The Storm


It was a dark and stormy night.

Dan thought that would be the perfect opening line for the memoir he would never write. Lying on the roof of his ex-wife’s house in the middle of the night he contemplated the next line as the wind began to whip and fat raindrops splashed on his face.

“Dan! What the fuck are you doing up there? A big storm is coming! Dammit, Maple! Hurry up.”

Peering over the edge, Dan saw his former neighbor running back home with his old dog dragging behind. Dan waved and resumed his position, noticing flashes of lightning off in the distance as the rain began to fall faster.

He thought he’d be the first. Suicide by lightning. Wouldn’t Janey be surprised when she found his charred body on her roof! Damaged. That’s why she wanted the divorce. She told Dan he was just too damaged and she had had enough. He’d show her damaged. He scanned the sky once more, on the lookout for a tornado. A tornado would defeat the purpose. He would die, but be blown away like the rest his things Janey threw out when the divorce was final.

On cue, the tornado siren began to wail. Between thunder claps closer and closer together and lightning flashes everywhere, Dan heard a different kind of siren getting louder. “Damn!” That goody-goody neighbor must have called 911. Resigned, he slid down to the gutter and lowered himself into the tree, then to the ground in the backyard, making his getaway.

He had to rush. The bus was here.


5 thoughts on “The Storm

  1. You have a knack for developing interesting characters, Ellen. I really liked the sentence that started “Lying on the roof…” I think that’s the line that pulled me into your story. The opening sentence was cliche, and while you used it cleverly to give us an impression of Dan, it didn’t engage me.


  2. I feel like I wouldn’t have much patience with Dan either, haha. But I was intrigued by him – why is he up on the roof in the middle of the night? How is his relationship with that neighbor? I will echo other comments that the ending felt a bit abrupt, especially when he had been contemplating suicide a moment before, but maybe the suicide plan was all just part of his dramatic personality.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, Dan. Never any guarantee it would have worked anyway! I have to admit, I was sad this ended so abruptly. You did great to show so much in such a small space, but that ending line felt rushed. Nevertheless, damn that pesky neighbor. Hehe

    Liked by 1 person

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