The Storm

The alarm clock went off with its ritualistic klaxon, pushing me into a blurry awareness. I rolled over, pulled the blanket back up, squeezed in closer to my wife and went back to sleep. With the baby having screamed all night, be able to sleep in late was a blessing.

An hour later I burst into panicked overdrive, leaping from bed and snatching a bottle of shampoo from the counter. I'd slept in. I was going to be late for work! I leaped into the shower with my pajamas on and bit back a scream as the icy water hit both bare and covered skin. As the water warmed, I threw the wet clothes over and heard them hit with a plop. All except a sock, which landed with a plop followed by a puzzling screech.

I poured shaving cream all over my hair and began to rub it in, realizing a second too late it wasn't shampoo I'd grabbed after all. After I'd finished getting all the white flecks free of my hair, I leapt from the shower and tripped over the lip below the door, landing right on top of an already angry and equally wet cat.

When the blood was sufficiently cleaned up, I hurriedly dressed, putting on three different outfits before finding a suit and tie with no stains, wrinkles, or tears. As I searched everywhere for my briefcase, my wife yawned in bed, stretched, and looked over at me.

"Aren't you late for work?"

"No. I always left at seven so I could hit a bank for donut money," I growled irritably. "Did Gwen take my case again?"

"Mm-mm. Sara took your briefcase, Luke chewed on it, and Jon got it back for you. It's on the kitchen counter. I raced out of the hallway with one shoe in hand and the other on my foot untied. After tripping down the stairs, I calmly put both shoes on and limped to the kitchen.

Finally I was successful in reaching the car. I tossed the ragged briefcase onto the passenger seat of our Jetta and sat down just as my stomach began to growl, ignoring it, I reached forward and turned the ignition. When I was done and ready to go, I let out a scream of rage so loud birds in nearby trees took to the air.

The car wouldn't start.

I jumped out of the bus just before the driver slammed the door closed and ran into the office building where I worked twelve days a week. Letting out a sigh, I reached forward and pulled at a locked door. The wrong building. The driver had let me off at the wrong building! I wanted to pound my head against the glass door and slit my throat with a broken shard. All trying got me was a headache. By the time I had jogged the three blocks to my own building, I was over two hours late.

By the time I reached the fourteenth floor, I was also fired.

"You knew you had to be here by nine o'clock!" My boss, a scary, white- haired old man that smelled like a pharmacy raged. "The whole business deal fell through! The merger's a bust! Is that shaving cream I smell?"

I sat on a park bench, fresh out of a court hearing, waiting for a piano to fall from the sky, stewing over the horrible events of the last few days. My wife had taken the opportunity when she found out I'd been fired to tell me she'd been cheating on me almost as long as we'd been married. She'd been plotting it out for years. Somehow I'd lost all five of my kids, though the run down old house and broken down old car were all mine.

As I sat dazed and grumbling, something really did begin to fall from the sky. Rain.

Perfect.

I stood up and for one moment the rain I stopped, but as soon as I started walking it began to rain again. All round me I could see the sun shining. No one made any notice of so much as a droplet. No umbrellas were seen, no hands were raised to feel a splash. Yet I was getting beginning to get soaked. I looked up and saw a tiny egg shaped rain-cloud no bigger than a beach ball floating overhead.

I took a long, confused look at and took off running. For a moment the sunlight was brushing the back of my dripping suit, but soon I was being rained on once more.

I spotted a bus stop and dashed for it. I ran in circles here and there and then when one finally arrived I waited and leapt in, just as the door closed, leaving the cloud outside. The same driver I'd had earlier glared at me as I stepped aboard with my sopping clothes stuck to my skin. I glared back and took a seat towards the middle. A little girl giggled at me as I sat down, and I heard her mother whisper something and the girl turned away.

A flash lit up the night and a bang like a gunshot struck the air. The little rain-cloud was following me.

I made my way home as fast as I could, getting soaked every time I switched buses. This was absurd! I couldn't seem to escape it. Finally I made it and ran inside, slamming the door closed.

After I'd put on dry clothes and laid back on my bed, the whole thing didn't seem quite as bad. I was considering future job possibilities when it began raining in my bedroom.

"The cat door!" I groaned. "I don't even have a cat anymore!" The absurdity struck me again and I began to laugh. "A tiny storm is following me around, and it got in through my cat door." Madness was probably beginning to set in, but I really didn't care.

When my laughter stopped, I was wet, cold, and slightly crazy. "Just go away!" I cried out. "Go! Away! Now!"

The cloud rumbled ominously and a tiny lighting bolt struck my television. As sparks shot out I screamed again and grabbed a lamp from the table. Swinging wildly, I struck out, driving the cloud in two and getting struck by another blast from the tiny swirling monstrosity.

As the cloud calmly situated itself over my head and sent more rain flying into my face in a ridiculous parody of a storm, I realized I wasn't going to be able to deal with this on my own.

One year later...

I moved my hands forward and the cloud roared over the green hilltop, swaying, moving, stretching, all at my command. I stood at the center of the rain-cloud. It had grown massive, surrounding me entirely, but that didn't matter at all. Lighting only drew out its fingers on my order. The thunder held within the boughs of this storm didn't shake free without my signal.

I had been right. I couldn't take care of it on my own, but now the very heavens obeyed me.

End.