The Man in the Rain
The wind blew across the hill, through the trees, rattling leaves, bowing the grass as it went, traveling down rows of granite. It reached a lone figure kneeling before a solitary piece of marble. The breeze rustled his hair but he didn’t seem to notice. He was lost in a world all his own. His breathing was labored as though he had just been running, even though he knelt there unmoving, his breathing never changed. Time passed and a few came here and there, leaving flowers and shedding tears. A procession passed and twenty one shots rang through the air. Still the man knelt.
The sun started the latter part of its journey as clouds started to gather. A beautiful day passed, families visited parks. Couples had picnics. Kids played, and poets dreamt. A cloud passed in front of the sun, and a slight change could be seen in him, but only slight.
His jaw tightened and his mouth became a slight line. His hands clenched to fists and his eyes shut tight. When he opened them it was raining heavily. Rain poured down from the once clear skies. Picnics were packed up and families gathered together to head home. As the rain poured from the sky, the tears of the gods, the man stood. He turned down the row of graves and started to run. Rain splashed into his grey eyes as he hurtled dangerously headlong. Tombstones flashing by in a blur, names, faces, countless stories, all unimportant in the man’s reckless rush towards a stone wall in the distance.
He stretched his legs as far as they would go, pumping furiously. Rain soaked him to the bone, staining his mahogany hair black and plastering it to his head. The wall loomed much closer now and the man hurtled it, one hand firmly on the chest high wall he flung his body over and to the sidewalk beyond. He sprinted down the street hitting the corner flying around it right into a wall of umbrellas. Bodies pressed in on him but he pushed forward, undeterred. Angry glares aimed at the unknown offender failed as the culprit was already gone. Single-mindedly he continued fighting through the crowd of bodies, colors flashing, styles, lives, stories waiting to be told. Like the tombstones before, the man ignored them and pressed on.
Ahead was a clearing in the crowd, the man dove for it making his way out of the sea of bodies. Lights came flashing down the street, careening wildly as the man was barely missed. Unflinchingly the man continued at his breakneck pace, horns blaring protest. Sedans, sport utility vehicles, Lorries, mid life crisis mobiles, all screamed by as the man crossed the ocean of light and sound. With a final leap the man cleared the street only to be smashed into by a bicycle messenger, tangled they fell to the ground. Cursing the man the messenger tried to untangle himself and right his transportation, but the man responsible was already gone disappearing down the block.
The man ducked around people, weaving through the crowd like an old woman with her wool and needles. He was so close to his destination, he knew, but now his body started to fail him, his breathing was ragged; his heart was exploding with every heartbeat. More sweat was pouring off of him then the torrential rains of the downpour.
He reached a small unassuming doorway just as another man with his dog was going out. He slipped passed the man and straight into the stairwell, hurtling upwards three steps at a time. Six stories the man flew up, past newlyweds in their first home, to home wreckers in the very act, widows, nightshifts man, and broken families. All the stories of all the people inconsequential when compared to the man’s purpose. He hit the top of the stairs to find the door cracked open, muscles screaming in protest he shouldered it open and pushed through. The sight that greeted his eyes pulled the last breath from his chest. A girl, no more than seventeen years of age stood at the edge of the roof looking down as a boy of the same age sat on his knees tears streaming down his face as he plead. The rain made it hard to see as it escalated to hurricane levels and then quickly subsided to summer mist and cycled. The man still carrying his momentum pounded forward. The entire length of the roof lay between him and the teenagers as the girl spread her arms and began to fall forward.
As he pushed himself into a sprint he gritted his teeth, tasting the enamel as pressure cracked the white shields. Forward he flew, cords of muscles contracted to the breaking point and then beyond, snapping like steel cables. With each step every breath was shear agony as the wind sucked in exploded his lungs. Each footfall landed with the force of an explosion, blood vessels burst with every step leaking vital fluid, the whites of his eyes slowly turned red. His arms pumping in rhythm, finger nails cut into his palms as blood flowed freely down his forearms, adding their drops to the rainfall. He closed the distance with his heart hammering into and out of rhythm; electricity jumped and arced through his synapses sending the burning fires of pain scorching to the man’s brain until it started shutting down. The light faded from the man’s eyes as he blew past the boy, just now starting to jump to his feet, tears streaming from his stormy gray eyes and a scream bursting from his lips. The last of the man’s energy slammed through his nerves guiding them in their last movement. His arms reached forward and grabbed the girl as she began to leave the roof. Torn muscles and tissues operating on pure will threw the girl bodily backwards onto the safety of the roof propelling the lifeless body of the man down into the abyss. A bloody, gruesome raindrop, destined to meet with the same fate as all rain.
For a moment the world was still, the boy holding the girl crying, the man in the air dying, the people in the building striving, the cars in the street driving, the umbrellas on the sidewalk contesting, the graves in their field resting. And the lonely rain as it fell, but rain must fall and fall it did; the vast ground beneath, looming up to catch and drink it as always.
A body hit the ground.
The man opened his eyes as the cloud drifted past, its momentary shade moving on. A slight breeze drifted down the hill and along the grassy field and tousled a solitary man’s hair as a single drop landed on a marble headstone.