Like The Rain

Holly Hobbie Music Box

Leigh huddles in the corner of her bedroom, hugging a pillow, knees drawn to her chest.  Even the rain pelting the window and the rolling thunder couldn’t drown out the storm raging inside.  The fiercest storms always come around midnight.

“She’s my secretary!”  Dad hollers.

“Why did she come here?”  Mom screams.

“None of your damn business!”

“Go to Hell!”

The words feel like punches in her gut.  They had talked about Hell in church that morning.  Why would Mom want Dad to go there?  Leigh hopes it’s something she’ll learn when she turns seven.  Mom always says, ‘you’ll understand when you get older.’  Is seven old enough?

Glass breaks.  Mom yells.  The walls shake when the front door slams.  Leigh’s Holly Hobbie music box tumbles from the shelf and lands with a crack.  Two notes of music play.  Lightning flashes.  The bursts of light illuminate the broken ballerina on the floor.  A clap of thunder makes the house tremor.

The front door slams again.  Pictures on the wall bounce.  Dad’s angry shouts make Leigh cover her ears and bury her face in the pillow to muffle her cries.  She prays God will make it stop- all of it- the hate, the yelling, the tension, the tightness in her chest.

Leigh startles when the thunder of gun shots rattles the windows.  Too many to count.  Lightning flickers and then the room goes dark again.

Raindrops quicken and thump with more force, just like her heartbeats.  The cadence is broken by the skidding of tires out of their gravel driveway.

Her stomach feels heavy.

Is this how answered prayers should feel?


Unless inspiration strikes and insists a story be written, this will probably be my only Trifecta weekday challenge entry this week.  Busy week with scouts, football, and family – every night til next Monday.  Our last scout meeting before the summer break is on Thursday – yay!  It’s fun, but I need a break 🙂

For this week’s challenge, we again dug through your suggestions for inspiration. (If you haven’t linked up yet with Meet Your Fellow Trifectans, please do.) We’re going with Tamyka‘s suggestion:

thun·der noun \ˈthən-dər\ – bang, rumble <the thunder of big guns>


42 thoughts on “Like The Rain

  1. Kelly Garriott Waite (@kgwaite) May 2, 2012 / 3:55 AM

    Great job at showing how tense the situation is here – I love the visual of the music box, the broken ballerina and the two notes playing after the fall. Nice job.

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 7:56 PM

      Thanks, Kelly. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on what you liked!

  2. xoEvelynOrtizHasSpoken May 2, 2012 / 4:04 AM

    This very verbal & descriptive, I feel as though I was in room with her as it happened.

    Perfection, this story is great !

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 7:57 PM

      Thanks, Evelyn, for stopping by to read my story!

  3. mairzeebp May 2, 2012 / 5:49 AM

    I held my breath while reading this. Such a great use of the prompt. Job well done!

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 8:15 PM

      Thanks for your compliment, Mairzeebp. Good thing it was short, since you held your breath and all 🙂

  4. braintomahawk May 2, 2012 / 6:35 AM

    This is powerful stuff, and with rainy weather all this week, it pulls you in even deeper. Well done!

  5. Annabelle May 2, 2012 / 7:37 AM

    How terrible! I’m afraid to find out what she’ll see if she goes downstairs.

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 8:17 PM

      I’m glad I didn’t have to write that part for this challenge, Annabelle! Thanks for reading 🙂

  6. Gina May 2, 2012 / 8:27 AM

    OMG! I think it’s heartbreaking and sad for children to hear their parents argue. Usually, rain at night makes me feel safe but poor Leigh….Truly a devastating end.

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 8:20 PM

      The kids can learn about conflict resolution if the arguing is fair and respectful. Too bad this arguing was neither. Thanks for reading my story, Gina!

  7. nrhatch May 2, 2012 / 8:46 AM

    Beautifully crafted piece, Janna . . . especially the two notes from the broken box.

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 8:32 PM

      Thanks, Nancy. I’m glad you stopped by to read it!

  8. Ruby Manchanda May 2, 2012 / 10:15 AM

    The tension filters through in every word. Nice write up.

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 8:32 PM

      Thank you, Ruby. I appreciate the comment.

  9. Debbie May 2, 2012 / 10:29 AM

    Good description, Janna. You’ve got to feel this child’s fear and pain at what she’s experiencing but not understanding. You nailed another one!

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 8:33 PM

      Thanks, Debbie! I’m glad I conveyed her emotions…my inclination was to soften it up a bit, but it just didn’t work that way.

  10. pattisj May 2, 2012 / 12:09 PM

    Very well written, Janna!

  11. philosophermouseofthehedge May 2, 2012 / 3:16 PM

    Very intense. (might consider not everyone knows Holly Hobbie – although I like the giggley cheery sound of those words as a contrast to the scene). Nice job

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 8:36 PM

      Yeah, Holly Hobbie is an ‘old’ thing, but I’d hoped the picture at the beginning would help. I had a box just like it as a child (the jewelry box is the only ‘real’ thing in this story.) Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion – it’s always welcome here, Phil!

  12. Imelda May 2, 2012 / 4:08 PM

    oh, poor girl. My heart goes out to her.

    • jannatwrites May 2, 2012 / 8:36 PM

      Thanks, Imelda. I appreciate you reading the story!

  13. Trifecta (@trifectawriting) May 2, 2012 / 10:22 PM

    The parallel between the thunderous fighting going on, the gunshots and the weather outside was a nice touch. And I loved the Holly Hobbie nod, totally resonated with me.
    Thanks for playing. Come back and see us for the new prompt on Friday.

  14. Amanda May 3, 2012 / 6:21 AM

    You have so many great details subtly tucked in there that really bring this piece to life! So well written!

    • jannatwrites May 3, 2012 / 5:01 PM

      Thanks so much for the compliment, Amanda. I appreciate you taking time to read it!

  15. Sandra May 3, 2012 / 8:04 AM

    This piece is so full of emotions. It is beuatifully written, and a very nice response to the prompt!

    • jannatwrites May 3, 2012 / 8:31 PM

      Thanks for your nice comment…and for reading the story, Sandra!

    • jannatwrites May 3, 2012 / 8:32 PM

      Thanks, Mel. Not enough words to bring it to a place of hope.

  16. Christine May 3, 2012 / 3:33 PM

    Man, there are a lot of scary posts up on Trifecta this week! I like how you used the details inside Leigh’s room to illustrate what was going on outside it. The music box falling (I think I had that Holly Hobbie music box, actually…), the walls shaking, the bursts of light. Well done.

    • k~ May 3, 2012 / 5:22 PM

      Uh huh! There sure are!

      • jannatwrites May 3, 2012 / 8:36 PM

        Well, thunder must bring out the ‘scary’ in us, K~!

    • jannatwrites May 3, 2012 / 8:35 PM

      I agree…that’s one reason, I did a more light-hearted story for my second entry. I guess I got depressed 🙂

      Thanks for reading and sharing what you liked about my story, Christine.

  17. Rachael May 3, 2012 / 5:35 PM

    Poor little Leigh! Great imagery and description, but still, poor little girl 😦 I can’t help but think this may ruin any belief in God answering prayers.

    • jannatwrites May 3, 2012 / 8:37 PM

      Rachael, I have a feeling down the road, she’ll come to trust God will answer prayers. Of course that story hasn’t been written, but that’s how I would write it! Thanks for taking time out to read my story 🙂

  18. cuhome May 4, 2012 / 1:36 PM

    So much suspense and emotion packed into a few short paragraphs! Well done! Now, I want to know what happens next! 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 5, 2012 / 12:57 AM

      Glad you liked it, Janet! I might have to figure out what happens next and write it 🙂

  19. idiosyncratic eye May 4, 2012 / 2:21 PM

    It’s the poignancy of the broken ballerina, the treasures of a 6 year old, that got me. Beautifully described from a child’s viewpoint. 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 5, 2012 / 12:59 AM

      Thank you so much for reading, Idiosyncratic Eye.

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