Beyond The Rain

My fingers tapped the glass, four drumsticks against a transparent head.  Somewhere behind me a hundred thousand garbage bags full of the empty tin cans that once held dreams fell again.  I hadn’t even counted the seconds from the lightning flash to when I heard the thunder, so disappointed was I in the weather.

“It was only supposed to be a chance of showers,” I complained to the people in charge of weather.  “Why…how does a chance become the second launching of Noah’s boat?”

Fingers drummed again.  The other hand reached up from my chin to scratch at an almost-felt itch on the back of my head.  I glanced toward the barn, thinking maybe I should go over anyway.   I chucked that thought as soon as I heard it in my head.  He’d think we were going for a ride, and when he wants to run, he wants to RUN.  My stupid horse, though, has never quite figured out what to do with mud.  When in the saddle, I only control him in the loosest sense.  I stay on his back, occasionally yanking a rein treating his head like a twist cap to get him to turn.

Another flash, much brighter this time.  The thunder was much louder.  I thought again how I really should go over to calm him down.  The rain began coming down in what could only be described as sheets.  I’d never before understood that phrase, thinking it was only one of those things that people say.  I watched, transfixed, as these sheets pelted the ground.  I glance at the barn, but it’s all secure.  A veritable sea of sog, mud to the eyebrows certainly, lay between my door and the barn’s.

I was watching this, trying to motivate myself, when I saw…well, something over to the side.  A glance in the specific direction showed only rain pelting the grass.  I mumble a question as to what I thought I saw, but I had no answers.  The rain, falling in ever more coherent patterns.  Squinting almost revealed…what?

I straightened up, wondering at what I’d just seen.  More sheets falling from the sky, but then…did I really just see that?  A dark shape, blurred through the rain, hanging in mid-air.  It moved, is it–is it a bird?  The side moved, like fingers on a hand, or…claws?  Are they–

They moved to the side, rending through the rain the way a jet moves through the sky, a cleared patch in the deluge its contrail.  It hung at the end of the patch, and another emerged, cutting a similar slice.  They moved vertically, a lighting strike illuminating them with too much clarity.  The darkened shape moved to pull its massive dark form through the tear, and then icy sapphire orbs swung about, locking with my eyes.  I bolted away from the window while a screech like hundreds of fingernails on hundreds of chalkboards counterpointed with the thunder.

The house went dark as I backed away from the glass, praying that I hadn’t been seen.  These prayers proved unnecessary as I heard a cracking sound from behind and felt something moist hit my shoulder.  I looked over and the last thing I saw was the claws digging into my shoulder…….


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