A Storm in the City

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The roads were a patchwork of old, pale rectangles of concrete mixed in with the smoother, darker pavement. Everything was stained gray by the dull light of the impending storm, but it wasn’t as if that was any different than usual. The town always had seemed bleak and colorless compared to the lively greens of the rolling hills and leafy trees out where I lived. Here, there were bits and pieces of nature, but it was hard to tell the difference between the purposeful landscaping and the overgrown, unkempt yards.

In the distance, the horizon was a hazy orange that abruptly turned to the color of steel if one were to raise their eyes just a bit. The rain had been off and on, not yet a downpour, though such an event was imminent. Wheels skidded, rather than ground, to a stop in a parking lot that had much more of the new pavement than the roads. A dash, made during a break in the rain, led me to a waiting room with four rows of chairs. The row that stretched off to the right of the door ended with a chair that sat before a window, which didn’t add any light to the room, but offered an unobscured view of the parking lot.

There was a crashing noise, not unlike that of an unskilled percussion section amplified to the tenth power, and the rain came pouring down. It smacked against the pavement and in an instant it looked as though it had reverted back to the tar from which it had been created – a bottomless black, yet also slick and shimmering like oil. The noise of it, the endlessly falling precipitation, was almost enough to drown out the booming thunder.

Even through the thick curtain of water, I was able to see the streams forming along the edges of the parking lot, flowing swiftly as though they had been there for years. They looked as though one would be washed away if they set foot in them.

However, within a few minutes, the storm subsided; the sky cleared, and became hesitantly blue instead of gray and orange. The only reminders that it had once been there were the unnaturally slick darkness of the roads and the clouded water that trickled around the cars. And a wavering hint of color opposite the sun – not strong or fully shaped enough to be called a rainbow, but certainly good enough for me.

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