“As she rose from the garden, dusting the earth from her hands on her worn jeans, she looked up at the sky and knew — a storm was approaching.”
As she rose from the garden, dusting the earth from her hands on her worn jeans, she looked up at the sky and knew – a storm was approaching.
The charged air pressed and pulled her skin, and created a taut anxiety in her chest. In the distance, across acres of corn fields and forgotten dirt roads, she could observe the growing tempest, dark and dangerous. Gray clouds coalesced into imposing thunderheads, and rough wind shook the leaves of the trees.
The sun shone yet above her, but not for long – she understood that now. She bent to pick up her spade, and returned it to its assigned place in the potting shed. The wind bore through the slats of rough wood, rattling trays of ceramic pots stacked precariously high on the shelf above her work counter.
From the shelter of the shed door she watched the first drops of rain pelt the mound of freshly turned soil. She’d dug deep, deeper than necessary, and soon the water and wind would wash away the truth of what had been done today. She fought the impulse to thank heaven for this small mercy, forcing her mouth to maintain a tight line across her wrinkled face. Any help given today hadn’t come from above — of that she was certain.
An old pickup, dented from years of farm service, pulled into the driveway. She watched the driver leap from the vehicle, and run across the wide expanse of yard toward her. His rage added inches to an already imposing height. He howled her name as he ran, the word twisting in the wind, the battle cry of a wounded animal. She braced her shoulders in defiant preparation.
The real storm was about to begin.
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