The storm

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 ***

It was the thunder we heard first. The morning had been glorious – just perfect for lazing on the grass with iced coffees from the market, perusing the papers and generally just enjoying life and each other. But sure enough, as I looked up behind Grace’s mess of red hair, I could see the clouds rolling in.

They were angry, and switched her mood in an instant.

“What’re you doing?”

I ignored the scorn in her voice and continued to fold away the pages of newsprint that were strewn around us.

“It’s going to rain.”

“So?”

“So we need to go.”

She stood up then and turned away from me to look across the park. Everyone else was on my side with this one – picnics were being packed into hampers, babies bundled back into their prams. There was another crash of thunder and she lifted her face towards the sky as the first drops of water began to fall.

They were slow and heavy. If we didn’t move now, we’d be drenched.

“Come on, Gracie, this is silly.”

“You go.”

Grace had let her bag drop to the floor and was shrugging off her shirt, unselfconscious in the bikini top beneath. I felt the familiar tug of longing as I saw her bare skin, curving in at the waist where it was met by the denim of her shorts.

“What’re you doing?”

“Just go, will you?”

I wanted to force her to look at me, to grab her arm and spin her round. I wanted to kiss her, but instead I ran. As the raindrops increased their urgency I found shelter beneath an oak tree, squeezing in beside a couple leaning on their bicycles and a man who had squatted down to read his book.

The thunder echoed off the tower blocks again as Grace raised her arms, her hair trailing down her back now as water dripped from its ends onto the grass below. There was a flash of lightening then too, and in that moment I had a vision of her going up in smoke before my eyes, her footprints scorched into the earth. Still clutching the papers under one arm I sprinted out into the wet. I had to save her.

But when I got there she was laughing, an expression of pure glee on her face.

“Isn’t it wonderful? It’s our chance to be free, Charlie. To be alive.”

She reached out for the buttons of my shirt, trying to undo them so I could join her even though I think she knew I never would. I wriggled free and she spun away, shouting something that was lost amidst the storm.

The anger of the clouds had infected me now, and I strode alone towards the home we shared. She’d come back when she was done. She always did.

 ***

Thank you to Sara at Mum Turned Mom for inspiring this story with her prompt of ‘Thunder’, and also to Nicola at Nikki Young Writes who inspired me to explore my characters further through her post for last week’s What I’m Writing.

This story captures a moment in my protagonist’s past, seen through the eyes of her ex. I’m not sure they lasted long after this incident – and I’m pretty sure Grace would have seen things very differently.

 

mumturnedmom
Nikki Young Writes

7 thoughts on “The storm

  1. Nicola Young

    I love this. I was hooked, wanting to know what she was going to do. It seems as though Grace was feeling trapped and this was her way of breaking free. She and Charlie were obviously wrong for each other. I am glad I inspired you to do this. It was a great idea to use the prompt as your inspiration.

    Reply
  2. Leigh Kendall

    Hmm I don’t think they’ll last long either. It doesn’t seem that they are really on the same wavelength – you’ve done a great job conveying so much in such a short piece. Great use of the prompt word too xxx #ThePrompt

    Reply
  3. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    I love that you used the Prompt to explore Grace more! This is a wonderful look into her character – and certainly makes me want to know what she gets up to in the future. She and Charlie were clearly wrong for each other, but she seems to be strong and individual, and that makes me interested in her… Love the story too, it stands alone as a great piece of writing, and interpretation of #ThePrompt, thanks so much for sharing x

    Reply
  4. maddy@writingbubble

    This is so well written. The character of grace is captivating so that even though we’re seeing her through Charlie’s eyes and he’s irritated by her, we end up feeling more on her her side and a bit irritated with him… Or at least I did! I love this exercise in character development and am planning on doing it with some of my characters too.

    Reply

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