|Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers blog for hosting the #sol17 challenge!|
Scene: a cozy bedroom, draped with the haze of well-earned sleep. One exhausted teacher lies ensconced in fuzzy blankets and pleasant dreams.
The storm enters stage right, its presence announced by exhales of wind that cannot be termed merely "gusty."
No, this entrance deserves to be called a gale.
It clambers to the middle of the turbulent Missouri sky that boils with the backdrop of churning clouds, eager to frame the dramatic thespian that has taken center stage. I find myself a part of a captive audience, clutching a ticket to a 3 AM show that I did not choose to see.
The monologue begins. And it is the kind of monologue that forcibly grabs the attention of even the most unwilling audience members, not by content but by sheer force. I pry one eye open and listen, a sigh escaping my lips. Sleep is a distant memory.
The storm punctuates every thunderous line with an exclamation point, a bending of trees, a scattering of hail stones. It stomps, it slams, it demands to be heard. The spotlight pans the audience with each disjointed flicker of lightning, illuminating the tired faces of those filling the seats of a theater with no exit.
The rain comes like an afterthought, an orchestra tuning its instruments for a piece that will never be fully played. After all, the music is in the delivery of the undulation and crescendo of each roll of thunder. I'm listening, I want to say. I heard you the first time.
And then, it is over. The thunderous thespian is dragged off of the stage, its departure accentuated by final volleying cries, its parting lines truncated only by distance and time. No roses are tossed as the act ends; instead, broken branches coat the stage in its wake, evidence of the raging ego of a Missouri squall.
There will be no raucous applause because storms are never truly finished in the Midwest. There is just the calm in between.
I lie awake in bed and hold my breath, waiting for the next scene to begin.