Late Afternoon Storm

Late Afternoon Storm

The gulls turn overhead, their feathers picked out in stark white against the deepening grey of the clouds beginning to cover the sky. In the failing light, the wheeling birds seem almost to flash in warning of the coming storm: “Turn back!”

But home lies ahead and not behind, where the afternoon sun and blue sky still hold. Home lies ahead, ever closer to the swift-running dark, the clouds broken and boiling like the waves of an oncoming sea. Wind comes first, a herald, gusting high and whipping with it the first of autumn’s fallen leaves. Next the rain, just a few drops, a last admonition to seek shelter. Flickers of lightning, white and distant, light the clouds.

Then the wind comes rushing back, stronger than before, and at last the black sky opens to let the rain pour down. It drenches all the earth, pushed into waves by the gusting wind, edged by lightning and accompanied by thunder. The world soaks…and then slowly, slowly, the storm is swept east by the ever-hurrying wind, and eventually the rain falls away into a gentler, softer pattern.

The storm passes on, leaving a quiet, grey evening in its wake.

(Just a descriptive short I wrote a couple of years ago, and the weather yesterday reminded me of it.)

Copyright (c) 2013 by Ethelinda Webb

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