The Great Rain

November 7, 2013
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She knitted as she watched the rain. Long fat drops of rain splashing against the roof, grasping at the windowpane. The rain was loud. It battered the concrete, it demanded payment for what it is due. The street was dark and all you could hear, all you could know, was the rain.

The scarf was getting quite long. It tumbled out her lap, it tumbled off the window seat and onto the floor. A red waterfall of wool.
It was wide in places and desperately narrow in others; if it were a woman, she’d have curves, but the curves would be stiff and tight and ungiving.
With her long bony fingers, she hadn’t quite mastered the trick of even tension yet.

She didn’t bother changing out of her pajamas. At first she would: the eccentricity of the situation seemed to demand that she dress up to meet it.
Why bother, she decided after a week, it wasn’t as though there was anything to do, anyone to meet.

Supplies were running low.
She ate at strange times. A bowl of ramen noodles satisfied her hunger for a day or two, and she gave thanks (to who?) that she’d always been skinny.
She shuffled by and by in her socks, bowl of noodles raised up to her chin, right elbow lifted to shovel in the food.
She ate in strange places too. She never saw harm in eating elsewhere than the table, and now there isn’t anyone to set her back on track.
She had a picnic on the silk rug in the hall. Feeling lonely, she toasted the painting of grandpa with her noodle soup and serenaded him with a few guitar chords.
The fridge was well stocked with cans of campbell soup and trail mix.
Of course, it isn’t a refrigerator anymore, is it, since the electricity flickered and went.
It has morphed into a slightly bulkier cupboard with interesting shelving and interesting dials.
She threw the rotting meat out the window. There was a hiss as they landed in the water, almost as though they had evaporated.

On Friday, she finished another ball of yarn. She left the room to look for more, stepping across the forgotten chopsticks and plates discarded on the floor. She trundled across the hall, into her mother’s room, where she pulled open the closet door. She took a long sniff. Her mother’s scent lay gently in the air.
Raising herself on the tip of her toes, she stretched out for the box of wool and brought it down with the tip of her index. With both hands she removed the box cover and tugged out a skein of yarn from the bottom.
Going back to her room, she realized that the carpet was slightly wet. She looked down and saw that the floor held a thin layer of water.
Back in her room, she glanced out the window. The trees seemed strange, the leaves were brown and the bark seemed to be melting off.
She grabbed a hunk of her hair and cut it off. It was getting in her way, long and greasy as it was. She wished there was a running shower somewhere, and suppressed the desire to roll on the wet floor.

The rain kept on falling.

On Sunday evening, she again finished a ball of yarn. She walked barefoot through the hall, having removed her socks because it was too wet. A flute and a few plastic forks floated by serenely, a pink lip balm pursued in their wake.
She yanked open the closet door and took a deep breath. Her mother’s scent lay gently in the air, complemented by the pungent aroma of damp clothes.
She tipped the box off the shelf with her middle finger and caught it firmly before it could touch the ever-growing lake on the floor. With her left hand, she lifted off the cover and found a family of mice squirming inside. She put the box back on the shelf and unraveled one of her mother’s sweater to get more wool.

On Monday morning, the scarf was red with 68 rows of beige.
The water level had again risen. It was halfway to the window.

On Tuesday afternoon, she detected a faint green film seeping in the house. Jumping from chair to table to sofa, she snatched her pair of rain boots from the front hall closet and put them on. The plastic forks had melted, ensnared in the growing toxic waste.
The plastic boots started to ooze goo as soon as they touched green liquid. She took them off and spent half the day climbing from chair to shelf to chair, manually migrating all surviving cans of food to her room. The rest of the day she spent standing on her desk, her scarf under an arm, knitting furiously. During breaks, to keep her fingers limber, she strummed a few chords on the guitar.

On Wednesday, she awoke to the sound of water splashing very near her ears. Plump rivulets of rain were streaming through a pressured crack in the wall. She started to climb off the desk but was greeted by an ocean of green waste.
Her table seemed unsteady. The legs were slowly melting off.
She shifted her knitting in from the edges of the desk, and stood in front of the soup cans, clutching her guitar to her chest.

Outside, the rain continued to pour.

On Thursday, in the wee morning hours, she was desperate. She tried hitting the roof over and over with the guitar, jumping and smashing with all her might but neither guitar nor roof would give in. She was trying to create an escape route. God knows she needed it. She discovered unnatural red boils on her hands, feet and legs, and tried to refrain from touching them.

On Friday, the water was right below the window. She woke up with a start when one of the table’s legs gave way. She rummaged around the cans for breakfast and her heart jumped, dived and sank as she realized she was missing a can opener. In her fury, she bashed the can over and over again but only managed to create a dent.
After a brief respite, she stabbed it repeatedly with a knitting needle and miraculously managed to pierce a small opening. She drank the soup, her lips pressing needfully against the label. The mushrooms inside were too large to come out.
She flattened the can, holding it against the wall and bashing it with another can.
She hid her knitting in the guitar to keep it safe.

She opened the window.
The rain was wet and cold, colder and wetter than she’d imagined. She climbed on the windowsill, guitar in her right hand, can in her left. Her right ring finger indadvertedly slipped and a G note was played as she crouched down.
She placed the guitar flat on the water and crawled on it carefully, distributing her weight on both sides. She gave thanks (again, to whom?) that she’d always been skinny. She crouched on the guitar, gripping the sides tight with her fingers. She paddled a few strokes with the flattened can.

It wasn’t long before she heard a sizzling. The surface of the guitar tickled her knees strangely. She grabbed a tree in desperation and felt the great trunk crack and break in her arms as easily as a twig.
Yanking out her scarf, she made one last attempt at escape. Throwing it, she jumped, hoping that it’d snag on to something, anything!
Hurling herself through the air, she had a bizarre thought. What of the mouse family on the shelf?
She hit the water with a magnificent crackling. Her back disappeared first, her spine mollified, then her thighs, arms, head. The water rushed into her faceless mouth and faceless nostrils, and they too, disappeared in a flash. Her legs softened and vanished, and there was a final snap as her feet flexed and evaporated in the air.

The scarf bubbled and wavered, retained by her bodiless fingernails. The fibers released themselves and dispersed in a wide carpet of red on the water.
The fingernails, teeth, skeleton and guitar strings took a while longer to decompose, but soon after, they too were swallowed by the water.

On Sunday, the entire building had dissipated.

The rain kept on falling,



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