Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rainy Day Blogfest

I am back to the blogfest rounds! Whoohoo! I want to thank Christine H. blogging at The Writer's Hole for hosting this. In my early drafts I usually have an issue with time. I tend not to give enough weather cues to help recognize the passage of months, years, whatnot. It's something I'm working on :P So this exercise was particularly valuable in stretching those writer-ly muscles :D Hope you enjoy!

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Shayla paused mid-swipe with her dust cloth. The first of the autumn rain tapped the window, distracting her from her task. She folded the cloth as she moved toward the rocking chair. Ah, she thoughts as she sat, here is why Omae-Hehriya loves this spot so. Looking down on the town, she could see almost every corner, every street. But in Gellayna's empty room all was safe. There were no entanglements with the guards winding their way into the merchant's square with their hoods were lifted against the rain, and shoulders hunched against the wind. Or the smugglers doing their best to avoid the guards, dragging a heavy box through the mud of a street running parallel. So much life, and from the room of Omae's absent daughter.

There's something sad about that, Shayla thought. The message was made even more poignant in the rain. Death and life seemed so close together, and the world...felt silent. She could sit and watch the children race through the streets and dodge about the guards stomping through the mud, but the steady streams of water made the world feel muted. It was distant. Like looking at everything through a gauze curtain.
Does Omae feel this way all the time? Both her children gone to who knows where? And Ehjin...

Shayla stood as soon as her thoughts strayed back to her husband. He had work to do, she shouldn't be worried. But fear of potential dangers nagged her, no matter how she wished it away. So she dusted. She cared for Gellayna's parents, because Gellayna was no longer there to do so.
Now, as she glided into the hall, to get away from the rain, one image haunted her thoughts. Ehjin, on a farmer's mount, traveling from village to village, spreading word. Planning an evacuation no one wanted. Plotting resistance in the rain and mud. While Gellayna remained in the cold Ednin castle to the north, and Teshen did whatever he did...

Who's life? Who's death? And would the rain prolong it, or just grant the illusion of distance?

“Ah!” Omae Hehriya called as Shayla made her way down the stair. “I made soup! Perfect for today, yes?” The old woman beamed at her, but Shayla was beginning to develop an idea of what pains she hid. She hid them well. I must learn to hide my fears so skillfully.

“Soup!” Khirisse called, trailing her toddling sister as she rushed in from the outdoors.

“Children!” Shayla and Omae said at once.

“Mud,” Shayla reminded in a softer tone. Khirisse looked down at her self and winced. “Ays' fault.”

“I'm sure,” Shayla said, “But get out of those clothes first.”

“All right.” Khirisse heaved a sigh. When her daughter was on the stair, Shayla rolled her eyes.

Omae laughed. “I'm sure you were every bit as over dramatic as they.”

“It's entirely possible.”

“Now, how about that soup?”

“Perfect, Omae.” But in the kitchen, spoon in hand, she heard the rain again and thought of her absent loved ones. All over again, she worried how they fared.


  1. This was very sentimental. right into the characters head. I enjoyed reading it. My favorite line: "So she dusted" it was absolutely perfect. it fit real nice into where you put it, and holds so much for such a small sentence.

  2. Thank you Summer :D It was certainly fun to write!

  3. I liked this, very thoughtful. Sometimes a window into someone's head and heart is more worthy of focus than all the 'happenings' surrounding.

  4. Nice piece. I like the way the rain seemed to play an important part in the scene and what's to come. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love how the emotion mirrors the weather. Very nice job.

  6. This could be a bit of nice writing. One little nagging thing is the confusion of letting two characters speak and react in the same paragraph. When you change perspectives, you much change paragraphs or it becomes one big muddle. Your story telling is good, that is clear, but it will be great when we know who's head we are in and who is saying what.

    Thanks for letting me comment.

  7. Dreamoore, if that's your real name, then that's freaking awesome!

    Wendy did the same thing you did: The possessive form of who is whose, not who's. Replace your who's with whose.

    The imagery was brilliant. Imagery and setting plunge me into a story, and I felt your story, especially the empty seat at the window. I sensed the backstory without being force-fed.

    Nicely done.

    - Eric

  8. I love the element of nostalgia and preoccupation brought on by the rain.

    "She could sit and watch the children race through the streets and dodge about the guards stomping through the mud, but the steady streams of water made the world feel muted. It was distant. Like looking at everything through a gauze curtain. "
    Love this part.

    I agree with Eric on " Who's life? Who's death?" should be Whose life....etc.

    Also " over dramatic" struck me as strange in the character's voice...but that could be just me.

  9. @ Eric, lol, yes it's my real name, though Drea is technically a nickname. I was always to feminine to be an "Andy" so i went with "Drea" when I was 13 and haven't looked back...

    Thanks for the support and critiques! This is all super helpful :D

  10. And look...wrong word. Meant "too" hehe :D

  11. A few grammatical and structural errors aside, there's a lot to appreciate about this piece and with another revision it will sing. I'm curious about what's going on in this home and the rising storm coming at them. With that said, I loved the imagery in this piece the empty chair, the rain muting the life outside, and the comforting old woman. Great job!

  12. Drea - I enjoyed this piece. It wasn't flashy or fast-faced, but it flowed very well and held my attention. I wanted to know more. Lovely. =D

  13. Sorry I'm so late with my comment...

    I love this passage:
    "...but the steady streams of water made the world feel muted. It was distant. Like looking at everything through a gauze curtain."

  14. Thank you everyone! I really appreciate the comments!

    @roh-- lol! I think that's one of my faves too, glad you appreciated it :D

    @ Brenda-- feel free to tell me exactly where the grammar is off :P I pay so much attention to story that I can miss grammar issues in my own writing. I'm working on that :P I've discovered I can find it easily enough in others' writing...but need help with my own :( So thank you :D

  15. This is certainly a much more subtle use of rain than many of the other entries; very little was mentioned, but when it was, it conjured vivid images, e.g. hunched shoulders in rain. Rain still seemed to be integral in the scene, so--well done!