call the storm, reprise

It was, oh, years ago that I wrote a story about a girl named Kelly Hayes summoning a storm, mostly by accident. She was upset, I guess. It probably wasn't a very good reason, because I didn't really understand what a good reason was back then. It was all about broken love and lost romance, people torn apart by cruelty, by indifference, by the boundless distances that yawn between us.

I didn't really know where I was going with that story. I didn't even know if she was supposed to be a villain. But you carry your characters with you forever, and right now, as the rain has just showed up for the first big storm of the season, I'm remembering her: stirring up a storm in her coffee, telling her friends that all she wanted was a storm. I thought it was about an apocalypse, then, but I know better.

I've been waiting for the rain for hours now. I walked out to the bike trail that runs along Lake Washington, settled down under a tree, and waited. Already I'm soaked to the bone and shivering, but that's not enough. I need the wind, howling around my ears. I need to watch the lights of the city blinking out as falling branches knock out the power.

There will always be things we can neither control nor understand. Some of them are as beautiful as they are terrifying.

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