Crashing Storms, Thundering Skies

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Jury

Peels of thunder rock the world below, thin fingers of electricity curling from the skies into the ground, gripping it with a feverish yearning before winking out of sight.

She watches the sky, wind billowing through her hair as heaven rains hell down upon the earth. It’s soothing, in a way. Chaos burning bright and heavy, cracking great trees like twigs and leaving scorch marks like cigarette burns. It’s chaotic, but no more chaotic than anything else in life.

She eases herself into her old, creaking rocking chair. A shoddy thing, really, but after thirty-some odd years of ownership she’s loath to throw it away like some moldy newspaper. Despite her bones creaking just as loud, a deep ache in her fingers and wrists and knees and ankles, she wouldn’t trade this moment for anything.

It’s the one thing that stayed constant. Every April, every month or two up until winter smacks her small slice of existence with a metal bat, she takes a chunk out of her day to watch the clouds darken. Watercolor dipped onto a canvas of blue, spreading inky pools until a thick, grey haze coats everything.
As it does, the wind picks up, howls of anticipation, a siren song carrying promises wholly true. That’s how she knows it’s not a passing squall. The sky darkening means nothing— anticipation that never quite hits the mark, an itch just out of reach.

But the snapping of leaves against each other, trees turning their branches like beggars holding their palms in silent reverence and plea— that’s how she knows.

She also knows how downright sappy she can get. She could blather on about the weather for hours— a topic of small talk, a water cooler chat, flipped on its head.

She cradles her tea tighter, rubbing her thumb against the smooth, worn ceramic imprinted with decades of use. She’s a single speck of calm in the storm, rooted steadfast and stable. That ought to count for something, she thinks. Not many people can say that.

That’s why she likes weather, the worse the better. A chance to test her metal— a chance to test it that won’t end in disaster. She’s lived a long, long life, and she’s near certain that chances like this in real life do end in disaster, actually. But storms, they come and go. In like a lion, out like a lion, but she read once that lions sleep most of the day, just like house cats. A period of utter turmoil tempered by long, long stretches of peace and quiet and calm.

She likes the storms, but she likes the calm too. There hasn’t been much calm.
But, with a wry smile and a crack of thunder, she thinks that might be alright, too. Chaos brings change, and she doesn’t mind that so much— the world needs change, and good can be found in just about any situation.

Her drink burns as it goes down, but it leaves behind a rich, hearty flavor. A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, and April showers nip at the heels of Spring, wildfires making room for wildflowers.

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