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Rain on Me

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BirdDogg34 View Drop Down
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    Posted: July/03/2008 at 6:16pm
OK, so here is a story that I have been thinking about for a couple of weeks now. I'd really love to hear any and all criticisms/comments/concerns that you have! It's the first chapter in what might be a full-length novel if I can figure where the rest of the story is going to go!

Rain on Me

Chapter 1

     It is well known in the parenting world that children, especially young children just entering the wondrous world of elementary school, have a lot of energy, which needs to be expended regularly throughout the day. Acknowledging this fact, and needing some fresh air himself, Eric Smithson took his seven-year-old son Aiden to the park that was only a five-minute walk from their modest apartment.
     When his son first proposed the idea of taking a trip to the playground, Eric was hesitant: dark clouds had begun to rear their ugly, bloated heads. However, he checked the weather online and found that the storm was only supposed to pass over their small town, and he decided that the child’s happiness was worth the risk. Besides, they could easily just run, or maybe even walk briskly, back to their house as the first drops began to fall.
     It had been a nice sunny Saturday before the storm had been blown in. However, the warm breeze that brought the thunderheads lasted after the clouds arrived overhead. To Eric, nothing was better in the summertime than a nice thunderstorm. He loved the smell of fresh rain as it hit the warm tarmac, and the brief darkness was a nice relief to the intense sun of mid-June. He hoped, though, that this storm would pass; he liked thunderstorms but only from a distance.
     “Daddy, when we get to the playground, can you push me on the swings?” Aiden asked.
     The boy was everything to Eric, as Eric was everything to him: Eric’s wife of two years had left him after the birth of their child seven years ago. The ex-Mrs. Smithson, Julia Maddox as a maiden, was a model, and the news of Aiden’s conception had rattled her perfect little world of beauty. In her third trimester, she announced that she was leaving Eric because of “what he did to her.” She moved into her mother’s home a town over and was prepared to give the child up for adoption after his birth when Eric had stepped in, reminding her of his rights as a father.
      Now, here he was, happier than ever, not even resenting his split Julia. Aiden had recently finished a prosperous year as a second-grader. His teachers told Eric that Aiden displayed exceptional growth this year and was shaping up to be a strapping young boy. The child was proof in the pudding that a mother wasn’t always necessary, though Eric could never begin to say how his mother had shaped his life. Both his parents were ideal in his youth, and continued to be as loving and devoted to Aiden.
      “Sure, buddy-o-pal. I’ll swing you so high you’ll touch the sky!” Eric responded as he picked the boy up under his arms and plopped him on his shoulders. Aiden giggled with an innocence and a pure joy that Eric hoped would stay with him all his life. Even as a baby, Aiden hadn’t been particularly bad-tempered or easy to cry. Of course, a scratch from the cat or hunger in the middle of the night would get him going, but never for long, and his sobs usually only lasted until Eric made a swift appearance. The two had a connection that rivaled the inherent connection between identical twins.
     They approached the playground to find it vacant of any other child-parent groupings. As Aiden reached the vibrant green grass at the edge of the lot, he kicked off his tiny flip-flops and ran to the plastic and metal playground structure. It had been built only three years ago, replacing an old, rotting wooden set that dated back to before Eric’s years of primary school. This new arrangement resembled a modernistic version of a medieval castle à la King Arthur’s fortification.
     “Daddy, Daddy! Watch me!” screamed Aiden as he slid down the slide into the moat filled with chopped-up tire bits. “Let’s swing, Daddy!”
     Aiden jumped up into the swing, and Eric positioned himself behind so that he could push.
     “Higher, Daddy, higher! You said that you would push me to the sky!”
     Eric pushed him higher and higher as Aiden had requested. Soon, Eric had pushed him so high that Aiden was beginning to squeal on the down sweep as his stomach muscles quivered from the quick changes in altitude. Upon reaching the highest that Eric would allow him to go, Aiden pointed to the sky and said: “Dad, look at the clouds! Why are they so dark?”
     “Because a storm’s passing through. Maybe we should quit the swings for a little while, bud, at least until the storm passed,” Eric replied with a tone of humor but also an undercurrent of seriousness. He stepped away and stopped pushing so that Aiden could begin to slow down. An ominous tone of thunder rumbled overhead suggesting that the storm might be here to stay.
     Aiden skidded to a halt using his bare feet on the grass and grabbed his sandals, which his father had placed at one of the bases of the swing set. Eric looked up to see if the clouds were moving at all. A drop of rain fell on his forehead, directly between his eyes.
     “How ‘bout we head home, buddy? I’ll make you a grilled cheese, and we can pop in a movie until the storm passes,” Eric proposed. He looked up to see Aiden stuck frozen, staring at the darkening sky. A drop of rain hit him, and he snapped out of the trance.
     “Yeah, that sounds good, Daddy. Can we watch The Lion King? I really like that one; it’s my favorite.”
     “I know you do, pal, and I couldn’t think of a better movie to watch.”
     They left the playground and headed down the, street back to their apartment. About halfway home, the rain began to sprinkle more. Thunder exclaimed louder and more frequently, and lightning struck in the distance. They were only five more houses away from their destination when the sky released it payload, and the rain relentlessly bore down on them. Within seconds they were both soaking wet, so there wasn’t really any hurry to get home anymore.
     “We’ll just have to chang—“ Eric had begun, but as he looked down at Aiden he realized that the boy had wandered off onto the front lawn tangent to the part of the sidewalk that they were on. He was about to run into a tree. “Hey, Aiden! Watch it, pal! You’re gonna smack right into that tree!” Eric warned.
     Aiden held out his arms, touched the tree, and then turned facing Eric.
     “Where did you go, Daddy? Are you hiding somewhere?” Aiden asked.
     Eric, stopped in his tracks, knelt down, wiping his wet hair out of his eyes. “Aiden, I’m right here in front of you.”
     “But I can’t see you, Daddy! I can’t see anything! Everything is all blurry! Daddy, help me!” Aiden suddenly dropped to his hands and knees, shaking. He retched and then collapsed to the ground with movements reminiscent of a seizure but not quite as violent.
     Panicking, Eric scooped the boy up into his arms and began screaming for help. An old woman appeared at the door of the house in front of which Aiden had collapsed. When she saw the scene, she immediately turned and yelled to her husband to call 911.
     Eric looked down at his son, praying to God that this was just a dream or something other than what it appeared to be. He brushed the hair out of Aiden’s eyes, and something about the boy’s countenance struck him as odd, off. And then he saw it: Aiden’s eyes were completely clouded, as if he were stricken with childhood cataracts. But they were glowing, and Eric knew that something was horribly wrong with these eyes, and nothing could repress the flood of tears that suddenly poured from his eyes.
Reading:
The Shining by Stephen King

"An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard one side of the case. God has written all the books."
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dnurse64 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dnurse64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/22/2009 at 5:59am
What happened to the rest of the story? That was written over a year ago!

I liked it immediately and the character development engaged me. You depicted a natural warmth to Eric as a father. I hope you do more with it and that the story doesn't end there.
I'm inclined to believe in parallel worlds filled with dark bound Snow and Odd adventures.

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