Real Flashfiction This Time: “Clouds”

“Clouds”

It rained on me.  Again.

Three blocks left, I had.  Three blocks to walk with my knee and hip trying to one-up each other for who could hurt worse.  All with on-again, off-again rain to liven my morning.  Lovely.

And, no, the pain wasn’t some noble suffering for a life well-lived, or any other such nonsense.  It was just the normal breakdowns we all eventually suffer.  It was too many miles, and too much abuse, on a body not meant for that shit.

“I’m sorry,” she yelped as she dodged me at the last moment.  A heartbeat’s pause, then, as she looked at me.  “Do you need a hand?  Can I help with anything?”

No, I hadn’t been looking where I was going, dear reader.  Thanks very much for reminding me.  The girl, however…

Red hair and green eyes.  The hint of an accent.  Young and pretty and active, if the agility with which she had jumped was any guide.  Her smile was open and artless, warmth and concern all at the same time.

The rain stopped even as she spoke, because…of course it did.

I was grateful for the pause, and for the diversion.  I smiled back.  Well, at least I tried to smile in answer to her warmth.  There was a grimace in that smile, unfortunately, when my hip decided to jump into the conversation.  I hoped she thought it was just the rain I mopped from my face.

“I’m fine,” I lied.  She nodded dubiously, then showed the barest hint of a turn.  I was a bit desperate, I admit.  But those eyes, that smile.  How long since I had felt the warmth?  “Your accent…you’re from Dublin?”

A laugh, then, to go with the smile.  “County Cork, actually…”

Just then, just as she looked to say more, the clouds opened up again.  Streaming, pouring, soaking rain.  A flush, and a little skip of her feet, and she said, “Stupid rain.  I have to run back to work.  Take care!”

And then she was gone.

I looked up.  I don’t know if I was looking to the clouds, or at God Himself, but I looked up and started cursing.

{Music Note — it’s a stretch, but we’ll go with it because I like it…and because the protagonist has a lot more history than just 345 words!}

Okay, final random note — thank you, Matt Groening, for today’s inspiration!

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