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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)

TITLE: When the rain comes
By Daniel Johnson


“I hope it doesn’t rain.” She said this rubbing the tape in her hand. She said it looking out the bus window, distracted by the white lines flashing in the median. Persistent white lines that was endless. She was addicted to cocaine most of her life. Another persistent white line that flashes before eyes, once tasted who can endure. Two rows back someone has been bumping coke, meth, or heroin since St. Louis. It’s systemic. It is cyclical. Colds are random- chaotic.
“What do you mean rain?”
“Do you have a cold?”
“Yeah, allergies.” He looks at the Florida Panhandle. Shortly, before he’s back to crumpling up his stash of coke, tucking it close to his chest, near his beating heart. “What, what’s wrong with rain.” He states seriously. He talks frankly- if there is a concern about the rain, he should know. He was almost paranoid. No one should know that. No one could tell he’s been up. Usually on the 4th day he starts to see ’Him’. ‘He’ looks nice; ‘He’ dresses in cream clothes, smiles like a class president or drug representative in a doctor’s office. But when ‘he’ leans in ‘he’ says that ‘the man should go.’ He says, ‘You need to leave’; which means ‘suicide’. ‘He’ often comes with rain. “This is the sunshine state right”
“Yeah” She looks. ”Where are you from?”
“Ireland” he looks out the window. She was a wholesome woman, unhindered.
“I’ve only seen pictures-” she says, handing him her cassette of tissue. Tissues-like white flags folded in cellophane.
“Of Ireland? - thank you” She nodded looking at the line of clouds. “It’s quite dreary. I’m a military brat, so I don’t have an accent” He smiles “But it rains often” He looks to where she looks. “What’s this rain you speak of?”
“What’s that?”
“You said, ‘I hope it doesn’t rain’.”
“Oh yeah.” She smiles. “My brother, he has been through so much. We both have, but, to make a long story short. I was hoping that the rain holds off until I can give him my present.”
“You’re going to visit your brother”
“What’s wrong?”
She looked up to his eyes. She looked at his left eye and then to his right. “He’s…in a situation where the doctors have given up hope.” He hated pain. He hated seeing helpless pain where he was deemed powerless.
“And I wanted to give him this present before it-“He hands the tissue back. He finishes her sentence.
“Before the rain comes”
“Yeah.” She wipes. ”So-”
“What is it? If you don’t mind me asking”
“Oh it’s a-a song”
“A song?”
“Yeah it’s a song, it means a lot me. When I was told that my situation was hopeless. It just meant a lot” She pulled a cassette tape up. “You want listen?”
She took her head phones out. She placed the tape in his hand.

He listened. He looked at her eyes. He listened to her gift. He held her brothers gift in his hand, whom the doctors had said there was no hope. He cried now, as he did as a child, when men in cream coats came to the door. They stated that it was time for him to go to a foster home. They looked like his dad when they said it was time for them to leave. He wept when the officers said his parents were no longer going to be around. No one could stop the rain then, not after the car drove off. Not the foster parents with warm meals and tender care. Not after watching out the rain distorted window for hours. For years he’d look for his parent’s car to drive up on nights where it would rain. When the rain would outlast the day, he couldn’t stop the rain. No one could.

When the rain comes
it seems that everyone has gone away
When the night falls
you wonder if you shouldn’t find
someplace to hide
escape the pain
but hiding’s such a lonely thing to do

I can’t stop the rain
From falling down on you again
I can’t stop the rain
But I will hold you till it goes away

When the rain comes
You blame it on the things
That you have done
When the storm fades
You know that rain must fall on everyone
Rest awhile
It’ll be alright
No one loves you like I do

When the rain comes
I will hold you

Third Day

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Member Comments
Member Date
Edy T Johnson 05/12/06
There is a sweet story, here, and interesting conversation that moves the reader along. You have the creative touch(Step 1). What is needed is something to better distinguish who is doing the talking. As it is, I find it confusing.
So, Step 2, the drudgery of editing, might be helped by having a friend read--and highlight--where clarity is needed. Keep writing, and don't neglect the editing :)
Helen Paynter05/15/06
You have a very interesting style of writing, and I can't make up my mind about it. Some of it is brilliant, and some of it is a bit too oblique, I think. If you can harness your talent for words, you'll do exceptionally well. I hope that doens't sound too negative, becasue it's not intended to be. Keep your creativity flowing, and as Edy says, edit, edit, edit!