This month my writing group used “weather” as our prompt. It’s always fascinating to hear what others come up with. One person wrote a rather twisted poem about weather the punishment capricious gods use to torture us measly humans.

I took a different approach, and wrote a short piece. Enjoy!

Vicky usually enjoyed the daily walk to the mailbox. Her long drive curved through the woods, dodging tall oaks and birches. The whispering leaves were good company, the shifting patterns of sunlight filtering through the leaves entertainment. Every day her walk was different.

Not always in a good way. Clouds had rolled in during the night, pushed along by a stiff breeze. She pulled on a jacket and wrapped a scarf around her neck, pursing her lips. Clouds in the morning always meant bad news. That’s what her mother always said. Mother was usually right.

As she walked out the door, a stiff breeze seized her breath and carried it away. She shivered, then resolutely pulled her door shut. Wrapping her arms around her, she set off down the drive, head bent into the wind.

Most days she loved getting mail. But not on a day like today. What bad news were the clouds warning her about? She bent to pick up a few sticks that had fallen in the night. Probably bills she forgot to pay. The wind picked up and stung her face with its icy touch.

She was almost at the end of her driveway when the clouds made good on their promise of rain, abruptly dropping cold water that drenched Vicky’s hair as rapidly as if she were taking a shower. Now she was certain. The mail was sure to bring news of some disaster. The IRS probably thinks she owes them money from 2008. Or all her relatives died. A tear rolled down her face, cooling when it mingled with the rain.

She dashed for the mailbox, seized her letters, and thrust them under her coat. She trotted home, and without taking off her coat, shuffled through her letters. Three requests for donations to political candidates, and a postcard from a niece on vacation in Costa Rica.

So much for the clouds and their bad news. She pulled off her coat and flung it over a chair, wincing as chilly water dripped from her hair and rolled down her neck.

Then she winced again. I let myself get all bent out of shape, imagining the worst because of Mom’s silly superstition. Never again. She stood at the window, watching the rain wash away the summer’s dust, and with it, her gloomy fantasies.

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