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She was star struck as she stared out the window, feeling the warm sun beat down on her face. It didn’t even seem like the same sun that was on her before, in her old home. Everything seemed so new and overwhelming. It was all a bit much to take in. Now, as they made way to her new home, she looked over the mountains. They were so grand, towering above the trees and the fields of the valley. She gently closed her eyes and soon fell asleep.
She was abruptly awakened by the booming voice, “Please exit the ‘craft carefully and enjoy your stay here or welcome home.”
She stepped off, and dragged herself, luggage and all, into the rental, and within fifteen minutes found her self in her new home. White walls looked at her with smirks and the floors were all laughing at her as she walked through it for the first time. They were laughing at the newcomer, a little girl who never even wanted to come here.
“I don’t want to leave Mommy!” she had cried, “All my friends are here! Everyone I know!”
“Don’t worry dear, this is for your fathers work. He needs to be there.”
She walked through the drab kitchen, the living room, the bedrooms, and finally made her way back to the patio. The deck was quite small, no more than a party of five could stay there comfortably. Gardening was always boring for her, but her father loved it. That was one of the reasons they bought this house, the big yard. The entire backyard was devoted to plants.
She sighed and wanted to go back home. Her home. Kellie hated the taunting house and terrible overgrown garden. She sat on one of the two green plastic chairs that had been left by the previous owners on the patio. It was all quite boring, all this new stuff. Nothing extravagant. Everything seemed so… bland. The house was empty, and the garden untended until her father could go work on it. Except for the stunning features she saw on the plane, there was virtually nothing to see. She looked over to the right and left, and saw identical patios with slightly different gardens. It was basically all the same.
“So, how are you liking your new home?”
“I wanna go back Daddy.”
“Oh, you’ll be fine! You start fourth grade tomorrow! Isn’t that exciting?”
He put his hand on the other plastic chair and tried to make her see his point.
“I won’t even know anyone! Not even the teachers!”
“Sh, don’t yell it isn’t polite.”
“Well isn’t polite how you brought me out to a weird place without even telling me!”
“One more thing like that and you’re done missy!”
“California is nothing like I expected,” she pouted.
“I guess not.”
She sighed, and looked up at the sky, it was awfully cloudy. She got up and went in for dinner. She had to get ready for dreadful school tomorrow.
The next day her parents sent her off to the bus with her backpack and supplies. Is school different here? She wondered on the bus. Probably not, we all have to learn the same things right?
When she first met her teacher, her first impression was old. She seemed to be a thousand years old! All the students seemed nice, and she was assigned a boy to help her with getting everything together. He was nice enough, and didn’t make fun of her. He smiled a lot, and Kellie thought it was cute. She wasn’t sure, but she thought his name was Nate. It seemed the entire class was perfect little daisies in a field and Kellie was the only wildflower, not knowing the rules and procedures.
Since she had come halfway through the school year, they were a little bit more ahead in the classes than she was, and she fit in even less. Surprisingly, all the people there were helpful. She imagined this day like she was virus infecting someone, and everyone hates a virus! She thought she would be a parasite, and no one would like her, but everyone seemed excited that a new girl was in! Everyone even knew her name beforehand, because they were expecting her.
During lunch, she sat next to Nate, and his other friends. They were eating when all of a sudden, a snooty looking girl said, “My daddy said that it’s supposed to rain the day after tomorrow.”
“It’s true! And my daddy works for the weather people in the big towers.”
Nate rolled his eyes and, I stupidly asked, “What’s rain?”
Everyone’s jaws dropped like the sun in winter. “Rain? You don’t know what rain is?”
“I’ve only been here a couple days, I don’t even know what to expect!”
“Well,” Marissa said rolling her eyes like she couldn’t believe she was answering this question, “Rain is this thing that-“
“Okay class, it’s time to go home!”
They all smiled and said goodbye, and Marissa promised she’d tell Kellie tomorrow all about rain.
But Kellie couldn’t get it off her mind. Rain? What is it? It sounds like a name, or a kind of exotic flower. Kellie’s mind went wild all the way home, imagining rain, and what it would look like. A famous painter, who only painted beautiful landscapes, or a type of program, that trained people to see into people’s mind, or even a type of- “How was school today, Kellie?” she heard her mom jut into her thoughts.
“Oh, fun! Mommy I love it!”
As she explained her wondrous adventures at her new school she remembered her thoughts about rain. “Mommy, what’s rain?”
Her mother’s face dropped, “Where did you hear such a thing?”
“Well, ehm, why don’t you go ask your father? He’s in his study.”
She seemed very grave, so Kellie decided not to pester her. When she walked in, her dad was writing on a typed document, most likely correcting someone else’s work. He always had a knack for doing that. “Daddy?”
He looked up and beamed at her, and gave her a hug, and plopped her on his lap, “Daddy, Mommy told me to ask you what rain is.”
He gave a heavy, I’ve-been-working-all-day kind of sigh, and took off his glasses and set them on the desk. As Kellie heard the words coming out of his mouth, her eyebrows gravitated towards each other and a frown became prominent upon her young, innocent face. She duplicated his sigh, after their conversation and thanked him before going off to learn what a line segment was.
The next day when she woke up, Kellie heard an odd sound. It started out so slow, she could barely hear it. It was like a woodpecker was gently hitting the side of the house in slow motion. Then it got louder, and faster. Another woodpecker joined the first, then more and more. Then it occurred to her: it sounded as if things were getting piled on the roof. The pile must be huge, and more and more stuff is coming! The roof could cave in. Suddenly, Kellie felt extremely claustrophobic. She started worrying that she would get tumbled in the aftermath.
She looked around for something, anything, to keep the roof from falling right on her head. She checked drawers, cabinets, her closet, anything she could think of. What would keep her roof up? When she couldn’t find anything she panicked, and started running around the room, but it kept coming. More and more. It was coming and she could feel it. The roof was going to fall on her and no one would ever find her. She stopped dead in her tracks and screamed, as she felt the pressure of the roof cave in on her.
Her parents came crashing in and saw their little girl curled up on the floor sobbing her eyes out. They came right to her side and sat next to her as she screamed, “The roof! It’s going to fall! Help please! It’s going to fall!”
“No, no, no!” her father consoled, “It’s only the rain! It came a day early, the weathermen told us last night, but, we didn’t want to frighten you!”
She dragged her palm across her face as she took shallow, quick breaths. She was trembling and could barely breathe without shaking erratically. “B-b-but I have sc-sc-sc-school-“
“Don’t worry, we’ll get you there,” her mother told her, “We just need you to put on your rain suit!”
It took Kellie nearly an hour to get settled and to get breakfast in her. Then she started putting her rain suit on. The shiny black and silver suit looked slimy, and it felt like rubber. First the boots, then the pants, and then the coat then the hat. Her mother kept commenting that the hat looked like more of a helmet, but her father didn’t say anything.
Kellie stood there, at the window and watched as the small diamonds of clear liquid dropped from the mysterious and devious black clouds, and collided with the hard pavement, or the gentle grass. She thought it was almost beautiful, how nature could provide such a natural and pure substance. As she was thinking she also thought of her fathers talk the night before.
“Rain is not a good thing, Kellie.”
“Why not? It’s a beautiful name!”
“It isn’t. It’s the name of death and destruction.”
Kellie was appalled, how could he think of her beautiful rain in a grotesque way! She knew, no matter what it was, rain was a wonderful, magical, and all around good thing.
“Rain is made up of something we call H2O. It’s a deadly poison. It kills any person it comes in contact with it. It doesn’t make a sound, it doesn’t smell, and when it touches your skin it automatically shuts down all of your internal functions. That’s why we were sent here, to get rid of this…rain. It is vital to many things here, and we need to find away to keep everything living, without this deadly liquid.”
Kellie took a breath and absorbed what she was hearing. IT wasn’t the perfect thing she wanted it to be.
Now, as she stood there, she couldn’t even fathom the thought of this new thing being bad. It seemed so harmless. Gravity just pulled it to the surface, it’s not like it had a choice! It didn’t even move except for that. Something so simple couldn’t dangerous. But she knew better than to question her father, he was always right.
In her own mind, rain was wonderful, magical, and all around good. It was so pretty, so harmless, and it didn’t mean to hurt anyone! But she didn’t say anything as her mother put her hand on Kellie’s shoulder. “Mom, what’s that? Is it moving?”
Her mother, in full rain gear, went closer to the window and gasped. She saw the same thing. Kellie cocked her head to the side, in pure amazement. It was like nothing she had ever seen before. It had slimy, pale pink almost yellow skin, and the other had a dark brownish skin tone. They both had big white eyes, and searching pupils. They were both wearing full clothes, the same she wore, but the things were huge! They were long and tall, and both looked very skinny. With two legs, and two arms, and one round looking head. The lighter one had long yellow strings sprouting from its head, and the other short black twisted strings. What Kellie found most awe striking, was that they were completely wet and nothing was wrong.
Her mother rushed over to the phone, and started screaming into the phone, “Help! Extermination! Immediately! We have an infestation! Two of them, one light and one dark!...They are humans! Come quick!”
While her mother was having a small heart attack over the phone, the dark one who looked immensely worried, caught glance of Kellie at first it looked scared, but quickly, to tell it she was okay, she smiled and waved. He looked taken aback, like he’d been slapped in the face. He raised his limb, looked at it, glanced back at her, and waved. Kellie smiled bigger as he took the pale one’s hand and ran away.
The rest of the day was rather boring to her. School was uneventful, but at the end of the day, while they were walking out in their rain suits, Nate grabbed her hand with one of his four. Kellie beamed and winked with one of her three eyes, until a teacher saw them and knocked both of them in the helmets with her long reaching tentacles.
**This was inspired by All Summer In A Day by Ray Bradbury**