Snow in August This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Sandy, UT
White knuckled on the black railing, I could smell the iron in the rain.

It was late- far too late. What would Mom say if she saw me like this? Bare legs, bare shoulders in forty degrees. I wasn't afraid of scolding, but how could I bear her concern? Dad ignored me mostly, hoping this was a mood that would pass, and Mark was convinced I was sulking- trying to make Mom and Dad feel guilty for taking me away. But Mom could see me. She knew me, knew that all I wanted was home.

I heard it was raining at home, five-thousand miles away, but I knew it would be different there. Gentle, humming rain would ease the edge off the summer heat and bring the smell of cut grass through the open screens.

The storm was no mercy here. The ice water had long ago stripped my skin until I felt naked, exposed, vulnerable. I'd been numb for so long, I might have forgotten how cold it was if I could've stopped shivering for a moment. My entire frame shook uncontrollably; I was afraid I'd shatter. Or was I already broken?

How many had promised to remember me? How many of those broken promises would it take to break me?

Just one.

I might've done it; might've held out until the end- a bit bruised and shaky when I returned, but whole.

But I didn't.

If only he needed me, wanted me home, I would still be myself. I'd still be the girl I was. But he didn't, and it was all my fault. I'd pushed him away; he had every right to turn his back on me.

The world averted its eyes, life itself ran from me, happiness escaped me. Those who'd once loved me walked past me, wanted nothing to do with me.

Feral screams erupted from my mouth and tore into the clouds only to become thunder.

How strange it must have looked to the guards if they saw me from their tower. A small, lone girl on her balcony, shivering and screaming at the sky as it fell and the rain turned to snow in August.





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