The day before the apocalypse happened the weather went crazy. We woke up to dark as night skies and heavy clouds. Rain poured down like I had never seen before and it was like a huge waterfall. Many places were flooded. There was a massive thunderstorm which had people staying inside and those that went out regret it and came home again.
The hailstone fell in sharp bursts, large balls of ice hitting metal like it was dough. Glass smashed, car alarms went off and animals fled underground. The storm rumbled on; bright heavenly flashes of light going off like all the time and the thunder was deafening. The rain turned to snow. Huge flakes sweeping down on gale force winds and covering everything in a white blanket.
People peered out of windows, wondering what was going on. The news was a blur of reports as countries all over the world reported the wildness of storms and weather conditions. The warnings flashed by too; Stay inside! Await rescue! Whole cities swept by freak waves, whole towns buried in snow and the raising death toll.
And I stood by the shelter’s plastic windows, knowing what all this bad weather meant and the fact I couldn’t do anything to stop tomorrow’s rapture sitting heavy on my shoulders.
It was coming. Atlanta could hear the gale force winds rattling the storm shutters and the rain pelting the roof. She held her breath and hugged her dog, Greg, tighter. He didn’t seem to mind but then he was old and deaf.
They was sat in a small yellow tent set up in the far corner of the cellar. Dim amber fairy lights in the shape stars cast some light down, but it wasn’t enough to do anything by. Atlanta’s didn’t really mind though as long as she wasn’t in the dark.
‘I’m safe. Everything is fine,’ Atlanta muttered.
Every since she had heard about the high chance of the hurricane last week, she had be preparing. All the kitchen and basement cupboards were stocked with bottled water, long life food, matches and extra gas canisters for the camping stove. She had double or triple camping equipment items and a whole range of lighting; battery and candle lanterns, torches and spare candles.
Atlanta picked up her headphones which were top of the range noise cancelling and selected some loud classic music from her ipod.
‘There’s nothing else to do now it’s here,’ she said aloud.
She rubbed Greg’s ears then wrapped herself in a thermal sleeping bag and began waiting out the hurricane.
The sun melted away across the sky and night become ruler once again. Autumn broke the dawn the next day. The wind switched directions, becoming colder and harsher. The leaves began to change colour and fall to the ground whilst the plants started dying. And just like that summer came to an end just like that.
It had been threatening for days but now a summer storm was here. We’d picked the worse day for a funeral as the rain was lashing down, the wind whipping and lightening cracking across the doom grey sky. Sitting in the back seat of the car watching this all go by, I thought that actually uncle Arnold would have loved this. It was just the type of thing that would happen to an adventurous man like him.
It was the worse storm anyone had ever seen. Hurricane winds tore up everything. The rain raged down like an angry heavy metal drummer. Flash floods turned the streets into rivers, sweeping away what the wind had been unable to move. The sea swelled and roared as if Poseidon himself was raising upwards towards the sky. The thunder and lightening clapped together making the very clouds shake, perhaps Zeus was fighting to keep Poseidon down. Whatever was happening, People were sure the Apocalypse had just arrived.
Petrichor; the pleasant smell of the earth after rain.
Everything smells better after it’s rained. There’s a cleanness in air which my ma said was God washing and cleansing everyone. I use to believe that without a doubt. Now though, I’m not sure. There’s so much I believed in as a child which has faded now I’m adult.
It’s strange how different things are after the rain. You notice the pools and reflections of things more. The sounds of splashing wheels and feet. The dripping of drops off things. I randomly remember a boy once telling me that the rain was actually a leak from Heaven’s showers.
I wondered for ages how that was possible and pictured angels having showers all together. Or God having a bath and all the water overflowing. Maybe that was the real reason behind a flood?
When you’re a child it’s easier to believe in these things. As an adult you are more logic and less imaginative. You know how rain is made and why it falls. The novelty of it has worn off too, like snow. I use to love snow! Now, it’s just a pain.
Even though, I know the truth behind things now, it doesn’t take the pleasure away from them. During the rainfall and afterwards, I open my window to let all the smells and sounds in. I sit on the ledge and take deep breaths till I feel calmer. I try to think of nothing at all, but sometimes like today, my mind wonders.
I look up at the sky, where the dark clouds roam and a few rain drops still linger. Are God and the angels up there right now having a bath and cleansing the poor below?
The empty bus pulled smoothly to a stop and the doors opened. The bus driver peered out and watched the old lady getting on with the aid of the handrail.
‘Hello, Doreen!’ he said cheerfully as he recognised her, ‘terrible evening.’
‘Oh, no, Terry!’ Doreen cried with a little wave of her walking stick, ‘it’s quiet perfect!’
She pressed her pensioner’s bus pass to the ticket machine. There was a beep and some words flashed up.
‘For ducks maybe,’ Terry muttered with a glance out of his window.
The rain was coming down heavily and the wind was whipping up into a storm.
Terry closed the bus’s door to contain some heat. Then he waited for Doreen to shuffle off and sit down at the back, like she always did. Checking she was settled, he started up the bus and smoothly drove off.
Doreen smiled and watched the rain hitting the window next to her. She turned up her hearing aids and listen to the rain splashing and the wind howling. Under her, the bus’s engine rumbled away and waves of gentle heat brushed her.
She took off her big pink flowers decorated hat which she always wore on her rainy evening bus rides and set it to dry out next to her. Doreen placed her small red handbag flat next to it, then took off her bright pink rain mac. She was wearing a huge, fluffy green jumper that she had knitted herself.
Turning back to the window, Doreen relaxed into the ride.
There’s nothing, she thought, quite like a drive in the rain to make you fall asleep.