Thursday, April 4, 2019

Flash Fiction Friday, Week 14 - Rain, Rain, Go Away...

The prompt this week was called Rain. And More Rain. The topic was rain, but more than expected. My characters got a lot more than they ever expected. 

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

“It’s the end of the world…” Even though William Hudson was 74 years old, he could still shout with the best of them. His neighbors on both sides of Northview Boulevard heard his warning. When he got to the corner, he turned right to also share his apocalyptic vision with the residents on Sheridan Drive. Walking around the subdivision was difficult considering his age and declining health, but he believed it was his duty. He couldn’t explain how he knew, but there was something in the air…

“He’s at it again, Roger.”

“I know, Louise, but what can we do? Ever since his wife died, he’s gone off the deep end.”

“I have no doubt losing her took a toll on him, but this is too much. He’s frightening all the children in the neighborhood with all this end of the world nonsense. Last week, the days were too sunny, and the week before, the nights were too dark. This week, we’ve been getting too much rain.”

“I know. Mitch and I stopped at the Clubhouse for lunch this afternoon, and he was out front pointing out how the rain had changed. He was describing how it began as a light drizzle, and then kept getting stronger over time. He insisted that before long, it would turn into such a strong downpour that it would be difficult to see well enough to drive through it. Once that happens, the whole area will be flooded because the drains won’t be able to handle that much water on the streets.”

“So, we’ll all end up trapped in our houses? Roger, he is right that the rain is getting steadily stronger, If it becomes bad here, we’ll just get in the car and go into the city. According to the weather channel, it’s not even raining there.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it, Louise. You know how it gets around here once Spring arrives. Don’t get caught up in Hudson’s delusions. Let’s watch the news and then get some sleep.”


Over the next few weeks, the rainfall did become stronger.  Yards were flooded, and the drains in the streets were backing up. Water on the sidewalks and streets in the entire subdivision was flowing like rivers. One Saturday morning, all residents were notified by the Homeowners’ Association that there would be a meeting at the Clubhouse regarding the weather. A representative had hand-delivered the meeting notices to all since telephone service had become sporadic. The rep had walked to each of the community’s homes since driving on the flooded streets had become too dangerous.

“Thank you all for coming.” Sandra Peterson was President of the Association, and she wondered how many of their residents already knew of the dire situation they were in. “I know it was difficult for some of you, having to walk so far through all this water, but I feel this meeting is important. The rainstorm we are currently experiencing is like nothing we have seen before, but we want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe and resolve the difficulties at hand.”

“It’s the end of the world. I told you that, but nobody believed me. I told you the rain would keep coming down hard…”

“Mr. Hudson, you need to stop saying that right now, or you’ll be removed from the premises,” Sandra Peterson cautioned. “I’ll not have you,,,”

“I have the right to be here same as anybody,” Hudson insisted. “But you all know what I’ve said has come true. The end is coming.”

“Maybe he’s right,” Suzanne Miller said. “This morning, I tried to call my mom in Phoenix, but our phone’s out. Our car won’t start, and the lights are flickering off and on. What’s going on? We can’t reach anyone outside the area and we can’t leave. We can’t even walk out of the neighborhood because the flooding is much worse as you get toward the highway. Plus, the rain keeps coming down harder, and it’s getting impossible to even see where you’re going. Have you even tried to contact anyone in the city?”

People began firing questions at the Association’s President, but she had no answers to any of them. The group was angry, and Sandra wasn’t sure how to keep them under control.

“We pay you every month to keep things right. Is someone coming to get us out of here?”

“Don’t you have a radio to use if the phones go out?”

“TV reception is fading, and it’s raining harder with every hour. Maybe this is the end.”

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain calm. Help is on the…”

“I don’t believe you. I’m getting out. Who’s with me? Rog…”

“Calm down, Mitch. We need to wait for...”

“Since when are you in charge?”

“Tom, I’m not saying I’m in charge. It’s just that…hey, watch who you’re shoving.”

“Don’t tell me what to do. If I want to shove you, I’ll…”

“Please, people, we…”

“Somebody shut that Peterson bitch up. Let’s check out her house. I’ll bet her phone and lights are working. Come on and…”

“Stop all this. We…”

“Get your hands off me. Lock him up in the…”

“Come on, Mavis. We’re going home. I’ve got a gun so…”

“I’ve got one too, and nobody better…”


“That didn’t take long.”

“It never does. You disrupt their miserable little lives and they turn on each other.”

“It’s only rain and small glitches in their power, yet still they panic.”

“Yes, but create a situation like they’ve never experienced and they get confused. It’s a small leap from confused to dangerous.”

“It works better with small groups though. They’ll kill each other off in no time. Larger groups tend to band together in a crisis.”

“That’s true, but patience, my friend. Soon, this place and all its resources will be ours. Should we change its name like we’ve done with all the others?”

“Definitely. I never cared for this one’s name anyway – Earth.”


  1. Every neighbourhood needs a nutter - they had Hudson. I wonder if he was triggered by the aliens or was just an added bonus for them. We've all been annoyed by endless days of rain, but I like the way your dialogue escalated this. Pushing people to the edge is what we see now from those seeking to manipulate elections too - they just want extremists to flourish on both side, to discourage any cooperation or happiness.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Mike. I tried to show how quickly things can get out of hand. I agree with you. Every neighborhood, or even a very small town, has a kook that stirs things up now and then. If some type of crisis occurs though, they're worse, and at times, they end up dividing the folks in the area into separate groups. This can be dangerous because in a crisis, folks need to work together to get through it. I also agree with you with regard to political situations. Some politicians don't discourage extremists - they plant them at times, to deliberately get, and keep, things chaotic. Then, they profess to be the only ones who can offer peaceful resolution. It's a nasty tactic, and unfortunately it works.