the phone was dead. He walked back to his bedroom and wondered what to do next. As long as the rain didn’t come in they should be alright they just had to sit this through. He stared at the bed. It was empty. “Peter where are you?” Floyd shouted his mind racing his heart beating fast. He ran to the bed, staring all around it. “Peter?!”  A small frightened voice sounded behind him. Peter was standing there looking at him frightened.

“Where were you!” he shouted

“I was in my room” peter mumbled in a weak voice. In his hands he was holding a small Ferrari F40 model car. The car he got from his mom for his birthday.

“Don’t leave without telling me! Ok? We need to stay together from now on” Floyd held his brother tightly in his arms afraid to let go. He had to do something, but what could he possibly do? It seemed hopeless. He stared gloomily at the ceiling, clutching his brother tightly; small humid places appeared on it. Soon the rain will enter…

 

***

 

“So what do you feel like doing?” asked Marc still holding June’s naked body close to his.

“Can’t we stay like this for a while?” she asked her voice muffled in his neck.

“Sure we can, but we were supposed to meet Rick and Linda at the movies, remember?”

“I know, I know. What time is it anyway?”

“It’s ten twenty; we have to be there in half an hour”

“Ok let’s get dressed then” June got up slowly stumbling to the bathroom “I feel like a shower” she added as an afterthought.

“Just hurry” marc answered and got himself out of bed. He got dressed and waited for June to finish. When she was finally done they went out heading for the movies.

By the time they got there dark clouds were everywhere accompanied by lightning and thunder. They met Rick and Linda at the entrance and quickly went inside to get their seats.

The movie supposedly a comedy was as funny as a priest in church. After about 30 minutes of mute silence Marc decided he had had enough and went outside to get popcorn. He walked towards the cashier and noticed nobody was there. He looked around and couldn’t find anyone; in fact there was no one anywhere. He stared around smiling this was more exiting than the movie. The fun went away quickly though as he waited another 10 minutes for someone to come. He started to get the strange feeling something was wrong. He walked towards the entrance and noticed there was no one in the streets as well, nothing but rain hitting the black roads. The cashier was gone the vender was gone everyone was nowhere to be found. He walked around aimlessly and decided to just get the popcorn himself. He leaned over the counter and nearly fell over. Something slippery made him lose his balance and he nearly fell over the counter. He looked down at what caused him to slip. A black colored liquid was spilt all over the counter and floor. Someone was here earlier; that much was obvious where he was now however remained a mystery. It seemed as if they were surprised or something if it made them spill their drink.

He left the popcorn and went back to get June and the others. A damp smell caught his nose as he stared around the empty hall. The movie was still showing but all the seats were empty. He walked slowly to where June sat. The seats were empty June’s bag was still on the floor however. Maybe it’s a prank he mused; they sure went to a lot of trouble just to set me up. He turned towards the exit again. The damp smell was now everywhere, as if everything had been soaked in water. He looked around and noticed water was dripping from multiple places in the ceiling. It looked like regular rainwater; he thought nothing more of it and looked closer at the seats. They were broken in places, the wood was sticking out and a strange colored liquid was dripping on the floor. A creepy sensation made the hair on the back of his neck stand and he quickly left the empty theater in search of someone that could tell him where the cameras were. He walked to the toilet maybe someone was there. The men’s toilet was, like the rest of the place, empty. He went in the woman’s toilet. It also seemed empty. “Is anyone here” he shouted. After not getting a response he went out and got his cell phone out. The reception sign flickered, there was no reception. Maybe all the rain caused a network glitch of some kind. Marc sighed he wasn’t worried there was probably some explanation for everything. June just went to… Damn it made no sense Marc was getting agitated if it was a prank the cameras should be out already, this wasn’t funny anymore he turned and nearly jumped to the ceiling when he saw a girl standing in front of him.  

“Sorry I didn’t mean to frighten you” she said.

“It’s ok” Marc replied trying to reduce his pulse. He looked at the girl in front of him. She had black her and she seemed upset she had clearly been crying black mascara ran in small black lines from her eyes.

“What is it?” he asked “what’s wrong?”

Her mouth opened but no voice came out. Instead her eyes opened wide as in shock and she fell on the floor, her body convulsed and shook.

Marc stared around him “Someone help me!” he shouted to the empty cinema. “Someone”

Marc looked back down, what should he do? He had no idea; he looked at the shaking body that was now slowly fading. He stared in shock unable to look away, the smell of humidity reached his nose and something else. A sharp smell, he couldn’t quite place. The smell grew stronger and he stared in shock as the body in front of him dissipated, melting away as if it was water until nothing remained not even the cloths the girl was wearing.

            Marc screamed in shock and ran out of the cinema straight into the never-ending rain…

 

***

 

            “This incredible weather phenomenon seems to be heading towards Nashville” announced the anchor. “Many researchers are headed towards it now to research how this storm started. From our understanding a storm could not just appear without any wind to push it and scientists will have a field day trying to solve this one.”

            “Thank you Terry, we will get back to you for further updates… “

Terry stopped listening and looked at the clouds that for some reason went against the wind. He had seen many clouds before but for some reason looking at these clouds made his stomach turn. He a strange foreboding that this was only the beginning…

 

Notes:

I heard on the radio a report on acid rain and I thought to myself what would happen if the acidity of the rain would be so high that it would just go right through you. It wasn’t a very pleasant thought and so I thought that if the rain was that acidic it would just go through everything eventually. The “what would happen if?” question is a key in almost all my stories, I think questions in general are a very helpful tool in writing and the more question you ask thus the more you will understand the story, the people and everything will fall into place. Eventually you come up with your own ideas and put them together in a way you can relate to, which is what happened in this one. (2007)

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