Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sunshower

MrsD had a post on the value of microfiction, which inspired me to do a little postcard-story of my own; I put it here so I can find it if I want to revise it at some point. Wordcount: about 490 words.

It takes a dancer's timing, but when it rains while the sun is shining, you can step just so, and just so again, and slide between the seams in the weather to the back of the world. The timing is critical, and the steps must be just right. I have managed to do it only twice. The first time, which was by accident, I was six, and hardly grasped any of it, but the traces I remembered haunted me for the next twenty years, and that entire time I did everything I could to do it again. And then one day I did. The sunshower-drizzle had just begun and, after a false start, I stepped just right, and was no longer in the front of the world, where we live our lives, but in the back of it, where men and women rarely go.

It is cooler, back of the world, and mistier, with a twilight look; I think the sun has to filter through there, like light into an attic. It is very still, but I did see a slight breeze dancing through the mist; I think it had followed me through. In the front of the world, misty twilight makes everything dim, but behind it the reverse is true. Everything is more clear, as if it were bursting out of a flat surface. Each blade of grass, each stone, each leaf on each vine, can be seen in perfect relief for miles, shining by light of its own existence.

A few yards away, there was a stream, its fluid sound very distinct to me ear. I followed it, enjoying the sights and the sounds and the spring-rain scent of the air. Then there was a little gust of breeze, and I saw her.

First she was not there, and then she was, so she must have just slipped through the seams. Her hair was chestnut brown, but her eyes a kind of deep blue, and she wor ea blue dress, like a going-to-church dress, that was dark in the front and back but was lighter down the side.

"Hello," I said. She only stared back in surprise.

There is only so long anyone can stay behind the world; after a few minutes, a sort of pressure builds, and the mist grows thicker and soon pushes you right back through the curtain. The mist was growing thicker. The pressure increased. I opened my mouth to speak again but, just as I did so, I was pushed through the front of the world, where the sunshower was just beginning to lose its sun and turn to gloom.

I have kept an eye out for her these past decades, never having much hope that I would win the lottery of chance meeting. I have tried even harder to slip through the veil during sunshowers, in the hope that she might be there, too.

But I can never quite get the steps right.

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