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The Voice Of The Rain
I hover over them, falling down on them, wetting the panels of their cars, their concrete sidewalks, their heads, their lawns, their trees.
I do not visit this city very often. No, I prefer up north, up in Seattle, where the residents there have grown accustomed to me. Here, in the south, I am sometimes welcomed, sometimes shunned. Children dance, feeling the pinpricks of water land on their skin, while their parents pull them back under an umbrella that hangs over them, shielding and obscuring themselves from me. They dash inside houses, where it is safe and warm, where I splatter on the windows that bar us.
Things have changed. I can still faintly remember long ago, oh so long ago, where there were nothing but chaparral and scrubs resting among the hills. Yes, those plants welcomed me, embraced me, and were happy when I arrived to visit, to quench their thirst. There are less of them today—they were replaced by tall, metal skyscrapers, by houses and roads. But they are persistent, those scrubs. They are vast in number and steadfast in determination. They do not want to let go. They want to cling to life, to keep what belongs to them. The foreigners, the invaders, they replace them. Pretty, vibrant flowers take their place, fed and sustained by sprinklers. But the scrubs fight them. They spread their speeds far and wide, to hang on the need to survive.
I touch the ground, the plants, the people, everything. Remainders of the past float through me. The past, long, long, long ago. The people. Not these people. The old people. The old people who did not use technology, who were not whimsical, not superficial. The men, women, children who welcomed me with smiling faces pointed upwards, arms stretched out, laughing as raindrops plunked upon the ground. Who seemed somewhat exasperated as I wet their possessions, but grateful for water all the same. Thankful for water. Thankful for life.
Not now. Now, with the turn of a nozzle, water is simply treated as a widespread resource. Easy to obtain. Effortless to store. Water is not special to the people anymore—they take it for granted. As I drop my gift down onto them, they slam their doors shut, shelter themselves from my raindrops. I am treated as an intruder, an alien. Unwelcomed. Useful in a while, if they are unwilling to pay their water bill. Otherwise, I am nothing but a common nuisance. Unneeded.
I continue falling, splashing on the ground, my raindrops shattering as soon as they come into contact with the asphalt. Not soft, cushioning dirt, but hard, merciless asphalt.
Suddenly, I am angry. I become angrier than I have in a long, long time. It courses through me, as I feel myself tensing up, growing ominous. Before long, I am growing darker and darker. I begin to scream. To roar.
Thunder sounds throughout the air, booming, like the deep, deep growl of an alpha wolf multiplied tenfold. I boom, the sound vibrating through the air, everywhere, to shake trees and deafen ears. The thunder spreads far and wide, for miles, rumbling.
I burst my lightning, illuminating the sky in shocking, white light. For a second, just a short, brief second, it looks like daylight, as if everything is normal—as if I were not here. Then, it returns back to a dark grey, irate and brooding. I fire lightning bolt after lightning bolt, the blinding beam striking down below, flashing violently. The wind howls, whooshing against the trees and people who wrap themselves in their coats and hurry inside.
I continue. I do not cease my lightning; I do not hold back my thunder. I pour down, showering the ground, soaking everything in water. The storm drains overflow, brimming over. Churning, small, rivers form alongside the curbs. The humans are rushing to get home—windshield wipers are swishing back and forth, as car tires slosh through enormous puddles. Trees, the pathetic variety that humans cultivate in their backyards, shake and bend, their leaves whooshing off of their branches. Mud forms, an icky mess that stains the streets with brown. Umbrellas are whipped out of people’s hands, their brittle metal rails crooked and broken.
I carry on and on, for hours and hours, as the water rises higher and higher. Several trees fall over, as my lightning chars their trunks. Traffic becomes nightmarish. After what seems so long, what seems like forever, I dwindle, clearing away to allow the sun to shine through.
I feel myself floating away, dispersing. For some reason, I no longer feel angry. Not even upset. I look down on the people one more time, almost fondly. Almost.
I am fading away. But I will return. Perhaps, in the future, I will remember back to this time, maybe I will even miss the present…