It’d been dark when you started but you had to get where you were headed at some point. You’re wearing the right clothes but your choice doesn’t matter, the rain pounds hard, relentless, soaks through. This early out, turning back is still an option; you can go home, strip, and crawl under the covers until shit clears up. The weather might not ever, and if that’s the case at least you’ll be comfy, not’ve lied to yourself.

But that wouldn’t be enough, would it? You left knowing about the miles of inclement weather in the sky, weren’t bothered by the lack of moon or stars, thought yourself prepared; though that hadn’t been true you still aren’t a quitter. At least, not when people know you’ve tried.

So on you walk, hands out to ensure your path through the darkness is obstruction free; when you’re not splashing through puddles the titter-tatter of rain fills your eardrums.

Where you’re going is where you’ve wanted to be your whole life, the dream you have no problem getting lost in thought about; you do. Paradise, even imagined, is infinitely more preferable than your environment; you can’t really escape the wet but non-acknowledgment gets you close enough.

By no means are you discounting the work yet to be done, path to be traveled; you know better than that, but you also know that you wouldn’t have pursued anything if you thought you weren’t going to succeed. No one tries to fail but some do let it happen to themselves; you won’t.

You aren’t psychic but fuck, you KNOW you’re predicting the future; there’s no other explanation for the feeling of rightness that comes with envisioning yourself at the end, successful, victorious, lounging in luxury. Things are meant to be that way.

The rain’s pour is as steady as when it started, enough fallen to finally have an effect: the ground gives, squishes no matter where you step and the air is hot, moist, needs to be waded rather than walked through. Your pants aren’t as rain-proof as the rest of your outfit, the fabric clings to your legs tighter, tighter as time goes by; rivulets of water run down and through the spaces that remain, all the way to your socks that’re adding to the mood by squelching underfoot. The cold water pooling between your toes makes the first thing you’re gonna do when you arrive an easy call: new socks.

Those are one of many amenities offered where you’re headed; have you thought about it lately? About how much of a relief it’s gonna be to look back on all the people you left behind and know it wasn’t for no reason? Maybe you could get to the point of being able to help and wouldn’t that be nice, grabbing an old friend with a device made from your success, use the tool to speed them through anything like your current struggle-

Something shifts, you look up, out of your hypothetical and the world is tilted; you’re falling and can’t hear the rain anymore so it’s likely in the midst of something big, a landslide, why else would the world shift? You’ve gained enough momentum to speed past the importance of the answer; you’re surfing on a piece of Earth, topping a wave of the same but your board shatters and you sink into, swirl around the swell of muddy water; hit your head off of something, drift deeper…

***

You come to at the edge of an unfamiliar field, check your body, and it’s, you, are alright. Thick trunked, barked, and branched trees rim the ring shape of the grass semi-circle in front of you; their constant brown is broken by an anomaly in the center, shorter and wider than what makes up the wall of plants; you approach, a breeze gently caresses your face; the weather has taken a break.

Once at the object you can call the drum set what it is though it’d seen better days; its covers were yellowed, and the metal that joins together the 5-piece set is rust covered. You only half-care to ask yourself why someone would set the drums up only to leave them there; they’re there so it’s not like it matters, you go beneath a tree and pick up two similar sized sticks, return to the drums and sit at the chair you hadn’t noticed before.

You tap the right tom-tom; a drop of rain splatters on on top of your head. Tap the left, it happens again. You slam your foot onto the bass pedal, send echoes across the field; thunder from lightning unseen BOOMS above you. There are two types of cymbals: rolling your sticks on the single copper circle brings hail, you hit the pedal for the high-hats to clash together; a lightning bolt shatters ground near you, sends a wave of worm-filled mud over you and the drums.

On you play and the Earth shakes, rattles to its core; you fall into a beat so natural, melodious, that it curves the weather around your body; wind picks up, chips flakes of rust from the drum set, erases the stains of time. Through the blur of your furiously pounding limbs it looks as if you’re playing an entirely new instrument.

But you stop, no reason to tire yourself out, there’s still somewhere you have to be; the weather keeps up though, and you hadn’t realized because it hadn’t been hitting you but things had gotten significantly more serious. You’re pinned to your seat by wind, feel waterboarded by the torrential rain while wild lightning strikes make certain spots on your face so hot that they momentarily dry; you barely manage to move your arm and the wind sweeps under, takes it and the stick you still hold into one of the drums.

Suddenly, you feel less pressure, repeat the process with your other hand; the wind starts to blow past instead of into you.

You have no choice but to play for the storm; how long can you hold out? You commit, but eventually fatigue forces everything into darkness.

***

You smell yourself; your skin is burning. You jump awake, lightly roll your sticks across copper so the morning sun doesn’t sit in one place too long….

 

The End

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