General Fiction posted January 29, 2013


Exceptional
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love is ageless

The Final Storm

by Spiritual Echo

Molly stared at the sky. To the south, the clouds were beginning to roll in, and as if in anticipation of the brewing storm, the animals were looking for safety.

The dog crept beneath the porch. The blackbirds stopped singing, and were hiding in the branches of the cedars that flanked the path to the humble cabin she shared with Sam. A rabbit was still rummaging in the vegetable garden, but otherwise there was no movement, just the humid cloak of a summer's day.

Sam was fanning himself with a newspaper, sipping lemonade and watching his wife of fifty years.

"We've been through worse, old woman," he said, knowing Molly feared these storms.

One year, a tornado swept through, slashing at windows and destroying anything in its path. Neighbours to the west had lost everything. Their own cabin had been spared, leaving nothing more than felled trees in their yard.

Molly never treated the storms as a natural occurrence, and Sam watched her as she nervously twisted the pearls on her beaded shirt.

"Sit down, woman. It won't blow in until sometime around sunset. There's nothing to do but suffer the heat. The storm will clear the air."

Sam's eyes twinkled in anticipation of what would happen when the first lightening strike touched down. Molly would be in his arms, trembling and wanting comfort. Even after all these years, Sam had not tired of the touch of her skin. The storms reminded Sam of how much Molly still needed him.

After the children had grown and moved away, the old couple had toyed with the idea of moving into town. Their children were adamant, telling them they should be near a hospital and even suggested a retirement home. Sam had been livid. He'd thrown down the phone, grabbed his axe and spent the afternoon splitting logs.

"Never been sick a day in my life," he'd muttered over supper that night, and the subject was laid to rest.

They sat for hours watching the southern sky darken. The temperature began to change and the wind picked up, making the heat more bearable. Despite the one hundred degree weather, Molly shivered. She finally went into the cabin to begin their evening meal. Sam napped for awhile in the wicker rocker until Molly called him for supper.

They sat quietly listening to the wind as it began to howl while they ate their dinner. Molly had prepared garden vegetables and a chicken breast. Sam was touched by both her fear and the tightening pain he felt in his chest whenever he looked at his wife. He loved the old woman with all his heart. It had been a good life, he thought.

Molly had set out candles in anticipation of the power outages that were common during storms in these parts. Sam struck a match and watched the glow light up the corners of their home.

"Don't be afraid, old woman. It'll be over before you know it."

Molly had filled the porcelain sink with soapy water and Sam grabbed a handful of bubbles, spreading them across his chin, trying to make his wife laugh.

"Do you think I should grow a beard?" he asked.

"Get on with you," she said, almost smiling, as she handed him a plate to dry.

The thunder was beginning to threaten the valley when the plate slipped out of Sam's hands. She watched it bounce across the floor and shatter. Instead of reaching for the broom, Molly's arms reached for Sam as he crumpled and slid to the ground.

"My darling old woman," he whispered. "I'm afraid it's over."

Molly's head was cradled in his arm, her ear next to his heart. She listened as the last beat of Sam's life left him.

"Please, don't leave me," she whimpered as lightning flashed across the sky.

The strikes were getting closer, the thunder was incessant when Molly rose and left the cabin. She walked into the middle of the storm. The smell of ozone permeated the night air as she raised her hands to the sky and screamed, "Take me too."

Lightning flashed around her as she slowly fell to her knees.

*****

"I don't understand, Doctor. My mother was afraid of storms. She would never leave the cabin with lightning all around her."

"She was never touched by the lightning. Both your parents died of natural causes. They both had massive heart attacks and died almost instantly."

"How could both my parents die on the same day?"

The doctor looked over at the distraught man sitting across the desk. He had delivered him, remembering well the night of his birth. There had been a storm that night as well. Molly had refused to go to the hospital and the doctor delivered the boy on the bed, in which he was conceived,

"Son, your parents loved each other very much. They didn't want to live without the other."

The man stood up, shaking away reason, knowing the truth of the doctor's words. "Who died first?" he asked.

The doctor smiled, feeling his own age. "It really doesn't matter son. No, it doesn't matter in the least."


The Storm contest entry

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Contest title 'Storm' required the use of the following words: rabbit,dog,clouds,blackbirds,twinkled,bounce,candles,south, beaded and bubbles in a story of less than 1000 words.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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