Episode Twenty Three: A Peculiar Rain

Hello friends! Can you believe it? We’ve been at this storytelling thing for over two months now, and going on three! This is possibly the most encouraging time for me as an writer. Thank you so very much for taking time from your day to come and visit me here at themadhairman. Shoot me a line at alsothemadhairman@gmail.com. I’ll see you on Tuesday!

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A peculiar rain falls in cities. Rain falling on a farmland is seen as a blessing, a gift from the gods to feed the fields and nourish the ground. Rain falling on a city street is seen as a disturbance and is given a citation for littering, payable in the courtroom every first Monday of the month. In a city there is no life that prays for rain, and until buildings can grow from the bedrock like saplings, there is no need for rain in a city except to give the streets a little washing. The rainwater rushes off the eaves and down a downspout until it can rush off the sidewalks and down a stormdrain. It patters on awnings and collects in crosswalks. A water-soaked patch of dirt opens up like a flower, while a city closes up in the rain like a turtle.

For the first five minutes of the rainfall, people passing on their way to work or play shuttled about like cats, darting for cover wherever they could find it, running away from the rainfall in taxis or under umbrellas. Five minutes later, all figures of the street were gone. All figures except one. An hour and five minutes later, he still walked.

He was used to the rain. He had seen it bring a dying patch of grass back to life, and had seen it drown worms in puddles. He knew that the rain fell upon the just and the unjust, but he hadn’t decided yet whether that was a reward or punishment. The rain soaked him through his hair, though his clothes, and down to his satchel, which was empty for the moment.

Quin had been walking for miles, for hours, and for pleasure. Now the rain was no longer a pleasure. It was pooling in his socks, making his feet hurt even worse. The concrete had pounded upward on his feet all day long. He loved his shoes, but they were better suited to looking cool than cushioning his arches. He couldn’t understand it. Usually about this time, he would make a friend who would offer him a place to stay for the night, but he had made no friends and had not found any treasures to help him on his path today. He felt like a neglected and soggy dishrag with sore feet.

He looked up to the midnight horizon and saw an indistinct blur of light that looked like a gas station. He remembered that he hadn’t eaten yet today, and walked toward the light. Maybe he had enough money to buy a snack. Quin sloshed to the door and met the checkout lady’s scowl with a smile. She was cloistered behind bulletproof glass, looking down with dislike on all who entered. Quin wouldn’t be making friends with her tonight.

Come back on Tuesday for more!

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