A/N: It's been a long time, hasn't it? It has. Being the first thing I've written in quite some time, and one of my messings-about with symbolism, I figured I should post this. ^^ Hope you enjoy. :)

The air is thick with the promise of rain, but she hardly notices. Hers is a brisk rush through the darkening world, hands full, sneakers kicking up bits of grass in her wake. A breeze runs its ethereal fingers through her hair. It tickles under the collar of her jacket—that's the first thing she really feels.

Clouds lower overhead like great gray wings on a downstroke. She's never noticed the scent of cloud before, but she can smell it now, carried by the breeze. The dense layer of shifting black and gray above says hush, and the whole word listens. Birds become still and hunker down on branches, fluffing their feathers. Dogs blink up at the sky, scenting the rain, and even the pond fish glide very softly up to the surface of the water, waiting to feel the first cool drops on their backs.

A low growl of thunder stops her in her tracks. It rolls and crashes into its own echoes, rumbling through her very core. Her face tilts up and the first drop of rain tumbles through the atmosphere at a dizzying speed, then hits her forehead with an infinitesimally tiny sigh of relief.

The heavens open up. Rain pours down in sheets, in torrents—a deluge. The birds preen themselves beneath sheltering clusters of leaves. The dogs close their gray, blue, amber eyes. The fish leap into the air just because they can, just to feel the connection between water and sky. And she makes her choice.

Her book hits the ground, the pages shrinking away from the droplets that hang like diamonds on the grassblades. Her jacket follows, becoming just another nondescript lump in a world of shifting contours. Her hair, painstakingly done up, tumbles down around her, and the rain rolls in rivulets down each lock.

For that brief second—really all we ever get, if we're lucky—she stands there, soaked, vulnerable, a meaningless speck under the weight of the vast cosmos—feeling, for once, alive.