Posted by: sulya | 12 September 2009

500 Words of Fiction: The Storm


The thunder didn’t lag. All day there had been buzz saws and constant hammering from the house up the street. Renovations so loud they bruised the liver and then a night of stormy wildness.

Flash BANG.

Her being had condensed to a pure will for silence when the power went out and brought darkness instead.

On the top floor, with the wind up and howling, the building creaking, the windows rattling and being pelted by rain, the blackout had tangible weight. Knees softened and bent, ass lowered, fingers splayed and braced against the floor for stability of mind more than person. She had somehow not known she was afraid of storms.

Eyes closed, she saw the roof peel away, felt herself ripped out into the sky.

The sound of her name in his voice dropped her back down, put the roof back. Through the din she hadn’t heard the key in the lock.

Where’s the flashlight, baby?

In the bathroom drawer closest to the door. It’s the hand-crank one.

The sound of his feet in confident stride over to the bathroom, still shoe-clad. His frame periodically illuminated by shocks of lightening, his motion scored by more thunder. The drawer opened, hands rummaged, the drawer closed and then another noise: the whining hum of the flashlight’s power crank being wound and wound and wound.

Her spine straightened as though he were winding her up instead of the light.  Then she was bathed in LED, eyelashes fluttering, one hand up to stop the blinding by light – to try to return to the blinding darkness instead. He lowered the flashlight to her crossed legs.

Why are you on the floor?

It was the simplest choice I could make under the circumstances.


The other one would have made her stand. Sight of her on the floor in the dark would have discomfited, irritated, grated. Would have held a hand out, said, C’mon, get up hey? And pulled her up even if she didn’t want to stand, even if she maybe couldn’t.

This one sits down in front of her, long legs spread to surround her protectively. His defiantly shaggy and still-wet hair is cool and comforting as he touches his forehead to hers.

You okay?

Too noisy.

Construction bad again today?

Yeah. And the thunder. Bit of a pathetic wreck, hey? A weak smile.

You’re fine. One hand covered another hand on the floor, fingers laced.

She closed her eyes again. Darkness swallowed history and got indigestion, got dizzy, fainted into fear condensed and pouring out of the sky onto the roof that shook and howled.

Another bolt of lightening. Another clap of thunder.


Enough! Enough! Enough! She screamed into the clatter and rush of heavens opened and bleeding and screaming and the sound of her own voice dropped her back down, put the roof back on.

So she was alone again.
Not that one or the other one.
Just no one but her and the storm.


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