Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Rain Becoming

“There is rain on your breath,” he tells her, smiling.

“Those are tears,” the girl says, shivering. “We should get back in.”

But kisses spark brightest in spring’s first water. And so they root their heels to the earth, embracing like two waves who have not crashed up against each other for the length of a war. Three desert years.

There are twenty desert yards to the car.

And so they swim.

“I wore your necklace every day. Beneath the dog tags. The guys made fun of me at first. Such a girly thing. But then they saw your picture.”

She touches the tarnished metal in the notch of his neck. Places her mouth on the wet skin beside. The girl absorbs the flurried pulses into her lips, and down, down, into her embedded feet. Her toes curl with each vibration. Thunder crashes, and a whiff of ozone warns the air.

He removes the necklace to lace it around her neck. The storm swells. Silver flashes gold, alchemized by the heat lightning in the lovers’ eyes.

“I knew you’d bring it back! I knew you’d come back to me,” she laughs above the downpour.

“I made a promise.”

Their lips fuse. Electric water.

The soldier, stiff in his uniform, bends his girl back, so that her hair will blow wild, so that she will laugh again. He wants to watch the rain becoming, in that crackling current between a smoky bodice and its snowy skin.


He watches still.

[This is my entry for Bernita Harris's Weirdly flash fiction contest, which is open through midnight (EST), Dec. 14th. There is a 250 word limit, any genre. If Bernita's lovely photo inspires you, then have a go at it!]


Jeff said...

I enjoyed your story.Vivid imagery. High emotional impact. Well done!

And thank you for your nice comment on my story. :)

Bernita said...

Sarah, thank you for promoting the contest.

Shameless said...

Oh my. Now that is a scene. Delicious! :-)

Jaye Wells said...

Wow. ;)

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks for coming by, Jeff. I really enjoyed your story, too. :)

Sure thing, Bernita. The more the merrier, I think. Thanks for holding the contest!

Shameless, thank you. The first thing I saw when looking at that gorgeous tree was a very straight man bending back a woman with wild hair. This is one of my few forays into the fantastic. It was a lot of fun to write!

Keep 'em coming, Jaye.


Anonymous said...

I love it (and would swoon if I could).

Anonymous said...

Is the moment captured forever in a picture?

The sensuality of the rain was wonderful. Although I've never experienced a physical reunion of that magnitude, I do think it would take on poetic qualities.

Anonymous said...

Don't mind me. I see in a previous response that yes, you were imagining a photograph.

Sarah Hina said...

Wayne, thank you (and you can--just not in the cockpit). ;)

Jason, I think my ambiguity might have gotten me into trouble again. I actually was going to title this, "Strange Alchemy," because my idea was that the lightning struck the couple right in that moment, and they were preserved as the tree.

I probably didn't make this apparent enough to the reader, though.

I really enjoyed your entry! It was very poignant and beautifully written.

Anonymous said...

Maybe something was in my coffee this morning. Now I'm seeing statements in comments that aren't there. Yes, you say that you saw a couple reflected in that tree, not a couple standing with the tree. Sorry! I need more sleep.

In my writing, I constantly suffer from not-enough-information-itis. I understand the tension. You want the reader to feel part of discovering the story, but you have to give enough clues at the same time. One works against the other. Aine nudged me to add some to my entry to make it clearer.

Sorry again for my bleary-eyed response.

Sarah Hina said...

No problem, Jason. I realized that my entry into your last contest was not clear enough for most readers (including my husband), and I rather thought it might be a problem for this piece, too. And yet I plowed ahead. :)

There are assumptions I make about my writing's clarity that, looking back, I see are too rash. Ideas living inside my head aren't always so easily translated onto the page. Which is why these contests, and blogs in general, are so helpful, of course. Instant feedback.

Now go get some sleep! ;)

Beth said...

Sarah, preserved as a tree. I absolutely LOVE the concept and this short story. I always enjoy your writing, so i'm not surprised.

Hotwire said...

again with the great lines - this time it was the first two that got me. this whole thing gave me goosebumps and i could picture the characters as if they were right in front of me!!

Church Lady said...

So much passion. Beautiful.

Sarah Hina said...

Beth, thank you! I liked the idea of this moment being preserved forever. Of course, I don't know how satisfying it would be to love as a tree, but that's someone else's story. ;)

Hotwire, I'm glad that these two characters were so vivid for you. That's all a writer can ask for!

CL, maybe I have to find some beauty in all this rain we've been experiencing lately. Otherwise, I'd go crazy.

Thanks again. :)

Ello said...

So very lovely! I love your stories!

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks, Ello! Your words are always appreciated. :)

SzélsőFa said...

This is so beautifully written, Sarah. I keep returning to it on Bernita's site, only came here to comment - to NOT disturb Bernita by my comment :)

*spoiler alert*
*lame question alert*
Sarah, please, eversince I've read the story, I'm torn. Was she hit by the lighting and does she die or not?
Or at least some hints.

*keeps chewing imaginery fingernails*

SzélsőFa said...

oh never mind.
After having read all the comments, I see that they BOTH ...
You know, I took another look at the photo now again.
And I understood.
Thank you!!!

Sarah Hina said...

Szelsofa, I'm sorry that you were left hanging! But I'm glad you got your answer. I definitely walked the edge of clarity with this one. ;)

Thank you for your kind words!

Nothingman said...

This is the height of imagination...the height i tell you!

heh, i looked at the picture again after reading your story, looks like they were definitely getting naughty when the lightening struck...

Powerful words, keep em rocking!


Vesper said...

Sarah, your story is simply beautiful, with an exquisite poetic language.
"there is rain on your breath" - oh, I have to sigh reading this, I have to speak it aloud...
I, too, was wondering about the FLASH in the end, but I saw it explained in the comments.

Thank you very much for your kind comments on my story. :-)

Sarah Hina said...

Nothingman, maybe that's why the lightning struck. Things were overheating. ;)

Vesper, thanks so much for stopping by! And for your lovely words.

Your story was just great, and really succeeded in transporting me to another world. :)

Billy said...

And a beautiful entry it is!

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks again, Billy!

Abhinav said...

Classic romance!

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks, Abhinav! :)

Anonymous said...

I especially loved your open lines. What imagery, what strength in your written word. I'm smitten here!

Sarah Hina said...

Thank you, easywriter! All of your compliments are so lovely.