THE SKY WAS canvassed with a fury of dark clouds that threatened torrents of bitterly cold rain. The distant horizon flashed with the erratic glow of lightning; the angry rumble of thunder rolling through the over grown valley, washing over the stoic figure in hiking boots.
He calmly pushed his unkempt hair from his world-weary eyes, a sardonic laugh bubbling from his pink, chapped lips. Hell of a day for a hike.
He clutched his worn blue jacket in somber, calculating hands. How much time before god’s intrigue over-took him? Maybe an hour? Surely not enough time to vacate this rocky asylum. His dark eyes scanned the mountain around him, searching for the patch of rubble upon which he would stand sentinel to her wrath. He managed his task just as the clouds spewed out their first few pathetic raindrops.
The true storm hit him with the force of a hurricane, its moving winds rising from nowhere, crashing into him, wrapping around him, pushing him sliding back, at first. The sky opened up as if stabbed by an unseen cosmic sword, sheets of cold rain spraying from its gaping wound. The arid earth drank until it could take no more and writhing water rose up all around him, licking hypnotically at the soles of his soiled boots.
Hell of a day for a hike.
The wind howled like a demon in his red throbbing ears, her voice talking to him, telling him to lie down and drift under, but the man would not. Lightning crashed around him touching down so close he was thrown from his sacred ground, but he would not stay down. He rose from the ankle deep water and watched the world disintegrate before him. Tree’s bent and snapped in the wind, the ground turned to mud and oozed down the pitted mountainside, melding with the rising water. The wind gusted harder and the rain thickened until it seemed like every tear became one. Could this be another one of God’s cruel jokes? The man prayed not, he still needed her. Her reassuring looks, her comforting caress.
The grimy water was to his knees now, tugging at his frayed pant legs, icy fingers grabbed maliciously at his already fatigued muscles and tried to pull him into its depths, but the man would not give up. The wind raged around him, tugging at his shoulders, desperately trying to knock him off his rock into the rushing brown water. The demon shrieked irately in his already ringing ears, growing shrill and angry until one word found his ear, and the man’s resolve shattered. Tears flooded his face. It can’t be over, why can’t she see?
He staggered backwards mortally wounded, slipping into the deeper waters around him. The current caught his foot, wrapping around it like a rope and towed him further away from his rock of resistance. He fought frantically to regain control of what he’d had, but the damage was done and the man drifted helplessly under the frigid depths.
Bubbles swirled around his flailing arms, his despondent scream swallowed by the birth of his liquid coffin. Rigid hands clawed towards the dark surface while tired legs kicked out beneath him. The silence of the depths was replaced with the irritated crack of thunder; it’s lightning illuminating his shaggy head as it bobbed out of the murky water. His pale hands stretched out recklessly, attempting to find purchase on the slimy rocks he was dashed against as he flew down the mountain on his mad journey, his aqueous transmission.
Hell of a day for a hike, hell of a way to die.
Morbid thoughts gurgled out of his subconscious, permeating his fear and desperation, pushing him to survive. He thought about the guitar he would never play for her again. He could see her seductive eye’s brimming with salty tears, her ruby lips pursed truculently. Never again would he kiss them. His mind swirled with grief. He fought for salvation, fought for the chance to hold her in his arms again, for the chance to make things right.
The rain slowed to a soft pitter-patter, drumming carelessly on his flushed face as he raced down the mountain. His muscles convulsed, sending him surging through the swift moving water. If he could just get a grip maybe he could turn this hell around. He clattered painfully into a monolith slab of granite. Frantic hands dug for some kind of a grip, finally finding it. His breath came in rattling gasps as he dragged himself halfway out of the turbid water. The undertow pulled maliciously, tearing his left boot from his foot with an elemental sucking noise. Gone with the rain, gone with her.
A single ray of pristine sunlight split the cottony gray clouds, filling the sodden man with his first real sense of hope since the start of the epic deluge. The shriek of the wind died down to a dull roar, the demon’s voice gone until another day, another storm. The river around him still raged as if from some broken dam, but the water would dry up soon enough and be forgotten by all but her and the stoic figure.
With unrivaled determination he pulled his weather-beaten body fully out of his would be watery grave. Relieved tears trickled down his filthy cheeks, leaving faint trails of pale flesh. A dirty arm reached towards the heavens and he thanked God for the suns warming rays and watched as the swift water raced by him, his tormentor no more. The aching burn of a million and one cuts and scrapes weighed heavily on his mind as he eyed his bootless foot, his once white sock dyed an earthy brown. How in the hell was he going to get down this mountain with only one shoe? Rich laughter burst from trembling lips, echoing down the boulder-strewn mountain.
Hell of a break up.