Karina

Falkenstein

                                             The disappearance of the Rain

 

 

The girl ran. Gusts of wind kept tugging on her grey shawl.

 

People wore only grey clothes in the girl’s home town. Both the origins and the meaning of this custom were long since forgotten, but nevertheless, it lived on. No one who lived in this town never ever thought of braking this rule. It was observed by default, and the mere thought of wearing colourful clothes was considered obscene.

 

Yet another customary aspect of this town was the never-ending rain. This phenomenon made the town very famous. People from all over the world came here to see this incessant rain and to feel its warm raindrops.

 

Local residents were accustomed to the rain from the childhood but never liked it at all. The only people who did not mind the rain were merchants. For them this unique climate proved to be a reliable source of income. They sold umbrellas of different shapes and sizes, as well as waterproof clothing, watches and make-up. These goods were in high demand among local residents despite being expensive.

 

However, the rain did had a faithful friend in this town - the same girl with the grey shawl. Walking in the rain with no umbrella was her favourite thing to do. She liked to feel the warm, kind raindrops on her eyelashes. She liked to splash around in puddles, filling up the air with tiny droplets. The other children, however, did not share her fascination. They made fun of her and called her strange.

 

As she walked along the street, the girl always talked to the rain in her thoughts. She told her faithful friend her secret dreams and shared her feelings. She thought that people in her hometown looked like shadows, indiscernible in their grey clothes. The thought made her very sad. She was longing for vivid colours. She could not comprehend why other people were so afraid to break the custom and switch to colourful clothes. She wondered why people never even dare to talk abou it. Nobody understood the way she thoughts, but somehow she was certain that the rain thinks the same as her.

 

The girl’s parents were constantly worried by the fact that their child refused to carry an umbrella. They kept telling her that she would catch a cold from getting wet. But the girl would not listen. Her grandfather was the only one who did not judge her. She liked visiting him a lot. Together they made paper sailboats and set them on their voyages across the tiny seas of puddles. They walked through the forest making no effort to hide from the rain. Returning home from a walk, her grandfather always brewed up strong fragrant tea. The girl felt cosy, drinking tea from a big old mug and listening to her granddad’s extraordinary stories.

 

Life went on at its regular pace, until one day something unexpected happened. The girl woke up and as she walked to the window, she noticed that the rain was gone. She looked in disbelief and ran outside. Dry sidewalks looked unfamiliar, and not a single puddle remained. It was strange meeting people without umbrellas. All of them looked very confused. “Why aren’t they happy?” the girl wondered. “They disliked the rain so much, and now that it’s gone, they’re still miserable.”

 

Desperately, the girl looked around. Where did the rain go? How could she find it? She felt that something had to be done. “Perhaps grandpa will know!” she thought. “I need to talk to him straight away.” So she ran. Gusts of wind kept tugging on her grey shawl. Tears clouded her eyes. As she reached her grandfather’s house, she burst through the door and started to talk.

 

“Grandpa, have you seen what happened?” she cried, trying to catch her breath. “The rain has disappeared!”

“Don’t worry, my child,” he answered kindly. “I know everything.”

“But how can you be so calm?” the girl slumped down on a chair, still catching her breath, her face covered in tears. “Grandpa, how it is possilbe that the rain is gone? It was supposed to stay in our town forever!”

Grandfather hugged his granddaughter, wiped the tears away from her eyes and smiled. “Sweetheart, why do you think that the rain is supposed to stay here forever? Maybe it got tired and decided to take a rest. Maybe it moved to a different town...”

The girl fell silent for a while, then she said: “But everyone knows that the rain is supposed to fall non-stop in our town. It is a well-known rule that the rain must have had abided. Are not the rules made to be always followed?”

Grandfather shook his head. “Not all the rules are worth following. The rain is free and makes his own decisions.”

Grandfather went to the closet, took a small parcel from a shelf and gave it to the girl. “Here, take this. Open it when you reach home.”

He hugged the girl goodbye and kissed the top of her head.

 

On her way home the girl was anxious to open the parcel. She finally reached her house, sat down on a bench in the garden outside and unwrapped the package. Amazed, she looked at the colourful tubes of paint hidden inside. She took off her grey shawl and spread it on the bench. She unscrewed the paint tubes and dipped her paintbrush into the colours. On her grey shawl she drew a green forest with blue flowers. She drew children running happily along its paths. Their T-shirts, shorts and dresses were orange, blue, red, yellow... The more paints she used, the more vivid her shawl became. Suddenly she felt raindrops on her face.

 

The rain was back.