By Marissa Meche
I can feel the rain inside my chest before it falls. It hasn’t always been this way—only since Momma locked me out on the night of the historic Fairview Grove Flood of ‘64. Almost died that night, almost died the two weeks following. Up and down with bouts of pneumonia from my time shivering in muddy water, hiding beneath an old sheet of tin Poppa had thrown at the house when he caught Momma writing poetry about the milkman.
Don’t know why she locked me out. Don’t think she had a reason. But ever since then, I can feel the rain before it arrives.
It’s like a tingling feeling. A burning sensation, the kind that makes you feel like you might die. Doc thinks it’s a superpower. Farmer Haldun, too. I hear my name in whispered conversations on the bread aisle when I walk by. They look at me as I pass, searching for some mark or scar or sign that the rain changed me, made me special. People don’t turn on the weather no more, they just knock on Momma’s door and ask for me.
Mr. Weatherman hates me now. I’d like to tell him I hate me now, too.
I felt the rain last night. Didn’t tell. It rained so much that little Tommy Kirk fell into Bear Creek and drowned while Mrs. Kirk watched the evening news. The cops pulled his body out this morning as Mrs. Kirk cried into Mr. Kirk’s shoulder. The neighbors yelled at Momma as she walked home from work, asking why I didn’t warn them. She didn’t say anything when she got inside, just looked at me like I was a murderer.
Maybe I am.
Don’t know why I did it. It burned so bad not to tell her. I stayed in bed, covers strapping me in, holding me down. Buckets of sweat and tears stinging cheeks as I heard the rain start, but Momma was already asleep.
I couldn’t breathe until it was over.
Maybe I’m selfish. Maybe I’m just tired.
Maybe they’ll think I lost my superpower. Maybe they’ll turn on the weather again and leave me alone.
Really nice. Short and sweet and a wondeful idea exploring the innocence of childhood. Thanks.
Short and simple
Whether we have good or bad experiences we are shaped by our upbringing. Rain will affect the main character’s life forever. The author, through concise writing, has created much food for thought. Well done.
Great story. Good voice and sense of place.
I really enjoyed this. Really well done. This is what flash fiction is all about.
Set up cleverly for the multiple tragedies emanating from being mysteriously locked out by a poetic mother. Highly inventive and greatly apppreciated. Well done.
Enjoyable read. Well written. Thank you.
I feel the need to comment again off the back of the Puchcart nomination. I think of this story often, and when introducing friends to microfiction, this is my go to. I think the images you create, I can see this perfectly as you describe it. And the idea, the responsibility placed on a child who just so happens to demonstrate a talent. It’s really a great piece of writing. Well done.
Thank you for this beautiful comment, Leonard. You’ve truly made my day!
What a wild story, nicely written & draws you in immediately