Fiction Writing Friday: Storm Chasing


Originally posted 2015-10-16 09:03:18.

“Look at that!  Just look at that formation!”  The camera panned with a jerk to where the drenched man was pointing.  “See, there are multiple funnels forming within the miles wide rotational winds.  It’s absolutely amazing!”

        Eliza squinted at the screen, but the man’s excitement didn’t translate through to her.  It was beyond her why anyone would choose such a life, running around in the rain and chasing tornados.  The best she could figure was that they had some kind of death wish.   A groan caused her heart to leap up her throat, and she turned to check.

        Daniel was still asleep.  Eliza took a breath to steady the racing in her chest and watched him for a moment.  His brow was furrowed, his eyebrows almost touching one another.  It was obvious to Eliza that he was having another bad dream.  He was on his left side stirring slightly, his right hand stretched out clutching the void on the other side of the bed.  That space was the one she was supposed to be occupying, but instead she was sitting on the end of the bed watching a documentary on tornado chasers.

        “Eliza, don’t,” Daniel moaned in his sleep, tightening his grip on the sheets.  Eliza knew he was reliving the argument they had earlier.  She didn’t remember how it got started, but it escalated all too quickly.  He accused her of not caring about their relationship and that she was sneaking around behind his back.  She fired back that she was trapped, that he was slowly smothering her.  He told her to leave, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it.  They went to bed with the TV on to cover the tense silence between them, but Eliza couldn’t fall asleep and got pulled into tornados.

        “This is what it’s all about!” the multiple funnel guy shouts as the wind howls in the camera microphones.  Eliza could feel a scoff rise up to the back of her throat.  How could someone be happy like that?  What path did they have to go down to get there?  What’s the point of it all?

        She stared at the man on the screen.  He was soaked through and through, his shirt plastered to his wiry frame and his pants sagging with excess water weight.  Still he stood there, jumping up and down excitedly and grinning like he had won the lottery.  The idea broke upon her like a wave that funnel guy was in love.  Not your conventional love, no.  This was beyond that.  She could see it now, the glimmer in his eye.  Most would call it maniacal; she saw it as passionate.

        She remembered the mornings when she would wake up, look in the mirror, and see that exact same glimmer.  When she and Daniel had first met, it had all seemed so perfect.  He was funny and intelligent, and he wanted to be somebody, do something with his life.  They were both living voraciously and they tried to combine it together.  She thought their relationship would flourish into something beautiful.  What she didn’t see was the gross decay at the roots.

        “Don’t,” Daniel moaned again, but Eliza gave him only a cursory glance.  She wondered where her passion had gone.  She had been almost certain she had found it when she met Daniel, but now the only passion she could rouse was when she fought with him.  After watching at the man and his tornados, she knew that was not how it was supposed to be.  Love was supposed to maintain, not fizzle out and go flat like pop.  Faintly, she heard the rumble of thunder.

        In the soft blue light of the screen, she pulled a pair of her jeans from the laundry basket and slid them on; next on was a battered sweatshirt.  She opened the bedroom door.  The dark hallway stared her, defiantly, in the face.

        “Baby, where you going?” his voice was sleepy.  Thunder rolled, closer now than before.

        “There’s a storm coming.”  She passed beyond the frame, out of his reach, and one with the darkness outside.

 

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