Short Story Sunday: Don’t Mind the Rain

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I find it soothing to sit by the window and listen to the rain pouring outside. There’s something peculiar about it, a soft noise that shatters the silence and puts you at comfort. I’m in my twenties now, living alone, it’s a Sunday night and I’ve already prepared for work in the morning so I’m lying on the sofa with my eyes closed and listening to the rain.

But my story doesn’t start here. My story starts in my childhood, during my years in elementary school. As it is common among kids of that age, we did a lot of sleepovers. The first one I remember was at Michael’s house. It took place on a Friday; his dad came to pick us up from school in their van and brought us directly to their house. It was Michael, me, Dean, and Henry. We spent most of the day playing outside in their yard. It was a large yard with a freshly mowed grass, several large trees and a few swings among them. To top it all there was a tree house skillfully hidden behind a layer of leaves – the perfect thing you need for pretending you’re ninjas or secret agents. All in all, there were enough things to keep us busy throughout the day. It feels like dinner time came barely moments after we started playing.

After dinner we resided to Michael’s room. We talked about happenings at school, we shared jokes and stories. As the night went on we could clearly hear the rain on the windows, and as it almost felt eerie combined with some of the scary stories being shared. You would think a bunch of little kids wouldn’t be able to sleep all night when they’re scared, but likely due to the sound of the rain or because we were tired from playing all day long, we quickly started falling asleep one by one. I had a bit of trouble sleeping on new locations, that’s probably why I was last to fall asleep, but the sound of the rain definitely helped.

I thought I was already asleep when my heartbeat became more prominent. The sequential lub-dubs were louder and louder each time. It took me a while to realize it wasn’t my heartbeat, but someone coming up the stairs. By the time I realized this, they were already at the door. Out of nowhere I felt a strange fear taking over my body. I noticed that I could no longer hear the rain, and I did not know when or how it stopped. In fact, I could no longer hear anything – it was a complete silence excluding the movement of whoever or whatever was outside that door. Even scarier is that I did not hear the door opening, yet I knew deep down that it was already in the same room. The sound of their movement was no longer muffled; there were neither walls nor doors separating us from it.

At this point I was seriously panicking, yet I could not do anything because I was immobilized, bewitched, and unable to move my body in anyway. My eye lids would not open regardless of the effort I put into the task. But whatever was in the room didn’t have this issue; it was now moving directly toward us. Directly toward me, more precisely. I could not hear my heart but I was sure it was beating like crazy at that moment. Beating like a person locked behind bars, as that is how I felt as the thing approached me. Or at least I thought it was approaching me. A few feet away it stopped and silence devoured everything but my thoughts. If I was afraid when it was coming my way, I have no words to describe my terror of not knowing what it’s doing or where it’s going. With no previous warning, the thing let out a ravenous loud roar and in the same instant my body shut down, the fear and shock likely too huge for the little boy back then.

I cannot tell you what precisely happened. What I can tell you is the next day we all woke up in Michael’s room, except Michael himself. Michael was gone, nowhere to be found. He still is, actually, they never found him and they never even got any lead as to what had happened to him. The same could be said of the rain. You see, when we told our story to our parents, they reassured us there was no rain and we were likely hearing something else. But we all know what we heard that night and in the nights to come, though I never shared with anyone what I heard during my attempt to fall asleep.

I didn’t even share it with Henry when Dean disappeared the same way. And once Henry disappeared the same way, I had no one to share it with even if I wanted to. So you see, when the sound of the rain is there it means there is no silence and that means the creature isn’t there. That’s comforting to know and that’s why I don’t mind the rain. But come to think of it, I’m not hearing the rain…

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