THE SKY looked like it was made of black marble. Its dark surface was clear and smooth, marred only by the occasional streaks of light. Five minutes ago, its color was like that of asphalt. A young man crossing the street was rendered motionless for a moment as he watched all the light disappear almost instantly. The dark clouds trapped the light, making the early afternoon dark as night.

What started as a low rumble suddenly erupted into a deafening roar. A little boy covered his ears in fright, and ran into his mother’s arms. He peeped out the window, only to close his eyes when he saw a couple of huge lightning bolts.

I felt the pressure building up. I waited, like a leopard eyeing its prey. As if on cue, I lashed out as crooked light snapped across the sky.

I came rushing down, each drop falling faster than the first. It was a race to the pavement. Soon, hundreds of liquid needles came in torrents. A number of pedestrians were drenched, having been caught off guard by my sudden outburst.

The water level in the sewers rose, and overflowed from the gutter onto the streets. A woman caught unaware stepped right into a murky puddle, which had her muttering curses. Traffic reached a snail’s pace.

Somewhere, I heard children chanting that blasted nursery rhyme. Go away? Why should I? I have every right to be here, too! I know that it’s useless to be upset, but I couldn’t help it. I found myself crying harder.

Downtown, shoes, boxes, and whatnot could be seen floating around. The drainage pipes were clogged, which caused water to seep into several households. Even the rats and roaches were not spared. Their nests became uninhabitable; now they scampered about the almost flooded streets.

On 'Q'

I guess I was making everyone ill-tempered. The children couldn’t frolic outdoors, and whoever was outside couldn’t get inside their houses.

The cold crept slowly into people’s bodies and stayed there, burrowing deep into their marrows.

The wind shared my grief, and howled like a woman who lost her children to the flood. The palm trees swayed, backs bent, their faces shadowed, not knowing how to comfort the ill-stricken mother.

I watched the city as I overwhelmed it with my anguish. This was my moment. I wanted to show the world that my worth rivaled the sun’s. With the sky as my podium, I began a steady beat on my snare-drum rooftops. I then motioned to the lightning to cue the roar of my thunder-cymbals. The rhythm of my tears engulfed the land. Then came an amazing play of light and sound. I quickened the pace, and the rumble grew louder and louder. The streaks of light danced like maniacs. Then the thunder gave one solid bang. Then all went still.

The houses stood still, mere audiences to this orchestrated pain.

In a dark room, a girl sat alone in a corner, crying, watching from her open window.


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