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Sleeping in the Rain

A story about the marks left on us even years down the line

By Daria VoynovaPublished about a month ago 4 min read

Rain, rain, rain - the rain fell like dull grey, leaden bullets, tearing through layers of the atmosphere before colliding with the pavement and exploding into clouds of stinging, wet shrapnel. Sandy watched the downpour wash away the city life and fake neon colors. She watched people scurrying in the streets like rats fleeing a predator, trying to stay out of the rain that washed their makeup and plastic smiles away, leaving behind only their naked, ugly selves. People hated the rain because it reminded them that not everything in the perfect little world they tried to build was beautiful and spotlessly clean. They hated it because it reminded them that their city rested on the bones of a different city, a different age, one that had been buried and forgotten. They hated it because the old men still remembered the bullets that had rained down on them from above, the gleaming mechanical eagles that had swooped down and preyed on an unwary mother, a weakened elder, a disobedient child, then disappeared again into the stormy gloom. The younger generations did not and would not remember the horrors that their parents and grandparents had gone through, they preferred to build a plastic city on their history, locking it forever under layers of shiny offices and blinding advertisements. The people hated the rain, and Sandy hated them.

Sandy sat back in her rocking chair and closed her eyes to try and drown out the flood of memories that threatened to break the dam she set up years ago, when she was still young. She was now seventy and had been living in an elders’ home for the past 10 years, ever since she started going blind. The other seniors and the caretakers disliked her because she still remained a closed book to them; no matter how much they tried to befriend her, Sandy would not utter a word. She couldn’t bear to speak for fear of being overtaken by the things she tried so hard to forget… Sandy shook her head, trying to lock away her memories, but she couldn’t escape them. Not this time.

The last time she had spoken had been a Sunday. She was a young woman celebrating her 30th birthday with her children. It was a warm summer day, the rays of sunlight danced among the red tile roofs and reflected in the numerous windows, making the little village where her family had lived for many generations sparkle. She woke up early in the morning, and after receiving a bouquet of wildflowers and a group hug from her children, took her family out to breakfast in her favorite cafe. As she watched them enjoy their favorite blueberry cupcakes, she couldn’t help but smile in anticipation as she imagined all the fun things they would do together later on in the day; they could go swimming in the river, then pay a visit to the fair before getting dinner in a cozy restaurant next door. She just hoped that the forecast storm would not interfere with her plans.

By the time that Annie and Jack, Sandy’s two children, were done spending the last of their pocket money on the merry-go-round, dark, heavy storm clouds had obscured the horizon and a raucous rumbling could be heard in the distance and seemed to get closer with each second. The wind picked up all of a sudden, buffeting Sandy’s skirts, deploying them like a parachute around her ankles. Sandy wanted to go inside but her children begged for another ride. They were celebrating, so she couldn’t refuse. Suddenly, the rumbling of thunder transformed into the sound of what felt like a hundred motors and the ground started to tremble slightly. Even before the first motorcycles appeared on the horizon, Sandy already knew what they were. She grabbed her children and, pushing them in front of her, ran home, hoping that the troops would simply pass by without stopping. Once they got home, she closed all of the windows, locked the door and started to pray.

“We found out that there was a resistance force hiding out in your village, ”the soldier announced as he paced to and fro in front of the lined up villagers. Some were still bleary eyed and couldn’t make sense of what was going on while others were ghostly pale in color. No one had heard anything about the resistance. “Those bastards are among you, so either you give us their names or we open fire, ” he continued, taking great care to lock eye contact with each and every one of the villagers. He waited. No one said anything. Sandy took her children’s hands and held them tightly. “I’m counting to three.” Silence.

“One.”

No one moved.

“Two.”

The villagers anxiously glanced around, hoping to get a glimpse of the traitors. Some prayed, too shocked to even cry.

“Three.”

He turned around and the soldiers opened fire. Searing pain shot up Sandy’s side as she crumbled to the ground, bringing the children with her, hoping to shield them. It had started to rain and she felt the ice cold water trickle down her skin, bringing momentary relief. The soldiers got onto their bikes and, having accomplished their gruesome task, disappeared into the chalcedony veil. Sandy got up onto her elbows and, slowly navigating her way through the red flashes behind her eyelids, crawled over to where her children lay. “Jack? Annie? Are you okay?” she whispered. The children didn’t stir. She gently caressed their faces, stopping short when she saw a trickle of blood coming out of Annie’s mouth, and a red stain over Jack’s breast pocket. Her last word was “No!” She howled it into the night as she tried to get her two children, her two little angels, to wake up. The rain washed the dirt and blood off their faces, making them look peaceful as they lay there, oblivious to their mother’s pain, sleeping in the rain.

Short StoryPsychological

About the Creator

Daria Voynova

I'm a beginner writer and I share my stories here in hopes of gaining valuable tips from more experienced members but also to share what I have to say. I mostly write to work through my emotions so the stories don't tend to be bright.

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