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The Coming Storm

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I wake to the sound of breathing that isn't my own. It's heaving, like a man and rapid as if he's run into the room. I listen, still, trembling. He's moving slowly, his heavy feet creaking floorboards. It’s Jacob.
Though my eyes are open, I can’t think of why my heart is pounding. I strain into the utter darkness, as my breathing rate is beginning to steady. Jacob, shaking with terror, briefs me. We have to climb a tree. I find this amusing since he finds climbing trees a waste of time unless its to pick pecan nuts and nectarines. I give him a concerned face, but he ignores me and hastily runs to the front of the house. Unable to make sense of our circumstances, I stumble out of bed and hit the ground to feel a searing pain in my mouth. I rush to my feet and blindly follow Jacob into the darkness.
A brumal breeze blew through my hair, as rain hammered against the rocks. This was certainly not the day to be caught in a downpour. As the cliff crumbled under our feet, Jacob grabs me by the arm and pulls me up a hill just off the seashore. On top of which, stood a strong, and thick Elm tree. Hiking up, my soft gown tore against the harsh rocks. Jacob makes it up the hill before me, and beckons me to hurry. He places his hands under my damp shoes to give me a boost. Looking up I see a canopy of leaves scathed by the coming storm. A strong branch looms over my head; I can reach it if I jump. The rough knots up the tree ooze sap that smells and feels like sticky caramel toffee when it’s fresh. My hands begin to itch as I continue to climb up the flaky, and rough skinned tree. The ground is only feet away, but I can feel my heart thumping. The smell of sweet dew from the glistening leaves fills my nostrils. The wind blows. I feel that I am soaring. The leaves are my wings, ruffling, as I am carried off the Earth. I look up, the canopy of leaves now below me, the sky’s elegant peacock blue shade was transforming into a starless, gravel grey sky. I fluttered in the wind like a thread, when promptly, lightning lashed across the pitch-black sky, and waves began to pound against the jagged rocks. My screams echoed, the sounds resembling an animal more than that of a human at the sight of Jacob’s body falling to the ground and being caressed by the violent waves. The dense water rapidly rises up the tree. A whirlpool of clouds blankets the sky, and the downpour speeds up.
My tree. The tree Jacob picked to save my life, before his own, is uprooted. The aggressive waters toss the branch I am clinging on to for dear life. My legs are tired and I’m struggling to bring myself back up to see the mercy overhead. Breaking to the surface again, I gulp the summer air, and within a splash I’m under again. This time I sink faster. I can no longer hold my breath. The cold water rushes in. All illusion of surviving has slipped, just like the branch from my hands. Soon enough, the oxygen deprivation erases my thoughts of the inky velvet firmament, or the sequenced stars, or that Jacob sacrificed himself for me. Gradually I float away to a watery grave.






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