[Story] Story a Week 24

[[ I actually used my prompt book this time! It was to write a story about a picture. Here’s the one I chose:

ProgenitusJaimeJones

The art is from a Magic: The Gathering card called Progenitus; the artist is Jaime Jones. Check out his work, it’s awesome! ]]

“Looks like she’ll be a bad one,” Elias Keller said, squinting up at the sky. All morning, dark clouds gathered above their little fishing village, biding their time.

Brenda nodded, tightening the tie-downs on the tarp covering her pick-up’s bed. “That’s what they say, but then they always say that, don’t they?”

Elias grunted in assent, starting up his sputtering motorbike. “Might be right about it this time. Keep yourself safe, Miss Brenda.” He steered the old bike down the gravel road, just as fat raindrops began to patter onto the ground. Like nearly everyone in their tiny coastal town, they’d stopped at the market for last-minute supplies. Folks in Leeside were well equipped for the regular squalls that passed throughout the season. The hills to the south took the brunt of it, but usually there’d be rain and heavy wind, sometimes the roads flooded and the residents were ready with sandbags. Brenda was well stocked with sandbags, as well as her generator and supplies of water and canned food. Since moving here twelve years ago following her divorce, she’d had to use them a fair number of times, but this storm looked as though it might actually follow through on its threat. One thing she didn’t have stocked up was animal feed; her chickens and pigs would need to eat, and if a storm blocked the road, who knows how long it would be until she could get to the market again? She made one last check of the ties, the wind already whipping the corners of her tarp, and got into the truck’s cab.

The sky had darkened, even since she’d left the store. She hoped old Elias had made it back home already. Big raindrops splashed the windshield, and out over the water she could see the pillars of heavy rain as they approached. Were there four of them? That was a big storm, indeed. Brenda wanted to check on the barn before it really hit, making certain the doors and shutters were closed, and the animals were secure. If one of them were to get lost in this, it surely wouldn’t return. She switched on her lights and her wipers as the rain intensified; it wasn’t so much drops as a steady stream of water, and her wipers could hardly keep up. A handful of vehicles passed her in the opposite direction, hurrying to the dry safety of their own homes.

Already the banks of the outlet had swollen, lapping at the bottom of the bridge. Brenda was thankful she hadn’t waited to make this trip — any later and the bridge would probably have been flooded. She held her breath as she eased the pickup over the narrow bridge, and onto the last stretch toward her house. Her first year here had been something of a shock. She’d chosen the tiny coastal town because it was as different as possible from the stark, barren desert where she’d lived with her husband. The rains there were fickle, short but intense. Brenda had always wanted to live near the ocean, so when she was free to move wherever she wanted, that’s exactly what she did. She hadn’t expected the storms, or how long they would last. There were winter storms, cold with bitter winds, and summer storms, roaring hurricanes. But being able to sit on her porch overlooking the sunset over the water made it all worthwhile.

Her two cats waited in the windows as the truck pulled up to the house. The feed would have to wait until the rain and wind subsided a bit; she could see the sheets of water blowing against the house. Brenda grabbed her keys and purse and hurried inside, the wind tugging at her. She set out the candles and matches and checked the generator, fed the cats and changed into dry clothes. Her picture window overlooked the bay, though she knew it wasn’t really a good idea to stay near it during a storm, she loved to watch them. The dark pillars of rain stood out even more strongly now, they looked — odd as it sounded — almost solid, as if she could reach out and touch them. The wind howled and shuddered around the house, and the electricity flickered once and blinked off. Brenda leaned forward to get a better look as something seemed to emerge from the clouds. It wasn’t her imagination this time, something was moving out there. Something really, really big.

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