Tag Archives: Short Stories

Three Kinds Of Rain IV

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I staggered backwards, eyes transfixed on the spot where my night-time companion had been. Slowly I inched away, overwhelmed by emotions I barely knew. I kicked over the mug in my motion, slumping into the ever-welcoming settee. Chin in hand I sat and sat, blinking slowly as if expecting the television to reappear when I opened my eyes – like a mirage, a disappearing act, a magic trick!
My eyes held steady and then I lay back, head on armrest. I pulled the other blanket over my legs against an invisible chill and then looked towards the ceiling. In the middle of the sagging formerly-white cardboard were concentric circles of brown. So, the roof leaked1 I would have to confront the old hag about it. But how when I was a month over due in rent arrears? I lay back sighing, the sofa in engulfing me in familiar embrace. I thought about calling in sick at work. “Eff work! I don’t really care right now! In my mind, the previous night’s events replayed like a technicolour picture. I bit my lip and clenched my fist as I reopened the door and relived “hospitality 101”, cursing myself for not asking questions. My thoughts strayed to other regrettable incidences, like a movie screen behind my eyes. “Oh! What a loser I am”, I thought.
I turned over to face the back of my seat-cum-bed, the effort causing it to creak as I shifted my wait. And the tears came, large and hot on my cheeks, salty on my lips. Then the sniffles. Where was my hanky? I blew my nose into my blanket, folding the adulterated corner away. I tried not to, but sobs shook my body with every effort to stifle them, my breath in short gasps heaving my chest. And then I let loose! Like a man on a mission, silently yet all out. Spent! I cried for mother Theresa, for World Peace, for my TV and missed opportunities, rejected advances, my broken heart. For my exes, my parents, the suffering in the nation. I cried! Why did life to be so unfair? I cried with abandon, trying not to be loud. Like someone had opened up a jerrycan and turned it upside. I cried til my head pounded behind my eyes. My temple throbbing like my heart was nested therein. I cried and hoped to sleep or die. I cried. Amidst the torrent I thought I heard a knock. I ignored it. Then it came again. Three deliberate taps.
“Knock!!… Knock!!… Knock!!”
I held my breath, trying hard not to give myself way. Sniffling. I waited, hoping the knocker would leave, willing them away. They must have for it was silent again. I thought I heard the shuffling of departing feet. And I had no more strength left, no more cry, no more tears. I just lay there in my old sofa, oblivious to the dampness beneath my cheek. And then the rap of knuckles on wood, followed by silence. I held my breath.
“Knock!!… Knock!!… Knock!!”

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Three Kinds Of Rain III

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She didn’t stir. Except for her quiet breaths, the refrigerator and a distant cricket, all was silent. I lay there, face in pillow, hands at my side like a soldier on parade, a gazillion thoughts racing through my mind. Strangely, the long-legged beauty by my side only featured a few times. And then it rained! Soft drops at first. I heard them on a tin roof outside. Then harder, their thud against the grass and ground like music to my ears. I could sleep soundly now. And harder still, now the plonk as they fell into the puddles forming outside. Then someone put a plastic basin out to harvest the rain and the symphony was broken. I gritted my teeth, willing the basin to move, to fill, and to stop making noise. Urrgghh! In my mind I pushed the basin aside but the rude rat-a-tat of raindrops on plastic did not stop as the basin was emptied and replaced. I pulled the pillow over my head to drown out the sound and although it was muffled, I could still hear it. Those fools! At this time? It must have been way after midnight, for I myself had returned late from work, hours before my bizarre bedfellow. I do not know how long I lay awake but my thoughts gave way to dreams, and my dreams to more dreams.
I awoke, startled by the harsh light streaming through the curtain. I propped myself on one elbow and looked across to the other side of my six-foot mattress. Empty! No sign of my guest. Was it a dream? No! It couldn’t have been, I never make my bed, nor sleep so neatly. I jumped out of bed and into the living room and saw large writing on a plain white paper across from me. I moved closer and knelt down on the threadbare red carpet I had bought for a song at one of those monthly flea markets. I couldn’t even remember where.
“Thank you!” the two words, large and neat, stared up at me. I turned the paper over and read my printed leave application form. I grimaced. Now I would have to go through the process of requesting for a new one again. I replaced the note it on the coffee set, and warmed to those words of gratitude,and smiled. Wait! Since when did I own a coffee set? I lifted my eyes slowly, methodically to the ugly beige wall, formerly hidden by the television set. And the oddity struck me, registering like it had been made out on an ancient typewriter. Ping!
“I have been robbed!!!”