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Salty

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“April?”

“What is it?”

“It’s raining.”


Sonny’s gaze locked on his toes sinking into the damp dirt. The wet air set itself on his brow, so it seemed as if he were sweating profusely. He sat on the clean forest floor, his legs bent in front of him. Searching through the trees reaching their gaunt branches to the sky, he was reassured upon glimpsing the white walls of his house. Although he and his older sister often eclipsed themselves in the sanctuary of the woods, he could never stand to be too far from home. It was the house where he had lived all his short life and where his parents were presently seated, discussing their grown-up problems. Why do grown-ups always have problems? he wondered. It was true; there always seemed to be something concealed to him because he was “too young to understand”. His sister always explained everything to him, though.


“I know,” April sighed. She followed her brother’s scrutiny until she found the modest dwelling. Her eyebrows bowed low over her eyes.

“But why?”

April dutifully tucked the moist strands of hair behind her ears. Her gaze shifted back and forth, and then she looked up, the breath escaping from her lips in a sigh.

“Why what?”

“Why would it rain?”

“Sometimes,” she uttered, “the clouds are so sad, tears well up in their eyes. That’s why rain is so salty. It’s like tears.”

Sonny’s tongue flicked out swiftly, testing the acrid water like a snake would taste the air.

“You’re right!” he cried out cheerfully.


A few seconds of complete mirth crawled by peacefully. The two children listened to the soft patter echoing through their ears like impatient shoes padding on a street. The drops stroked their hair, savouring the bare skin of their faces. April stared at the sky, as if it knew the answers to all of her brother’s questions.


“April?”

The eldest glanced at her younger brother quizzically. He was frowning.

“Why is the sky crying?” Sonny seemed worried.

“Everyone cries, sometimes,” she reassured him quietly, as her own tears melted with the pearls of rain. “Even the heavens...”



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