I was tagged for this by Mel a bit back, so let’s get this out of the way, because I still have another tag post pending…
- You pick your first word, your setting, and your story genre from the list below. As individuals, your brand of creativity is unique to you, so we want to highlight that by letting you choose from a bunch of words and creating something beautiful out of it.
First Word Setting Genre Fall
Slice of Life
- The short story will have a limit of 1000 words. You do not need to write a story with 1000 words exactly. It could be 300, or 500 as long as it doesn’t surpass a thousand.
- YOU HAVE TWO WEEKS TO ANSWER THE TAG.
- You must tag three people to participate.
- Don’t forget to link back to Keiko (use her latest post for now) so she can collect all the stories. You can’t just link back to her WordPress, since she won’t be alerted of the pingback. You need to link back to a post or a page, because WordPress works like this.
- Use the Create-A-Story picture in the post.
- Copy and paste the rules in your tag post as well, so others can be clued in to the Create-A-Story rules.
The brunette girl pressed her face up against the glass, her blue eyes sparkling as her gaze went out towards the trees and other plants being coated in a fine layer of rain. As she watched, her tiny mouth set in a line, nature seemed to speed up the intensity of its water-dumping.
With a swish of her arm, the girl’s mother closed the curtains to their cottage, to the tune of the rain growing ever stronger, never seeming to stop…
Skip forwards in time a bit. She’s been in this hospital in a forest, far from civilisation, for many years now. Her Mother insisted it was “for her safety”.
Then again, how many years has it been since she was told that? Thirteen…?
She doesn’t remember. For a lot of the time she’s been here, she’s been forced to stay awake, by chemicals being constantly pumped into her, always Under the Watchful Eye of Mother. She spends the time reading and studying whatever she can, but according to all the medical books she’s found, there should be no drug that causes her to stay awake for years on end.
One day, a TV was on in the waiting room, and as I passed by it, I only registered a bit of what the weather reporter – a drab man with greying hair, facial wrinkles and a brown suit – was saying: “…drought. It’s been thirteen years since the last torrential rain has fallen. The lakes are starting to dry up and although people don’t feel the effects now, they will eventually.”
Just then, Mother came and turned off the TV with a brief blink of the display and a tiny noise from her perfectly rounded nails. “Don’t listen to him, my little swallow. You can’t trust him.” The “swallow” was me: Tsubame. I’d learnt that recently, in one of those picture books for a language I’d been allowed to study after hearing children speak it outside the window.
Tsubame = swallow.
Ame = rain.
“Mother, am I responsible?” I mumbled, after a period of (possibly unwanted) silence.
Her mouth creased downwards on one side. It was hard to tell, but a lifetime of doing nothing made me aware of everything.
“Don’t be ridiculous.” She beamed an artificial smile at me and disappeared, almost as quickly as she’d come.
I returned to my bed as my thoughts proceeded to implode.
Every time I got upset, the rain would always be enough for everyone else. Was that why I was locked away?
I curled up on top of the allocated bed and, feeling my face grow hot, buried my face in my arm.
The last thing I saw before I closed my eyes was…rain. I hadn’t heard the sound of the heavens pouring their contents on to the world in thirteen years, so for once I let the sound wash over me…
…soon, the hospital began to show signs of leakage. Then, as my suspicions were confirmed, the tears didn’t stop. At the same time, the water kept sneaking in from outside.
“Tsubame…what’s gotten into you?!” Mother cried, her dark hair creating a curtain in front of her face for a second. As I raised my blue eyes to meet her brown ones, my heart flopped into my chest and my tear-streaked face fell into one of despair.
She was faking her sympathy for me. I guess I should’ve known all along.
I knew I wasn’t normal. But why should I not have the right to live like a normal person, just because I cause heavy rain?
Mother’s eyes glimmered as she positioned herself to tower over me, ignoring the fact she was now about waist-deep in water. “I guess you’ve realised. You’re not human…and neither am I.” The rain and the water around her began to compete with her explanation. “I am what people would call a ‘goddess of the earth’, and I was trying to protect the people of this island nation from flooding. I’m sorry, but since I’ve seen the people of this land suffer, I believe it’s time for you and I to return to where we came from…Let’s give them back what they want.”
Those were Mother’s last words, before the rain consumed us.
A few months after the unusual drought, the weather reporter got lost in a dense forest. When he finally managed to get back to civilisation, he recounted vivid experiences of playing with an adult woman apparently named after a bird – the barn swallow, typically known as a bird of freedom – and her mother. For some reason, the rest of the island got a lot of rain while he was gone.
Were the man’s experiences real, or were they merely the delusions of a brain trying to survive? Well, only Tsubame and her Mother really know…
Hmm…even after hours of working on it (I think I’ve taken about 7 hours on around 600 words + a bunch of aborted story beginnings), I’m not quite happy with this. However, getting the story right was starting to bug me to a detrimental degree after working on it for about one week, so I figured I’d release it the way I had it already. Do you like it?
I’m going to nominate thse guys. I didn’t chck whether you’ve don the tag or not, so ignore me if you’ve done it already, and feel free to do it if you haven’t been nominated here and haven’t done it yet: