“Storm”

(This is an excerpt from my very first short story which was published by Minerva Rising Literary Journal for their Winter 2013 edition.)

The first snowflakes drifted lazily. Tentatively. Moments passed between them, as if they were deciding which direction to go – or if they needed to fall at all. Then, with a sudden shift in the wind, they grew in size and numbers, crashing against each other with violent ferocity. A moment later, another shift and they slowed, resuming their lazy fall like feathers, lacking will once again.

Indecisiveness was something she could understand.

There was something different about this storm. An urgency – a desperation that it needed to matter – to be taken seriously and not pass unnoticed. Its towering masses of roiling grey had been piling against the hills for days, the hum of something about to happen hanging in the air.

The landscape was being reinvented before her eyes. Dirty prairie grass, still matted from the last storm, suddenly glittered gold against the white snow.  The rusted places on the metal barn roof now blended with the grey sky. Midwinter’s barren ugliness was becoming sensual instead of filled with dull color and sharp edges.

The woman sighed, momentarily immobilized by the beginnings of change.

The snow fell with determination now, blanketing the ground and fighting against wind that whipped it back into the air. Leaning forward, her breath steamed the windowpane as she watched her boundaries transform. The world beyond the sagging barbed wire fence opened to her imagination.

The silence of heavy snowfall reached through the walls of the old farmhouse, settling on her heart, covering the jagged wounds of her weary story. She shrugged her shoulder against the memories and the tear that rolled over the yellowing bruise on her cheekbone.

The oppressive clay-dirt solidity she knew with such unflinching harshness was changing.  Details erased, only the softened outline of what was important to know remained. The burrs that latched on to her as she moved throughout her day were now impotent and cowering. Weighted and drooping, bare limbs allowed passage where none had been before. Everything was softened, beckoning. The old world was distorted and enlightened. This storm called her into its depths instead of repelling her with its challenges…

To read this  in its entirety please purchase  Minerva Rising Literary Journal – Winter 2013  online or at Elliot Bay Books in Seattle.  Please support this outstanding collection of women’s writing!

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