I finally gained access to some files from my old computer. I had backed them up properly but when I took the files from my external hard drive to my new computer, I didn’t have permission to access them. Sad day. After much hair pulling, googling, and trial and error, I have permission to view them again! Happy day!
And then I found all these old writing files with short stories, free writing, ramblings and such and I thought, maybe my blog is a place for these. I also found some old writings from high school, so that was fun 🙂
So to kick off what I hope might turn into a recurring event…here is my first Thursday Throwback to a story I wrote four or five years ago. I believe it was based off of a prompt I found online, and had to be under a certain word count, but I can’t say for certain. It’s not a piece I would normally write so it must have been a free writing exercise or something and I’m still conflicted about how I feel about it…anyhoo…here it is
Silence of the Rain
She expected no one to acknowledge her interruption. Feeble as it was. The assertion of a woman accustomed to being ignored. But however self-fulfilling this prophecy should have been, someone did notice.
“Do you have something to add, Mrs. Forsythe?”
She froze. A reply had not yet formed in her mind. So sure of her absolute insignificance, she had scarcely thought beyond her first tentative question. Slowly, heads turned and she was thrust to the forefront of everyone’s attentions. She felt a stirring in her breast, a jolt within her gut, and she was acutely aware of the sudden trembling in her hands. There was panic, but something more profound and unnerving alighted within her mind. She felt the blooming sensation of influence….of power.
The wave of anticipation swelled with each tortured second. Such a pressure she had never felt. Expectation…excitement that they believed she might provide something of interest and so opened themselves to her opinion.
These, who had gathered in support of women such as herself, were not only interested in her situation, or, more accurately, her previous situation, they seemed interested in her as an individual. To them, she was a person able to offer something of value, and with a voice worth hearing.
She had arrived in the darkest hour of night, when even nocturnal creatures dare not traipse about. Though haggard and lacking any physical possessions, save the dripping clothes on her tiny frame, they had welcomed her. The gentle smiles and engaging conversation appeared genuine, lacking the softened gaze of pity.
It was never called her new home or even a place for recovery. Always, it was the “Greenhouse,” a place to grow. A secluded haven and open forum with inspiring atmosphere and dialogue. And now, having lodged here for only ten nights and attending even fewer meetings, she was offered the floor.
Standing before them, she became more than a slight woman of thirty-five, disposed to averted gazes and mumbled apologies. She was not dull or lacking in capabilities envied in other women. For once she knew the curious looks were not appraising the fading bruise carefully concealed on her brow or the slow, shuffling way she walked.
Here was a chance to use her voice, so long silenced. And stand, though accustomed to crouching in shadow. A great weight settled upon her thin shoulders. It whispered in her ear of disillusioned dreams and a life of solitude. Surely these people knew more than she, women who had experienced far worse, women who were stronger, braver, and more eloquent. What could she offer that wasn’t already present in their minds?
But is that not why she had come here? As proof to herself that she was, in fact, capable of a life alone. And now, after only days, an audience sat at her disposal. They gazed at her with an interest he had never shown her…at least not in many years. Here an audience of strangers, or very nearly so, seemed enraptured by what she might profess.
Her tongue turned to stone. Her heart fluttered painfully, erratically within the cage of her defeated form. Words fought to tumble from her thinly set lips, but were not granted passage.
It would take but a shake of her head. Nothing more than a tremble, and the attention would shift. The meeting would continue.
She would be forgotten.
She could slip away and slink along the darkened streets. Following a path well known to her, she would cross beneath the white arbor and knock quietly at the door, clean and freshly painted. She would stand demurely, and gaze upon the daffodils she had planted last spring. She would not reach for her key. She would wait for him to grant her entrance…if he would take her back.
But no, she had fled that life, and no road she traveled this night would take her there by morning. Harshly she scolded herself for considering such an ill fated course. It was nothing more than a moment of doubt, fueled by her current uncharacteristic predicament, but extinguished by the room of understanding peers.
She flushed, embarrassed that her musings had caused an obvious pause while awaiting her reply. Only moments had passed, however, and none noticed her conflict.
In such unfamiliar surroundings, she knew not which would disappoint most, her words or her silence.
She breathed deeply, quieted the soft wavering of her form. And, with her gaze lifted, she spoke.