Steps Of The Rain

Preface: Part of a collection of short stories revolving around a port town and a lighthouse, http://wp.me/p6oCGV-q2

I met a lonely boy who appeared from the rain one day. I was sitting by the edge of my home, waiting for the last bus to arrive in hopes that I would be able to leave this slowly changing port town at last. I didn’t feel right taking any other bus. Taking the morning or afternoon bus meant that there was still a chance I could turn back. The last bus of the night gave me no such compensation. I was ready to let my life disappear from the changing port town, and find myself in another place devoid of all the metal sounds and giants being erected.

That was when I met a lonely boy who appeared from the rain. I was staring at the bus stop that lay no more than a few feet away from my home, when a boy sprouted out from the rain. His face and his arms were dripping, and he was wearing nothing more than a rain coat that made itself to be his second skin. He looked at me, and I looked back, unable to unlock my eyes from his conception. He then took a step towards me, away from the bus stop, and onto my property. His every step formed puddles in its wake, and he seemed to grow shorter as he sunk into the dirt in front of me. However, the pounding rain above would circumvent that, and his size remained unchanging. No doubt, he was still just a rain boy.

When he opened his mouth, I could see through and make a blurry image of the street behind him. He had no tongue, and so when he opened his mouth, it was as if words tumbled out like the rain that tumbled down my roof.

“Do you know how to play?” He asked me, his voice sounding like the pounding of rain on top of my roof, or the pounding of rain on top of an umbrella, or the pounding of rain onto sheets of metal. His eyes were devoid of any shape of color, but I determined that there had to be eyes on his formless head. Thinking that he could swallow me, suffocate me with his rain body, made me unable to answer his question.

“If you don’t, I could teach you. Do you want to play, miss?” He continued despite my uneasiness. The cold draft of the rain suddenly came over me, giving my entire body the kiss of winter.

“What are we playing?” I managed to ask, my voice shivering, and my words barely reaching the tumult of the voice the boy had.

“We can play my favorite game!” Although his voice was louder, in time with the excitement he tried to show, there was no emotion in the wisp of his breath. The pounding rain could never sound different, no matter the surface, no matter how much things may change, it always remains stagnant. Rain fall will always consistent of just that, rain.

“Okay. Let’s play your favorite game then,” I decided to indulge in the rain boy’s whims, thinking that the bus would not arrive soon in lieu with the rain. And to also make one last memory, no matter how absurd.

“Okay, miss. This game is called, rock skipping!” I almost laughed.

“Rock skipping?”

“Yeah!”

“But there are no lakes here. Only the ocean by the lighthouse.” The rain boy shook his head, and then pressed his hand over mine. His blue hands melded into me, seeming to wrap itself, locking itself with my own body, and no matter how much pressure I tried to rip my hand away, I only saw his own dissolving. I couldn’t imagine having my own hand melt and break away and so I flinched and decided to remain with the rain boy. I got up and then followed his eager steps, forming and un-forming into the dirt he was treading on. I didn’t care about the rain from the grey clouds above that now threatened to sweep me, the only thing I could focus on was the blue hands that were now mine.

“Here!” The boy said as he began retracting his hand. I saw every frame of it, as his hand disappeared from mine, leaving it in a state of hanging blue flesh. It seemed as if his hand had been crushed by girders, his flesh spilling into the turning winter air, and then it reformed back into what could be called the hand of a lonely rain boy.

I looked ahead to see a small lake form in a pothole on the middle of the street with red pylons surrounding the perimeter. The boy picked up a rock from near the pothole, and then stepped back a few feet. He winded his hand back, tilted it to the side and then with two fingers, threw the rock into the hole. It bounced once on the surface, than another as its arc allowed it enough momentum to press on, and then as its energy whittled, the rock sank into the pothole. The rain never stopped, and it pounded the surface of the pothole along with the rock, appearing as if it was pushing its descent.

“Now it’s your turn miss!” The boy said with a bright grin as he stuck out a rock towards me. I opened my palms, and caught the rock as the boy released it from his hands, a cold feeling washed over my fingers as I traced its surface. It felt oddly like the surface of the ocean, the saltiness sticking to its pores and I imagined it to be the same rock placed at the base of the lighthouse to keep it planted. I threw the rock into the hole, the same way the boy did, and watched as it sunk upon impact. The boy laughed.

“You’re not very good at that huh?”

“I guess I’m not.” The boy picked up another rock and placed it onto my hand. He began guiding me as his body began melding with me, his motion allowing my fingers to relax as I winded the rock.

“You have to throw it with your wrist or else it won’t go anywhere.” He mimicked the motion with his free hand.

“Try to throw it really softly too. If you do it too hard, it’ll just go down.”

“Are you ready?” I nodded. He began letting go of my hand, and I watched as his blue flesh deformed and formed again. I then threw the rock into the hole, watching as it bounced once, then retained its momentum and bounced another time before sinking. A jolt of elation washed over me and I looked to my side with a beaming smile, “Did you see that?” The boy was gone. There was nothing in his place, not even a puddle to show where he might have entered the ground or had been crushed under another girder. The pounding rain became more irritating, and I turned back towards my home. Each step was accentuated as I began retracing my path with the boy, and soon enough, the only thing I could hear, were the steps of the rain.

 

 

 

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