Southern California Rain

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Grace sat at her desk scribbling away at what she hoped would be the next big hit in Barnes & Noble. She occasionally paused to dip her fountain pen into the tub of ink next to her (it made her feel Shakespearian). With careful strokes, she lightly swept her hand across the sheet of paper.
A noise quickly swept her out of her writing trance. First it was a gentle pitter-patter, then it was like someone had turned on the shower, but from outside of her window. It could only mean one thing…

Grace threw her pen down with a clatter, not minding the droplets of ink that splashed on her wall and desk. This moment was too good to be true. She dashed underneath her bed and yanked out a pair of binoculars. Her head banged against the underside of the bed as she tried to stand, but she never missed a beat.
Like a child on Christmas morning, she scurried to her window, binoculars raised to her eyes as the rain assaulted the glass. Most people disliked the rain, but not Grace.

She opened her window with a screech and poked her head from the windowsill, darting the binoculars left and right in rabid anticipation.

Her street looked like those you would see on an issue of Home & Garden, the stereotypical image of suburbia. Things were pretty normal there, other than the fact that her family lived across the street from a graveyard. The same graveyard where her grandfather was buried not too long ago. She was uneasy about living across the street from “A freaking graveyard“, but her mom was insistent that they moved there and said that Grace “Would one day grow to love it.”

And she was right.

You see, something special happens in Southern California, something very much out of the ordinary.

A smile spread on Grace’s face when she spotted what she was looking for across the street.

The graveyard soil in front of each tombstone tossed and turned. Before long, several limbs pierced the graves and those who had once lost their lives rose to stand once more. Men, women, children, and even pets unearthed themselves, fully clothed, skin and all, as if nothing had ever happened, no different from the rest of us. Among the rising dead, Grace spotted a familiar sight, and gasped.

“Grandpa! Over here, Grandpaaaa!”

Her grandfather, a baby-faced Army veteran looking as healthy as ever, waved over to her. Grace grinned like she won the lottery, though her hair was dripping and her clothes were sodden in the hissing rain. The revitalized, once-dead bodies began to make their way through the cemetery gate, and towards the homes of the families they cherish.

Grace shut the window and tossed her binoculars onto the bed. She had to dry off all that rain water and change her clothes. Her grandpa would be there any minute, ready for supper with the family that never once forgot about him.

Of course, he would have to go back when the rain stopped, it’s a fact Grace has learned to accept.
It’s not everyday she gets to see him since it doesn’t rain much there. But for those rare times that it rains, the souls of the dead regenerate and walk amongst us once again. As if time never passed, as if nothing had changed, living, and breathing, and laughing once more.

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5 thoughts on “Southern California Rain

  1. Not bad for being a “Warm-up” piece. (By which I mean you went a while without writing.) I like the concept and the imagery. I do have a few issue with it as a whole, but I don’t know if you want editor critique, beta-reader critique, or just some general feedback. As general feedback I want to note that you switched from past to present a few times (which is a common problem for people who take extended writing breaks) and I personally don’t like parenthesis in fiction. They just seem out of place to me. (In this instance the sentence could probably have just been its own sentence.)

    • It’s true that I had a bit of problems with switching to from past to present tense, I admittedly got confused in the middle of the story. I’ll start kicking into high gear and I’ll try to post a new story every week. Thank you for the comment, the feedback is much appreciated.

  2. Pingback: 7 Things You Learn When You Fall In Love With A Southerner | Hip Hop Headquarters, LLC

  3. Interesting. I like that you made it a good thing that the people were rising from their graves, because in most stories like this that I’ve read, it’s usually a bad thing and zombies and death and despair. You do change from past to present tense a couple of times, which sort of took me out of the story a little, but I can’t really criticize it, as it does happen with me as well. Especially when I read a book that’s in present tense while writing in past tense, or the other way around.
    It’s a good story though. I like the imagery and I sorta wish this kinda stuff could happen in real life as well, because… well, because then I could meet J.R.R Tolkien and other dead people, like my grandparents.

    – Markus

    • Hey Markus, thanks for the comment. I had no idea that the story went back and forth from past and present tense. I’ll edit that now. And yeah, how awesome would it be to meet people who are no longer living? Think of the stories they have to tell from the era they lived it.

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