Raining for Weeks - WD August Issue

The editors of Writer's Digest provide a weekly Writing Prompt to get your writing going.
Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:07 am

Raining for Weeks - WD August Issue

Postby Brian » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:23 am

Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:07 am

Raining for Weeks - WD August Issue

Postby Brian » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:23 am

It's been raining for weeks and a single thought has been stuck in your mind: It plays itself over and over, and you can't stop pondering what happened on that strange day--the day it started raining.

Private E-2
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:38 pm

Re: Raining for Weeks - WD August Issue

Postby Trissa » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:51 pm

I think I now understand the concept behind the old Chinese Water Torture. That is one drop at a time being plopped on one's head over a length of time. The idea is that the tortured will eventually confess to whatever their torturers ask.

It has been raining here for weeks. My body is beginning to feel like my bones are made of sponge. In fact, everything is spongy from the lawn outside to the sofa. The air I breathe is soaked with humidity. I can't stand the thought of stepping into the shower before going to work. I squish with every step I take. The worst part is that I know I am to blame for this downpour. If it was not for me, this could be a sunny day. It has been so long I can't remember what a sunny day would look like.

It was an ordinary day, that first day of rain. It all started as a mist. A nuisance weather pattern, a minor interruption. I was walking from the parking lot to the building where I work. My glasses were steaming up from the mist, making it difficult to see where I was going.

Thump! "Pardon, me," a tiny voice squeaked.

"That's okay," I said stumbling on.

"No...you don't get it. YOU tell ME pardon. You stepped on me."

Wiping my glasses with my shirt tail, I looked down upon what looked like a pile of rags behind the parking lot wall. I had noticed them before on several occasions but had never recognized them as being human. The pile moved revealing an ugly old woman. The word "hag" comes to mind for that's what she looked like, warts and all.

"I didn't see you there. Sorry, but you look like a pile of rags. Anyone could make that mistake."

"You have passed this same spot everyday and this is not the first time you have stepped on me. You know I'm here." At that, the hag shook her head. With each shake, her face changed. In minutes, a startlingly beautiful young woman stood before me.

"I have been sitting there for weeks waiting for someone to offer kindness to the old hag figure. You only rain abuse on me."

"If I had only known what you really were and what you really looked like things would have been different," I leered.

"Too late, young man. But maybe not too late to learn your lesson." The woman raised her arms and shouted to the sky. "For all the abuse you rained on me, it shall rain on you." The gentle mist became a torrential downpour. The rains have continued for seven weeks. Now every day that I walk from that parking lot, I look for the woman. Sometimes I think I see her as a small child. Other times, a tattered man going into a shelter. Or maybe she's that young mother with her kids in the crisis center. Whenever I think that I see her, I'm now more than ready to offer my hand. But for now...my reasons to do so are selfish. I give for me, not for what I can really do for others.

In the meantime, I keep slogging on hoping one day I'll get my lesson right and the sun will come out once more.

Private E-1
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:30 pm

Re: Raining for Weeks - WD August Issue

Postby Hannah-Lynn » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:40 pm

I was being ridiculous and superstitious and paranoid and knowing all this, saying it out loud to my reflection on more than one occasion - a sure sign of insanity - and more than once catching myself rolling my own eyes at me, I couldn't help it. Every drop of water that felt echoed that thought, every time I heard the telltale pitter-patter, every time my hair frizzed, every time I slipped in a puddle, there was that little voice in my head saying what I really didn't need to hear any more.
It had worked.
It wasn't logical or possible or reasonable. Magic wasn't real and superstition was only built on the paranoia of the unexplained and yet...
There was no other explanation. It had worked.
At first, I thought the rain was just coincidence. For the first few days I shrugged it off as weather being just as bi-polar as usual. One day it was seventy degrees and the next it was snowing. Nothing new there, but this rain hadn't even stuttered from its constant downpour. The city was drowning and it was all my fault. I touched the necklace I hadn't taken off since that day, a primal fear I can't describe gripping me at the thought of not wearing it. My fingers slid over the smooth surface of the small stone amulet under my shirt. A cool sapphire blue, it was covered in snow white etchings. Crescent moons entwined with vines.
"When you cry, so will the world."
I shivered as my grandmother's words replayed for the thousandth time in my head. And that was the worst part. Beneath the fear and paranoia, buried way down from the far roots of my pragmatism, I still felt a deep aching sadness. It was a depression I never wanted to think about, in case it didn't stay as buried as I needed it to stay to survive. A girl could get lost in an endless depression like that.
The thing was, I didn't even realize it was raining an unusual amount until two weeks into it. I'd been too bogged down with that horrible sense of lost. I was dealing it, trying to get through life not even day by day but minute by minute. I knew, realistically, that I wasn't the only orphan in the world, that I wasn't the only one to go through the same abrupt horrible loss as I was. But knowing it and feeling the same were completely different things. And I couldn't convince my feelings to follow what my mind was telling them.
I don't even cry anymore, three months after they died. I don't have enough in me left to cry. It was too much effort, too much feeling, too much...everything. I just couldn't muster the tears, a sensation that triggered another memory.
I could almost feel Grandma Redbird’s wrinkled calloused fingers as she brushed back the hair from my face.
“The world cries for you, little bird, so that you don’t have to.”
Did that mean it would rain until I found a way to cope? That was ridiculous. I knew it could take years for me to find some peace, dreaded that even, but just as well I knew it couldn’t rain for years at a time. Then again, I’d really hate to be proven wrong for once.
I felt the weirdest thing just then. Heat, cool heat, warming the amulet under my fingers.
"Oh," I murmured, looking down at it. "That can't be good."
Sometimes I hate it when I'm right.

User avatar
Loretta Green
Sergeant First Class
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:08 pm

Re: Raining for Weeks - WD August Issue

Postby Loretta Green » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:00 pm

I really enjoyed the voice of this piece! good job! I just wish we knew how old she was or even if it is a she. It would be more personal if we could picture her. If she is a young teenager, you could say something like. "The amulet fell across my thriteen year old breasts." Or something of the like, just so we can get an image! I like your description of the grandmother's finger! I don't get the image of "cool Heat" of the amulet. How can something be cool and hot at the same time! perhaps say something like "Pulsating heat, warming the amulet under my fingers" Just a suggestion! Overall this was a well done piece!

Loretta Green

 Ps. Would you be interested in taking a look at the "Introduction to my protagonist in my mystery novel" under the mystery thread and tell me what you think? I could use some fresh eyes to see if it makes sense Again, good Job!

User avatar
Private E-2
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:02 pm

Re: Raining for Weeks - WD August Issue

Postby sns3guppy » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:20 pm

At first he rains were a welcome thing. In the days of dry washes and tall cactus, boats were in books and pictures, and rivers things to visit in the high country. No longer. Blue sky bored us, clouds excited us. We shielded ourselves from the sun. But not today. Now it’s the high country that houses cactus, and the valleys filled with fish and freshwater tides, and I cannot stop wondering where the water comes from. Washes are riverbeds, torrents of red and white water, cascading over boulders that were once pieces of the mountain. Now I live on the mountain.

I went through the stages of grief, like a passing tragedy. As a loved one died, I mourned the loss of the valley, when I looked up at the mountain, instead of down. Like most, I denied, even after three weeks of rain. Rains came and went, never like this in the desert, but any rain that had a beginning always had an end. No more. But from where did the rain come? When the third week passed, I couldn’t deny the clouds any longer, as if my own refusal to believe the storms had come to stay would have held back a single drop of rain.

It was in the start of the fourth week, when I ran short of patience and long on frustration that I passed from denial into anger. I couldn’t decide on anger with the clouds or with the rain, so I hated them both. I was angry for three days, but it grew tiresome. Anger took strength that I needed for warmth. I turned to prayer, trying to bargain a break in the rain. I reasoned with myself, surely the water couldn’t continue to rise. It had to come from somewhere. It must end, I thought, but it did not end. I wearied of prayer and turned to the comfort of dark depression. I felt sorry for the world, for the land, and most of all, for myself.

Depression, as it turned, took more energy than anger. Soon it cost more than I had to offer. It was thus at the start of the sixth week that I turned to the only grief I had left. I embraced the rain. I quit cursing the day it began, stopped lamenting my fervent prayer, and even gave away my deepest regret. I wouldn’t waste one more moment of self pity for telling Deborah, my wife (God rest her soul) no, for telling her I had a headache. Her warm pleasure gone with the water, I sought her spirit in the song of this new fresh-water sea. The waves became my lover, the rain my symphony. In life Debby raised me to new heights on every day the sun rose that I knew her. Now the sun rises no more, but dimly illuminates from some distant covered patch of sky. I see no more shadows. As the sky lowers to me and the water climbs from the valley, she raises me again, until one day soon I will meet the heavens and join her forever.

Another week, my love. Be patient and wait. Another week and where ever the water took you, I will be there, too. Already as the waves climb above my knees, I am in you again.

Return to Writing Prompts and Challenges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests