Jen’s No Rules Friday

Under Dublin Skies © Anne Marie 2009

Under Dublin Skies © Anne Marie 2009

The weather is as dangerous as I feel.

I’ve never heard the sea growl, until today.

I am high above it, sitting on an outcropping of rock, my knees pulled to my chest. It snarls, dark and roiling. The air is taut as a rubber band, charged with something that feels slick and cold, like the chill of fear down the back of my neck.

The sky is thick over head, steel grey and angry, and it has followed me here. Clouds are always following me, and the whispers in my head respond to them, a growing buzz in my ears, like an incessant bug. The heavens press down, making my ears pop and my head pound painfully. The feeling is always there just like the clouds and never ending rain. It hurts, and I can’t get away from it. I come the cliffs to let the weather have me for a little while. Sometimes it helps, but today is different. I can’t stop it.

I suck in a breath and rise. My beat up sneakers scrape against the rock. Maybe I can make it back to my apartment before the sky comes crashing down.

I’m at my limit. I think about what it would be like to stop breathing in and out, but I’m not fond of unknowns. The cliff edge beckons, but contemplating death and welcoming it are two different things. I don’t welcome death. I hold onto that and try to remember the sun.

I sigh, the sound getting lost in the wind. It’s been three years since my fifteenth birthday; three years since I’ve felt normal. That was the day the pressure in my head grew to a roar and the murmurs started. There hasn’t been a day without them.

Sometimes I feel close to the rain, like it could wash away whatever is eating at me, but then everything creeps back in. Lately not even the rain can help, and the tapping on the roof sets my teeth on edge. I’m reeling all the time, never in control.

Nausea rolls over me, and the whispers get so loud that I drop to my knees to wait it out, head in my hands. Wind pushes at me, as if it wants me to stand and fight it. I feel like I do that everyday.

The weather is crazier than I am, and neither of us should be here.

I stand, and the rubber band snaps. The sky explodes.

Maine doesn’t get tornadoes. Not in autumn.

Today it does.

The cyclone lands in the water and fights with the surf. I don’t know if it’s the wind or the twister pushing and pulling on me, but my feet are lead and I stand against it. It pulls branches from the trees as it heads inland. A sharp sting across my face makes my eyes water, and my fingers come away from my cheek dark and wet. The tornado bears down, and I can’t move.

I never thought death would be so loud. I don’t welcome it, but the storm and darkness swallow me.


Stay tuned for Anne’s No Rules Friday next week.

“You Will Hear Thunder” by Anna Akhmatova Inspires Jen



I know what it takes to make a storm. I know the exact chemistry of a hurricane, a misty day, a blizzard so cold my fingers are at risk just because I lost another pair of gloves. I know all of these things. But I know the most about wind. Wind is the force behind all that other stuff. It’s the transportation. It’s invisible but it matters more than anything else, and I’m not just saying that because it belongs to me.

It does, though. I’m a Zephyr. A wind Elemental. It’s all mine, my mom gave it to me, and my grandma to her. It’s the way of things. We each have our own piece of what makes Earth function the right way, from animals to the tides. Mine’s the best, though. It’s all frenzy and the freedom of currents. I can feel it from the chambers of my crimson heart to the tips of my pale fingers. It reaches for me like a fast moving net, always looking for clouds to chase and pull.

Storms need clouds. Clouds need wind.

I’ve been waiting on storms. I can pull clouds like nobody’s business but they don’t mean anything when they’re just cotton balls floating around in space. I need a Tempest. Someone to pull rain. No Tempest, no storms. I’ve been waiting.

“Ever?” Cameron’s voice has that you’re-on-assignment tone he reserves when he knows something we don’t. He’s two years younger than my nineteen years but he’s a do-gooder and the boss likes him best. He’s a flora, a flower boy. I try not to hold that against him, he’s a good guy even if his Element is lame.

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