Tuesday, August 24, 2021

First Storms and Then Rainbows

This wasn’t the first time he had stormed away fuming, after she refused to cuddle the weakling beast that was his ego whenever she disagreed with him. But as she watched him walk towards his car, carrying the last of his things out of the old cottage that used to be their home, she knew that it would be the last time. She followed him outside barefoot, her soles welcoming the soothing touch of recently rained on soil.

Turning around to look at her, he said, “Professor Bain might not share your ‘cripples, fags and chicks are so very oppressed’ opinions, but the man is beyond brilliant where it counts. And he would have seen my potential, if your mouth hadn’t shat on every chance he ever gave me.”

“I suppose prejudice, hatred and brainlessness can look like brilliance when it fits your views,” she said, wondering if she would ever be able to explain to her brain why she had shared her time and her body with a bigoted stranger for three years.

He got in his car. But before driving away, his gaze sizzled in her direction. “You can’t open your mouth without letting the whole world hear just how na├»ve you truly are. What you call ‘prejudice’, the rest of the us know as reality. You better get with the program, my dear, or no one who matters will ever take you seriously.”

As his car disappeared around a corner, disenchantment and rage blurred her vision before spilling down her cheeks. She looked down, blinked hard, and felt a few tears fall on her feet. She took a deep breath and wiped her face with the back of her hand. When more tears came, she let them rain, thinking, First storms and then rainbows.


photo by Harry Quan, on Unsplash

- the first draft of this story, which I shared in 2014, was written in the first person point of view. The original story had three characters, and they all had names. I feel rewriting her on her own, to confront him, makes her (and the story) a tad stronger. The same feels true (to me *cough*) about the anonymity; omitting the characters’ names leaves more focus for the plot, methinks.

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Weekly Scribblings #84: The Last Time and Writers’ Pantry #85: Things to remember if you’re not rich and famous yet.

37 comments:

  1. I don't recall seeing the earlier version, but this one is working well – and the title slogan is wonderful.

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    1. I shared it a very long time ago. I don't think we were blogging around together way back then.

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  2. It's amazing how tiny shifts can make such a big difference in delivery and impact. I like the way you went with this story. It does make it a powerful read.

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  3. Me thinks so too. That line "... no one who matters..." tells the whole truth, as it refers to those that matter to him not her XXX

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    1. My childhood librarian used to say "They'll show their soul in the crap that comes out of their mouths." I think she was right.

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  4. Oh Magaly not only are you a magical poetess but a magnificent storyteller as well..this hit me deep in my core and I love it..yes I love how you rewired this , it is powerful. The title as well is just brilliant. I also love that feeling you described her feet upon the wet rain soil..yes so soft and squidgy! I love visiting you realm it always ignites me! Have a beautiful day my witchy sister kindred.

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    1. Thank you so much, Victoria. I am so happy you enjoyed (and felt) the reading. I delighted in writing it.

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  5. Streamlining is always good with flash fiction, I think.

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    1. You know, I'm almost sure you were one of the people (way back then) who suggested that it might be more effective without names...

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  6. One man's prejudice is another's reality, and "who matters" is a matter of opinion. Age-old dilemma, well depicted in your flash fiction.

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  7. Brilliant story told
    Happy Wednesday

    Much❤love

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  8. OMG I want the prequel (how do I find it) and what comes next!!! I need it actually. Writing at its finest.

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    1. The prequel is in my head. I might ink it one of these days. The same goes for the sequel, since I've been thinking about her...

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  9. Meh, she doesn't need him. Let him ride away on his 4 wheeled steed. Her rainbows will be much prettier. Bring them on. But its ok to cry first. Tears wash away all the trash. Gosh, the imagination this story produces could go, and could have been, in so many directons. Well done!

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    1. I completely agree. Good riddance. She's so much better than I am. I would've probably kicked him in the teeth and bit. Then go to play with my rainbow.

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  10. I totally agree. This feels like a two-person story. Him and Her. Without names. It's incredible to me how you think you can "know" someone to discover you didn't know them at all. Everyone has their own perceptions. Of others and ourselves. And my goodness, some people just can't see. I laugh at those who claim to see "reality" like they're living everyone's truth. *rolls eyes dramatically

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    1. Reality is a rather subjective mistress. Only fools think that they know what's real for another. And sadly, the world is full of fools.

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  11. For some unknown reason I believe he was weaeing a tweed jacket and sporting a huge inferiority complex courtesy of his failure in academia. Sounds about right. I quite like the ending... "First storms and then rainbows". Wow. Whenever I feel the urge to bawl and ugly cry, I won't hold back now.

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    1. Now I can't stop picturing the character without that tweed jacket, lol!

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  12. Quite a story! I like the anonymity of characters, and the importance of issues they quarrel about. Reality can be subjective. Masterfully written story, Maga. I don't recall reading the first version, but I find this one intriguing.

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    1. Thank you, Khaya. I wrote the first version ages ago. I don't think we had run into each other yet.

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  13. i like this, i haven't read the original draft so i can't compare. is there more of this story to come? i'm feeling a little hooked and i want more =)

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  14. Intense, and I can't help feeling it is/was very real. Her feet are grounded and the rain washes the scene clean. And yes, the rainbows.

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  15. Enjoyed the story. maybe it will be better for her without him.

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    1. I think the absence of that excuse for a man will make things better for anyone, lol!

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  16. Brilliant! All the power to her! Big Hugs!

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