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The Sun God

A one in one hundred chance to worship

By Renessa NortonPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
The Sun God
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

It was so rare that the sun would shine in Springville that when this glorious event occurred, everyone would drop what they were doing and bask in the glow from above. If it fell on a work day, businesses would shutter, sending their staff home to take advantage of the miracle - the exact opposite of a snow day, which tended to not garner much attention in this town.

All of my neighbours had a pallor that would rival the most ancient vampire, and by the time the sun had set thrice a year, they were guaranteed to be beet red, skin cancers slowly taking hold of their damaged cells, biding their time in a town with no capacity to handle such ailments. For a town with so little sun, it tended to be one of the most common causes of death. Yet when the sun reared its magnificent head for 30 to 40 odd hours annually, it was beyond confident it could lure its next victims. This was one of such days, almost the stuff of myths.

There I was: sitting on the fence of my garden, face turned up toward the heavens, the juice of the apple I was crunching trickling down my chin, melted chocolate smeared across my cheek, torn overalls hanging from my shoulder; a sight only a mother could love.

Around me, children frollicked in the streets, finally able to whip their bicycles and scooters out of the garage, desperate for oil in their joints from such rare usage. Teenagers lay in their smallest swimmers, desperate to get tan lines that magazines told them were cool. Parents sat in beach chairs from holidays long passed, sipping beers and margaritas full of ice that had been frozen for months in anticipation of this day.

It was a long way from yesterday - blustery and cold, heaters turned up to the highest degree, thermals adorning snow white bodies, soups being brewed in an attempt to ease the harshness of this small, perpetually frozen town. Why anyone would choose to live here of their own free will was a concept I had never quite grasped, and I had vowed my whole life to leave and never return the moment I turned 18.

The irony of the town’s name was not lost on me. However, on days such as these, I saw the beauty in our suffering. I recognised that 360-odd days each year, I was miserable and shivering, but those couple of days the sun shone, I was in heaven. If I lived anywhere else, the sunny days would be forgettable, but at 11 years old, my 30 or so warm days were all etched clearly into my memory, perched happily on a pedestal, towering above my everyday life of trying to avoid hypothermia. Yet, there I was rubbing sunscreen onto my nose and legs; a bottle my parents had purchased before I was born - a remnant from another era to my young self, and there was a charm to that.

As my whimsical thought was drawing to an end and my brain was determining where my mind should wander to next, I was wrenched from my daydream into reality by a crack of thunder that could have woken my great-great-great grandfather; both a notoriously heavy sleeper… also dead. The sun dashed away to quiver behind a cloud, and a collection of sighs, moans and a single, frustrated yell of “FOR FUCK’S SAKE!” pierced the air in unison with the next thunderclap. I bolted inside and slammed the door as everyone else surely did.

The storm that followed was one of the worst in my memory, but then, they all blended together, not granted the same storage in my brain as the glory days of warmth. So instead, as midnight approached, I crossed another day off my calendar - my countdown to 18 and to my inevitable escape: 2347 days to survive.

Short Story

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Renessa Norton

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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    Renessa NortonWritten by Renessa Norton

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