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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)

TITLE: It was raining
By Michelle Vander Wal


It was raining. Really raining, scary raining, the kind of rain that drowns out satellite signals and floods streets. The storm had been forecast on the news and tracked by Doppler radar but still Sheri had decided to go to mall. As she looked out the double exit doors into the parking lot she couldn’t even make out the second row of cars. She stood there peering into the gray gloom. She mentally kicked herself.

“Charlie is going to be so upset,” she muttered as she shifted her weight to the other foot. Anxiously she stared at the rain. Wait, was it letting up? No, it was just a shift in the wind. The rain continued to pour with unabated fervor. What was she going to do? Her son would be waiting for her at the recreation centre, peering through the rain, looking for her. She knew she could get to her car but what then? The parking lot was already pooling water, the streets would be worse. In good weather it was a fifteen minute drive. In this, who knew how long it would take.

Sheri chewed the inside of her cheek in worry. She shifted to the other foot. Her hand cramped around the plastic bag she was carrying. She glanced down at the bag and then put it on the floor, flexing her hand. A few other people had gathered by the doors to take up the vigil on the weather. She glanced at the woman next to her. “Think it’s safe to drive in?”
“I wouldn’t unless I had somewhere important to be,” the lady replied, craning her neck as if an extra centimeter would give her a better vantage point. “But then I don’t have to drive, I’m taking the bus. All I have to do is wait.” She walked over to the side of the doors and craned her neck some more. Sheri sighed and looked around at the other people as if seeking some consolation for her predicament or consensus on what she should do next. She thought about Charlie staring out at the rain, leaning his forehead against the cold, clammy glass, willing for her to appear out of the colorless day.

“I am a mother,” she whispered to herself. “Neither sleet nor snow nor rain shall stop me from my appointed rounds.” Straightening her shoulders she steeled herself for what she was about to do. She walked up to the glass door. Glaring at the rain, as if daring it to do its worst, she pushed the door open against the wind and stepped outside. Immediately she was buffeted by stinging sheets of water. It was not just rain but full scale buckets that drenched her head. Cowering before the onslaught she began running. Or at least she tried to run. The ferocious nature of the storm forced her to defend herself and turned her mad dash into a limping shamble.

Sloshing through water that came over the tops of her shoes she angled her way across the seeming vast expanse of the parking lot. She hoped she remembered where she had left the car. Water streamed down her neck and underneath the collar of her shirt, the cold trickle working its way down her back. Instinct took over, she wasn’t even thinking of her son. Sheri just wanted to get to her car, to safety. A brief lull in the wind revealed her blue sedan two lanes away. “Thank God,” she murmured fervently and made a sprint for the vehicle before it became obscured again.

Gaining her objective Sheri wrenched open the door and threw herself inside, silently grateful for her terrible habit of not locking the doors. She took a couple of deep breaths and assessed her situation. Legs and feet, soaked and chilly; head, soaked, chilly and dripping; hands, clenching and unclenching to warm them up; body, only damp. She was good to go. Fumbling through her purse she located her keys and jammed them into the ignition. The engine sprang to life and Sheri leaned back to let out a sigh of relief. Putting on her seatbelt she said to the car, “Ok now, let’s just get through this, no funny stuff.” She put it in gear and pulled out of her parking space. Turning the wipers on full she squinted into the torrent. “Mommy’s coming, Charlie,” she vowed as she headed out.

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This article has been read 642 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christopher Gearhart10/24/05
Wow. Great use of imagery. I felt like I was right there. The situation hits home too...I take the bus to and from work, and when the it's running late in the afternoon, I go through the same mental gymnastics thinking about my son who is waiting for me to pick him up.
Jan Ackerson 10/24/05
Well-written; I liked your "voice." Shari was very realistically portrayed.
dub W10/25/05
Very descriptive and detailed. Be careful of overdoing the adjectives, but a very well done piece.
Nina Phillips10/27/05
I was thinking at the end, that she may have gotten in the wrong vehicle..but nahhh. I stayed with it, and realized that it was on the more serious end, from mom's heart, and was still pleased. God bless ya, littlelight
terri tiffany10/28/05
I really liked this! I was there with her and have been many times! I wanted to scold her for not locking her car at a mall though!!LOL Great story..you took a tiny moment in a mother's life and expanded the emotion of it very well!
Jesus Puppy 10/29/05
Awww, the sacrifice for a mother's love and dedication. Very well done.
Paul Potenza10/30/05
There are times in a parents' life when they have to bite the bullet. This is one such time. As a Dad, I have had a few of these moments too and I must agree with other comments which said that they felt like they were right there with you. Great descriptions. Charley is a lucky kid.