Why Do We Dance in the Rain?

Answering life’s most impossible questions through the power of storytelling.

Millions of years ago, when mankind was no longer new but still relatively young, there was born to this world a girl. She was no different from any of the other girls born at the time. Sure, she had her own unique attributes, but she didn’t particularly stand out in a crowd. She was just a normal girl, with a normal family and normal friends. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Now, by this point in history, magic still existed in the world. However, the magic was a commonality in everyday life, and so was generally ignored and forgotten. This usually wasn’t much of an issue, as most of the magical things were happy to just be with their own kind. Or, if they were the only of their kind, they were happy to watch the world as it grew and breathed and lived.

The girl knew nothing of this. Why would she? She was just a normal girl, after all. If no one else knew, why would she?

Of course, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed, the girl did eventually learn of such things. The day she learned of such things was not a particularly special day. Just as any other day, the girl woke up in the morning a little after sunrise and hurried downstairs to begin her chores (because, back then, the entire day was spent doing chores). I would go through her list of chores, but it was a rather long list and I’m sure you don’t actually care about such details. So, just know she had already done quite a bit before the afternoon came, at which point she set out to gather herbs.

The girl wasn’t particularly excited to gather herbs, as it was a rather rainy day, but she knew better than to complain and was on her way in no time. The rain quickly soaked through her clothes, and before she even reached the woods where the herbs could be found, she was fed up. And after two hours of it not letting up, she found herself glaring at the sky.

“Would you please just stop?” She yelled into the rain. “I’m trying to do my chores, and you’re making my life very difficult!”

She, of course, didn’t expect the sky to respond, and she thought she was losing her mind when she heard a rumbling voice murmur, “I’m sorry, dear girl, I’m just so sad.”

The girl dropped her basket of herbs (which she would regret later when her mother yelled at her for it) and stared at the still-stormy sky. “Did… Did the sky just talk to me?”

A burst of wind blew into her, almost as if the sky had just huffed in annoyance. “Excuse me, I’m not the sky. I’m just Sky, with a capital S, thank you very much.”

The girl continued to stare at the sky—sorry, Sky—for a few moments before stammering out the first thing that came to mind, which just so happened to be, “Why are you sad?”

The girl heard a soft rumbling that she thought could be a laugh. “How could I not be sad? Every day, I watch the life that exists on the world below. It’s beautiful, really. I can see everything from up here: Every birth, every success, every smile. And though I never meet any of you down there, I still find myself loving each and every one of you, and everything that makes each of you different.”

Sky paused, and when the pause became too long, the girl asked, “So why are you sad? That seems like a wonderful existence.”

Again, the girl heard the soft rumbling of a laugh. “It would be. But I don’t just see the things that bring you joy. I also see your pain and fears and misery. I see you suffer, see your tears. And I’ve watched as each and every one of you eventually dies. It brings me such great pain to see any of you upset, but that pain is nothing compared to how I feel when one of you leaves this world.”

The rain came down harder and when lightning flashed, the girl recognized it as Sky lashing out in anger. And when thunder rumbled in the distance, the girl recognized it as a sob.

The girl swallowed down the sudden tightness in her throat. “I’m sorry,” she eventually stuttered out. “Is there any way… I mean, is there anything I can do to make you feel better?”

There was a moment of silence, then, “I really don’t know. No one has ever asked me that before…” Sky trailed off, but the rain seemed to lighten ever so slightly.

The girl pondered this for a moment. “Well…” she began, “Is there anything that we humans do that brings you joy? Anything in particular?”

Another moment of silence, then, “Well… I always enjoy watching you humans dance.” The girl was surrounded by a soft rumbling of laughter. “The way you all move in time with your music, how your faces light up, your laughter reaching all the way up to my ears…”

The girl didn’t let herself think about how terrible of a dancer she was, or how she had eventually given up on dancing and just learned how to play an instrument instead. She didn’t let herself debate how she’d never been the best instrumentalist either. The girl didn’t think about any of this as she took a deep breath and started hopping around.

“What are you doing?” Sky asked in surprise.

“Dancing!” The girl called up in the middle of what was supposed to be a leap but was really just flailing. “To cheer you up!”

There was only a second of silence before Sky shook with its laughter. The girl grinned and continued her manic movements. It was difficult dancing without music, but after a bit, she realized that she did, in fact, have music. Every sound of life and movement in the world around her was music, and she danced along to its beat.

The girl only stopped when she realized the rain had let up. She blinked and looked around at the dripping trees, then looked up at Sky.

“Do you feel better now?” She asked.

“Yes,” Sky said in the whispery voice of the wind. “Thank you.”

The girl grinned. “No problem! Any time you feel sad, all of us down here will be happy to make you happy again!”

Sky chuckled, and the sound moved like a comforting wind. “You should be off. Your family is waiting for you to return.”

The girl gasped. “Oh! That’s right!” She took off running but skidded to a stop after just a few paces. The girl turned to look at Sky and waved. “I’ll talk with you again later!” She called up.

“I look forward to it,” Sky said, and the girl was off.

The girl ended up telling everyone of the tale, and from that day on, whenever it rained, they would all join together and dance in it so that Sky would be happy once again.

 

Just Go With It

“So you think you can do it?”

I stare at the giant gray mass in front of me. It stomps around, turning anything unlucky enough to be caught in its path into a pile of mush. With the sound of a trumpet, its jaws widen and I cringe at the sight of its rough, yellow teeth.

“Let me get this straight. You want me to give this… this giant, mud-crusted creature a dental checkup?”

“That’s right.”

I sigh, trying not to flinch as the elephant’s leathery trunk wraps around my midsection.

“Alright, fine. It’s not like I have anything better to do.”


*Note: I know, this is so random. Don’t question it. The prompt was to write something based on the idiom “fish out of water,” which basically means to write about something or someone that’s out of its element.

And this ended up being what I wrote.

Yeah… Enjoy!

My writing belongs to me. All writing under the category “Fiction by Me” is mine. Use of my writing without my permission is prohibited. If you wish to use any my work for any reason, ask me for permission first

In Silence

Silence.

That’s all I hear. Not even a whisper fills the air.

There had always been so much noise in the world. Car wheels rolling across gravel, grass crunching under boots, water rippling with the wind, electricity humming as it ran through wires, voices talking, whispering, crying, laughing…

Only now do I realize just how much I took for granted. In the quiet that now fills the world, I miss the sounds of life.

A tap on my shoulder breaks me out of my thoughts. I look up at Jennifer, who somehow got in front of me without my noticing. No, not somehow. I know how. I didn’t hear her. I never hear anyone.

The young blonde gazes at me sadly. She tries to hide it, but I can still see the pity in her hazel eyes. I despise that look and she knows it, but I can’t bring myself to be angry. I can’t bring myself to feel anything, not anymore.

The child holds up her hands and signs a few words. I nod and stand. It’s dinner. Or, in my case, it’s time to sit at a not empty table that might as well be empty with people who are not lifeless but might as well be.

I start to follow Jennifer inside, but stop halfway and turn back around. I can see the trees rustling, the wind brushing past them tenderly. I can see birds cutting through the skies, swirling past each other in lively masses. I can see the water rippling, fish leaping free for a moment before disappearing back into the murky depths.

I strain my ears, desperately trying to hear something. Anything.

All that reaches my ears is silence. Not even a whisper. Not even a hum.

I sigh in defeat. The last bit of hope clinging to my soul finally lets go, releasing me from its painful grip.

I turn back to the house and trudge inside. Jennifer stares at me from where she’s holding the door. She tries to sign something to me, but I don’t even look up. There’s no point.

There’s no life without noise.


My writing belongs to me. All writing under the category “Fiction by Me” is mine. Use of my writing without my permission is prohibited. If you wish to use any my work for any reason, ask me for permission first.

Why Are Styrofaom Pieces Called Peanuts?

Answering life’s most impossible questions through the power of storytelling.

Long ago in the medieval era, there was a sorcerer (who just so happens to be the same sorcerer as the one from our last story) who needed to send his mother a gift for her birthday. He had used his magic to put together a very nice sculpture of a couple of horses (because his mother loved horses), but he had made the sculpture out of clay and was worried it would break on the way.

The sorcerer searched his whole house for a way to solve his predicament, but could find nothing soft and cushioned to place around the sculpture when he shipped it in its box. He didn’t want to use his clothes because he needed them to wear, he didn’t want to use blankets because he needed them for the coming winter, and he didn’t want to use his pillows and cushions because he quite liked them.

A little girl (who was the daughter of the town’s nut farmer) knocked on the door of the sorcerer’s house and entered when the door swung open (with the help of some of the sorcerer’s magic). She walked into the kitchen of the house, only to find the sorcerer sitting at the table and staring at a sculpture inside an otherwise empty box.

The girl, confused, asked the sorcerer what he was doing. The sorcerer sighed and explained his predicament, how he had nothing soft and cushioned to pack inside the box around the sculpture. The girl frowned and asked why he would not use his blankets and pillows to wrap the box, to which the sorcerer responded with the former explanation (along with a very meaningful death glare).

The girl thought for a moment, then snapped her fingers. She reminded the sorcerer that he was, in fact, a sorcerer, and therefore had magic (to which the sorcerer responded with a very obvious “duh”). The girl then pulled a handful of peanuts from one of her apron pockets (as she had come to the sorcerer’s home to deliver her father’s peanuts) and set them on the table.

The little girl pointed at the peanuts and told he sorcerer to turn them into something useful. The sorcerer looked at the girl like she was crazy, but complied all the same. He used his magic to puff the peanuts out and soften them into something useful. The result was a pile of puffy foam pieces.

The sorcerer was ecstatic. He immediately packed his sculpture and sent it to his mother on a dragon (the only way to send a package when you’re a sorcerer), all while thanking the little girl. The little girl just rolled her eyes and told him she wanted a pile of those foam pieces to sell. The sorcerer agreed and turned all the peanuts she was carrying into foam pieces.

The little girl started a major company based on selling what she called “foam packing peanuts.” The sorcerer came in every Tuesday (because was busy with “wizardy” stuff every other day) and turned piles of peanuts into the packing peanuts. The sorcerer and the little girl split the profits and became rich through their packing peanut company.

And the sorcerer’s mother loved her sculpture, though she was more than a little upset that her son didn’t take the time to visit.

Phobia

 

Everything is calm, peaceful, serene. Words are swimming through the space and creating images, the images morphing into various thoughts and imaginings. Emotions are flowing free, but one emotion lies at the center of the expanse: serenity.

Then the sound shatters the calm. It’s an instant trigger, the noise distinct and recognizable. It’s a signal for danger, trouble, and possible death. The reaction must be immediate to prepare for the highly possible worst-case scenario.

A warning must be sent out to the others. The lungs must know so they can breathe faster. The heart must know so it can beat quicker. The muscles must know so the body can take shelter. All nonessential systems must know so they can shut down and let the rest focus.

The warning is sent and they’re ready in seconds. Something is trying to process options, but it soon shuts down with the dying cry of one word: fear. Everything is in place to respond accordingly.

New words tear through the space in a cyclone of emotions. Warning. Danger. Hide. Fear. Death. Desperation. Trouble. Fear.

Agony.

Panic.

Run.

Twister.

Fear.


*Note: This was based on a prompt about fear, and I decided to write it for my phobia of tornadoes. It’s written as the brain’s response. I did double check my understanding of fear for this, so it is factually correct according to my understanding.

It’s also factually correct according to real life experience.

My writing belongs to me. All writing under the category “Fiction by Me” is mine. Use of my writing without my permission is prohibited. If you wish to use any my work for any reason, ask me for permission first.

Why Don’t Pigs Fly?

Answering life’s most impossible questions through the power of storytelling.

Years ago, when magic was still a part of everyday life, dogs flew. They filled the skies with their long, feathery wings and howling (which could get annoying, but oh well). It was a wonderful site, and a basic commonality of everyday life. Not to mention, the dogs were kind souls, so everyone was happy that they were the ones to receive the gift of flight.

Or so everyone thought. One day, the pigs decided that they deserved the gift of flight far more than those mangey mutts (excuse me for the language). They wanted wings for themselves. So they went to the birds (who did not have wings yet, of course) and asked them for help. The birds refused to help the pigs because they knew the dogs were good animals. So the pigs stormed off and decided to trick the dogs on their own.

The pigs went to a sorcerer (who was very powerful, but a bit ignorant and new to the job) and told him that the dogs were having trouble with their wings. They said the wings weren’t working quite right, but they couldn’t figure out what was wrong while they were on the dogs’ bodies. The sorcerer was troubled by this, and agreed to cast a spell to remove the wings of all the dogs so that they could take a look at them.

When the dogs landed on the ground to settle in for the night, the sorcerer cast his spell, and all of the dogs’ wings fell off. The dogs howled and barked in surprise and fear as their wings (which were no longer their wings; the sorcerer didn’t realize, but the wings could not be reattached) were magically whisked away. They chased their wings to the sorcerer’s house and the lead dog (what type of dog was he? A labrador, of course. A labrador with a coat of gold, because he was basically the king) entered on the behalf of all the dogs in the world.

The dog asked what was going on and the sorcerer explained. The lead dog told the sorcerer that the dogs’ wings had been working fine. It dawned on them what had happened, and they turned to the lead pig (yes, there’s also a lead pig; he’s bright pink, which is where the stereotype of what color pigs are comes from), who was trying to attach the wings to his own body (which was possible because they needed a new owner and could not go back to the dogs, but it could not be done without magic, so the pig wasn’t getting anywhere).

The pig realized that his plan had failed and tried to defend himself, but the sorcerer would have none of it. He cast a spell on the pig (a very powerful spell that he was certain he knew everything about) that made it so that no pig would ever be able to fly (at least, not on their own). The pig screeched in anger and rampaged around the house, but the sorcerer cast him out and far away (to a farm, to be precise, which is why pigs are now known as farm animals).

With the pig gone, the lead dog was able to properly mourn for his lost wings. The sorcerer apologized, for there was nothing he could do to help him. As they sat in their mourning, a bird (there’s no lead bird, they only have a Council) hopped in, breathing heavily from the exhaustion of walking so far on its little feet. It told the sorcerer and lead dog about how the pigs tried to get the help of the birds (how the pigs thought the birds could help, the world may never know) and how the birds were sorry they hadn’t made it in time to warn them. If only they could move faster…

The sorcerer and dog looked at each other and grinned. The lead dog turned to the bird and offered to give all of birdkind (blackbirds, hummingbirds, geese, and all the rest) their lost wings. The bird was shocked and wouldn’t accept the gift at first, but (upon hearing that the dogs could not have their wings back and there was no one else they wanted to give them to) ended up accepting.

The sorcerer cast his spell, and the wings attached themselves to all of birdkind. The bird who had entered flapped its wings in wonder, but didn’t know how to use them. It asked the dog, but the dog didn’t know. They never had to learn how to fly. They just knew from birth. So the bird hopped to the window and jumped out (why it thought that would be a good idea, the world may never know). The lead dog and sorcerer yelled in fear, but were stunned to see the bird flying like it had had wings its whole life (this is why birds hop out of trees without question when learning to fly).

From that day forward, all birds had wings, dogs lived on the ground (and as household pets, a tradition that the lead dog started with the sorcerer), and pigs were cursed to never fly on their own. This is why people say “when pigs fly” when they think something will never happen.

Till Death do Us Part

I walk across the grass, still damp from last night’s rain. A cool breeze brushes over me and my skin breaks out in goosebumps, but I don’t try to seek shelter. Instead, I pull my beautiful dress a few more inches above the ground and keep moving. It may not be the best day, but any day is wonderful when I’m with him. I float down the aisle with perfect poise and come to a graceful stop as I reach the front.

There he is.

There is my love.

The others sit in the chairs that have been set up. I hand the flowers I had been carrying to a nearby woman before turning back to the man who has always held a special place in my heart. I smile softly, a few tears escaping as I touch his face. Then I step back as the priest begins to speak.

I remember when we first met. We were little more than children back then: crazy high school students still trying to figure out our lives and destinies. I’d been sixteen; he’d been seventeen. Everyone thought it was just one of those naïve teenage romances, but I knew better. The moment I first laid eyes on him, I knew that he was the one. No matter what, until the end of time, I would never stop loving him and he’d never stop loving me.

The priest begins to sing, and I give a soft sigh, swaying lightly in time with the music.

Our first kiss was at the high school prom. We’d been dating for nearly a year, and he’d loved me so much that he’d agreed to take it incredibly slow. That night, he worked so hard to make everything perfect. He couldn’t afford a limo, so he picked me up in his dad’s black Chrysler. It was old and not the nicest thing in the world, but to me, it was better than any silly limo. He’d brought me a corsage to match my elegant blue dress and my parents had gone crazy taking pictures. We’d had the most wonderful night dancing, and during the last song, a slow dance, he kissed me. If it were possible, I loved him even more in that moment than ever before.

I feel a hand take hold of mine. I look up at the handsome young man standing next to me and he offers a smile. I return it before turning back to the priest.

We went off to college together. He got accepted to Harvard, the genius, but he denied them in favor of going to a simple state college with me. He ignored the threats and pleas of his parents and only thought about his love for me. Everyone on the campus knew that we were the perfect couple, and no one ever tried to tear us apart. It was just something that somehow became normal. I don’t know how, but it did. We did everything together, and no one found it strange, not even the freshmen that came in every year. They would send us one glance, and then completely accept the fact that we were meant for each other.

He waited until we graduated to ask me for my hand, but not a moment after. As soon as our hats were thrown, he asked me to be his forever. And I, of course, agreed.

The priest finishes his chanting. The woman I’d handed my flowers to earlier hands them back to me. I lean forward and lay them on the altar before my love. I don’t wait for him to look at me. His eyes are closed.

We stayed married for a happy sixty-three years. We raised three wonderful children, and spoiled seven wonderful grandchildren. We even saw the birth of one perfect little great-grandchild. We worked and struggled together, we smiled and danced together. I worked in the office, and he worked as a doctor before becoming a stay-at-home dad for the kids. I earned enough so that he could do so, and it made him so happy. Every day when I came home from work, he’d pull me in for a kiss and dance me around the living room for a bit while the kids watched and laughed.

When the kids left the house, we sat on the couch, reminiscing over the past and every beautiful moment we shared. When we retired, we traveled the world together. Our last trip was to Europe, where we visited Germany, Italy, France, Greece, and Ireland. It had been so amazing. We’d been discussing going back when he was suddenly bombarded by medical issues. I remember talking to the doctors at the hospital and them telling me that we couldn’t travel anymore. He was ill and couldn’t handle it. So we stayed at home together. Eventually, we moved to a retirement home together. We’d become old and frail, but he’d still take me by the hand and dance me around the home’s living room each night.

People begin to stand and leave. I feel one more tear trace down the hollow of my cheek.

I remember that last night clearly. We were dancing around the room, just a soft slow dance, and he leaned down to kiss me one last time…

I feel a gentle hand on my shoulder, and I’m led away from the grave.


My writing belongs to me. All writing under the category “Fiction by Me” is mine. Use of my writing without my permission is prohibited. If you wish to use any my work for any reason, ask me for permission first.