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Dark Rain

Andrea Fetzer

 
     The dark clouds had an eeriness to them. One would imagine light, fluffy, grey clouds billowing across the sky, building intense wind, whipping through the thick misty air. That was not the case. The ominous storm that lurked above revealed no signs of showers. No rain, no mist, no wind, exited from the almost black bubble expanding across the weak sky. It appeared as if a person could jump up and touch it, though in one slow motion it would surround and painfully drag in the helpless victim. Something must have set it off, because before anyone knew any different, the cloud erupted, bombarding those below with heavy wet bullets splattering on the hard pavement.

     I stared out the fogged up glass doors as the bulky cloud wept rain in sheets. Evening has slowly crept up and now had arrived. I stepped outside the door, feeling the coldness slither under my oversized hooded jacket and around my warm body like a scaly snake invading my privacy. I trudged out to my small piece-of-crap of a car. I had a skip in my step every now and then due to the amazingly large puddles that were forming. The balancing act I was trying to perform wasn't working as I had planned, though it rarely did. Over my shoulder, I had tossed my ugly brown purse that never matched anything I wore. I was due a new one, I thought. With every quickened step I took, my tattered purse smacked into my leg like someone was beating my leg with a paddle over and over again. I soon became annoyed and I ripped the handbag off my shoulder, tossing it on top of my box of thick paperwork. In my opposite hand I juggled the small briefcase I always took to work. I never really used it much because I had such an enormous load to carry with me. I had so much to carry that would have to put the remainder in my card board box. I also took that with me every night to my car that was always parked farther away than it was supposed to be.

     I reached my junker, pried open the door and thoughtlessly tossed my bundle into a random, jumbled mess in the back seat. I slammed the back door and quickly hopped into the driver's seat, closing the door behind me. I rapidly tore off my soaking jacket and placed it on the blue plastic floor mat on the passenger's side. I grabbed the thick blanket off the seat next to me and draped it around my shoulders. As I did so, I felt a sense of comfort and relief flood into me, knowing that I would finally get to go home and relax for a short while, out of the damn rain.

     "I really hate that damn rain," I thought as my stubborn car refused to start. Finally my car's clunky engine gave in and I drove out of the almost deserted parking lot, heading for home. My wipers were going on overdrive the entire trip home. The rain was spilling and flying, all in one motion, off the wind shield in all directions. A slow trickle of water crept down the inside of my window, slopping down it and puddling on the floor mat beneath me. I flipped on the radio filling the car with shouting voices speaking of the evening news report. I automatically turned down the ear-piercing volume, so I was able to absorb at least a little of what was being said without having my ears blasted out. The weather was just about to come on. The broadcaster came on with his deep, confident voice preaching

     "Well it's a wet one out there, folks. If we take a look at tomorrow's forecast, the Doppler radar is showing that we will be expecting clear skies and more importantly, no rain."

     "Oh, shut up." That damn weather man hadn't been right in the past three weeks. As I sat and reminisced on the past weeks, I realized that there must be something wrong. They had predicted beautiful fall weather and all we've been receiving was heavy down pours for hours and hours. I stopped thinking about the weather the rest of the way home.

      As I pulled into the steep driveway up to my duplex, I noticed a soft light coming from inside. I found that strange because I always made sure I turned off all of the lights before leaving. I walked in the cool room and plopped my load down next to the door, almost knocking over a small end table nearby. The kitchen was softly illuminated by the antique desk lamp sitting on top of the messy table. I sifted through a bunch of the junk lying around on the table. As I was doing so, I noticed a small note was hidden on the edge of the table. It had a few words scribbled on it saying . . .

          What happened to dinner? Give me a call. --Nicholas

     "Shit" I had completely forgotten that Nicholas was supposed to take me out after work. I quickly dialed up his number and to my surprise, he was not home, so I left a message.

     I was so drained from the day that I decided to turn in early. My work could wait until tomorrow. I awoke the next morning to the sound of my buzzing alarm. It was the sound that everyone dreads. I reached over and repeatedly hit it until it shut up. My room was dark, as if the light was unable to find its way in through the cracks. I slid over to edge of the bed. I extended one leg and then the other, dangling them over the side until my feet met the ground. I examined my perfectly toned legs. They were the result of all the times I worked out in college and after work, some days during the week. I drug myself over and I stood in front of the mirror, flipping on the switch next to me. My eyes squinted, blinded by the bright light streaming from the closet. My hair was a ratty mess and it flowed down my back in an awkward fashion. In the sun, my hair would glisten. Gold highlights streamed throughout my long blond locks. On a normal day, I felt pretty, almost attractive. As I looked in the mirror, I felt dull and simple, like a flower withering after being picked from the soil. My eyes were heavy with sleep, though I thought I went to bed at a reasonable time the night before. My eyes were my favorite feature. They were green with thick dark lashes surrounding them. My eyes reminded me of tropical waters reflecting the shining sun.

     I always felt special having green eyes because not many people were blessed with them. Maybe they were a freak accident but I have them. That's how I attracted Nicholas. He loved my green eyes. We had met at one of those flashy dance clubs we have downtown. I walked into the smoke filled room, and he was the first man I caught a glimpse of. He came over and introduced himself and from then on we hit it off. He was always really into the relationship but I didn't ever feel the same way. Nicholas seemed to cling like a leech lately. I couldn't keep him away, though I know he had good intentions. He really was sweet.

     I walked away from the mirror and I went to splash some cool water on my face that was still half asleep. I brushed my teeth to a pearly whiteness and I wandered over to the window. I threw open the blinds revealing a completely miserable day. Leaning forward, I pressed my forehead gently on the cool glass. My warm breath transformed to a thin fog on the window. As I glanced up and down the busy street below me, I noticed an unusual energy in the cars that flashed by in a blur of lights. They were honking and dodging in and out in a mad frenzy to get to work. The people had selfish interests. Pedestrians scurried by with a rainbow of umbrellas, darting here and there, trying to avoid the rain as much as possible. Where had the kindness gone? Had hatred overcome the entire community?

     As I watched and felt the commotion outside, I recalled flashes of the dream that I had last night. I remembered talking to a woman in her late forties and remembered her telling me to be careful. There was something about the rain but I don't remember. My mind was a confused mess of pictures, places and voices that I couldn't really recall. Remembering the dream left me with an eerie and unfamiliar feeling that I did not like and did not want to deal with.

      I stared blankly at the screen of my computer. Numbers and words were flashing before my eyes entrancing me into a blank, hypnotic nothing. My concentration diminished to the point where it didn't have much meaning today. I had been seeing flashes of my dream, sending creepy, tingling sensations up and down my spine. It was no wonder my concentration was bad and the work I had completed was minimal. I decided to pack up my belongings and call it a day for once. It seemed that I was more likely to stay late than ever leave my job early, but one day wouldn't make much of a difference.

     I stood in the doorway, just as the night before, watching the rain beat against the pavement. The drops fell hard, following each other in a monotonous chase. As I began to walk to my car, I felt fear. This was like nothing I had ever felt before. It was the type of fear experienced when a person has their foot stuck under train tracks when a train is quickly approaching. I felt weak and helpless. It had struck me like lightning in a storm. Tears swelled up in my empty green eyes and erupted down my wet cheeks. I began to shake and I was getting the same eerie chills as I had before. My hands trembled and all of my belongings cradled in my arms, toppled to the ground in an uneven pile before me. I crumpled to the ground like an unwanted ragdoll tossed away for another day. I began to absorb the wetness as my cold body lay shivering in it. I had opened my mouth to yell for help, but all I could manage was a feeble whisper

      "Help me." I tried to work up the strength to try again between the frantic sobs of fear and panic.

      "Help!" I bellowed with all the strength I could muster.
 

     "Ms. Alexis? Ms. Alexis is there something wrong?" My associate was towering closely above me, gently shaking my shoulder. I looked up with my tear stained face and assured my associate that I was not a mentally psychotic maniac.

     "Sure, Sharon I'll be fine. I must have fallen asleep and had a really bad dream." I mumbled quietly, "Thanks for your concern."

     I sat up in my cushioned seat to hear the common tapping of fingers on keyboards and the buzz of printers. What had happened? I was just outside. I knew I was. I told everyone that I was leaving for the day. Now, I found myself behind my computer at the same place I was before I left. The thing is, I didn't leave, did I? I still felt the awkward chill in my body when I glanced down at my feet and saw my shoes soaked with rain and my socks damp as well. I desperately scanned my desk and the surrounding area to search for signs that something may have spilled. I was unsuccessful. What the hell was going on?

     I laid in bed staring at the inverted ceiling and the patterns designed in the speckled plaster. The rain tapped against my window as if trying somehow to convince me to let it in. The rain was no longer soothing to the ear as it once had been. It was now an intruder trying violently to get to me. I closed my eyes and hoped it would not develop into a dramatic show as I put on earlier that day. I got up after laying a bit because of the warm temperature inside my room. It felt like a flaming inferno. Sweat rolled from my forehead, trickling down my cheek and then falling to its doom. I cracked the window open, letting the cool air rush in. As I laid back, burying myself in the comfort and security of my bed, I heard the voices.

     "Alexis . . . " There was a pause and then I heard it again even clearer than the time before.

     "Alexis . . . you are mine."

      I sat up, believing that I was dreaming again when I heard it again.

     "Alexis" It had an evil tone and the words brought me fear like I had felt earlier that day. Though I wanted to speak up, I found myself frozen, unable to respond to the whispers that I wanted so terribly to go away.

     "I am the darkness in the rain. I feed you. You live off me."

I didn't understand what was going on. What the voice said meant nothing to me. I was again at a loss of words.

     "I feed on the evil within people." The words dripped slowly into the air, one by one, pounding fear and hate into the depths of my soul.

     "I am feeding you Alexis. I will triumph," the voice diminished and I wept.

I could not believe what had happened. I began to believe that I had become delusional, but the voice, the darkness, the presence, was all so real.

     The darkness of the rain seemed to have a way of getting inside people and twisting and distorting their normally happy selves, turning them into people filled with hatred and loneliness. There was something different about the rainfall, and I was chosen to realize what it was. There was a deeper, darker evil that existed in the soul of the clouds blanketing the sky above. The darkness had gained control over me. All of the unselfishness and kindness I once strived on, evaporated from my soul and the darkness replenished it with evil. My days became very long and seemed to be a marathon to the end, never coming too soon. I began making inadequate excuses and I didn't take any calls or visitors. I was buried within myself. I hated the world and especially hated myself. I looked in the mirror hoping to see a glimmer of the girl I once knew inside myself, but all I was a disfigured form of what I used to be.

     I spent most of my day lazily lounging around my home, struggling to find activities to pass my day. Some days I would consider going in to work, but a wave of fear would overcome me and the phase would pass.

     I lurked around my kitchen after waking in a fearful panic from a horrid nightmare. Painful thoughts were swirling in all directions in my head. I knew that the darkness from the rain was inside of me, leading me, and I was desperate to stop the pain. I no longer had the strength to endure the pain and suffering.

     In the distance I heard a ringing, but in my frenzy, I ignored all of the environment that encircled me. I was in my own world giving in to the pressures racking my brain. I wanted to die and I wanted the rain to die as well. I could not think right. I was in a trance falling further and further into the depths of darkness.

     A familiar figure moved across the room. The voice was gentle and full of compassion. It was something I was estranged to. Love, I couldn't really feel it, but I remembered vaguely. I remembered. The knife that I had clutched in my hand was now apparent to the figure. Angered by this, the figure removed it from sweaty palms. I leapt after this figure grabbing for the knife so I could complete it all. The figure tossed the knife across the floor and it slid as if gliding on ice. The figure then forcefully grabbed me and carried me over to the bed like I was a heavy sack of potatoes. The figure then looked into my eyes and I blankly looked back. I had no recollection of whom that figure was or what authority it carried.

     "Alexis, what the hell is going on with you?" The calming voice had a hidden fear beneath it.

     "We need to get you some help, dear."
 

     The van pulled away from my home. They said that they were going to help. They said that I was going to the hospital. I didn't really know. I didn't care.

     The clouds continued to weep. Rain fell with the harshness as it did before, pouring the darkness on the victims below. The van winded down a hill, moving slowly, cautiously, because it was hard to see with the rain blanketing the vehicle. The driver couldn't see so he flashed his hazards on as to pull over. The road must have been quite unstable because when we pulled over to the ledge to stop, the van began to shift unsteadily. The passenger opened his door to see out of the van adequately.

     "Shit. Get the hell back on the road."

     "Why?"

      "We're two feet away from a thirty-foot drop off. Get the hell back up!"

As the driver struggled to get back on the road, the van began to slip dangerously backwards. The tires spun, spitting up a mixture of dirt and rocks and it was deflecting off the van, making a pinging sound every time it hit. The man in the passenger's side opened his door to brave the wind and rain. His attempt to try and push the falling van failed when he slipped on some rocks slick with rain, to his doom thirty feet below. I could hear the echoes of his screams as he fell down the short ravine.

     All of the passengers were frantically trying to get out of the teetering van before it plunged to its defeat. I, unknowingly sat blankly and stared as a man tried to drag me out through a partially ajar door. The patter of the rain had cast a hypnotic spell over me. The passengers struggled, but were unsuccessful. None were able to escape and that was the last moment of our lives. Darkness triumphs.
 
 

Acknowledgments

I would like thank Lonni Evans for encouraging me to write to my potential and for helping me find my potential. I would also like to thank my creative writing class for all of the constructive criticism that inspired me to write an even better story.


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