He peered down. Elderwood High’s blacktop expanded before him. Jay decided this was the perfect place to do it. With careful thought, with great consideration, and with much reluctance, he’d chosen this to be the place where he would be remembered – as a spattered corpse, maybe, but remembered nonetheless. A real legacy, something that would stick . . .

Stick like his opened skull would in a few minutes. Jay smirked at that. No one understood his sense of humor. All of his peers found him morbid. Perhaps he was. On that same token, he found their mediocrity horrifying. Like pubescent geese they squawked about nothing of importance with stapled smiles that never waned. If he had to endure a world like that for the next three years – a pointless game of minced words – he would rather sit it out.

The ledge of the school’s gymnasium – the home of the Elderwood Satyrs – provided the highest point that the three-story school had to offer. Such an end would have a sense of poetry to it, a person who viewed life as a game plummeting from a place where games were played. Yes, that would be his legacy amidst the popculture herd of high school. At least he would finally have one. Years of anonymity would end – not with a bang, but with a splat!

What caught his eye from the left corner tore him away from that thought. A girl maybe no older than sixteen in faded blue overalls stood on the ledge as well, surveying the blacktop as he had, eyes blanketed by an oily mat of brown hair – an overdone bowl cut. She was singing:

If the rain comes
they run and hide their heads
They might as well be dead
If the rain comes
If the rain comes

“Hey you,” he called out. “Beat it!”

The girl stopped in mid-tune but didn’t respond.

“Look, I dunno what you’re doing here, but I would rather not have company,” Jay said.

She turned her matted head to him, and a dimpled grin appeared on her face – a Cheshire glow amidst a curtain of brown. “I’m waiting for my cue.”

He titled his head. “Cue?”

“Yes, cue. It’s supposed to rain today.”

Jay scoffed. “No, it isn’t. It’s sun-” a crack of thunder interrupted him “-ny.”

In his pondering, he hadn’t noticed the thick patches of gray gathering above him in the mid-day sky. Droplets followed – the very “cue” she had spoken of. Her smile widened and she giggled. Jay swore he found melody to the sound of it.

“It’s here!” she shouted, outstretching her arms, embracing nothing. “It’s here for me.”

“What the hell’re you talking about?” Jay asked. “What’s here? Why for you?”

“The rain is here for me,” she said. Streams of water cascaded down her cheeks, creating the illusion of tears. “The rain is me. I am the rain.”

Turning away from him, she returned her gaze to the puddle-dotted blackness below. Her arms fell slowly to her side. Drenched as she was, her pale undershirt didn’t cling at all. If anything, it appeared feathery. Jay squinted then gasped. Her clothing wasn’t wet at all, only her skin.

“Time for me to return,” she said through the beating shower, standing off her heels, bearing weight on the tips of her toes.

A moment passed. The downpour continued, clanking and splashing against stone slabs and metal rungs of the roof. Her chin raised, mouth closed, and hair parted away from her face due to sheer water-weight. Her chest didn’t heave. No chilled spasms racked her body. Why Jay noticed this, he didn’t know. Something about her seemed . . .

Before he could find the right words, she was no longer there. A muddled imprint of her shoes remained in her place. Jay dashed to where she had stood and gazed downward. The blacktop was empty. No blood, no body, just puddles.

“What the . . . What the . . .” he repeated looked up at the gray-smeared sky above him. “FUCK?!?”

* * *

He walked among the puke-green-lacquered lockers inside the school. Darkness shrouded the hall except for a few flickering florescent bulbs. They reflected off the trails of wetness Jay left in his wake as he trudged for the nearest exit. His lips contorted into a grimace, thinking about the last few minutes, still breathing heavily. Obsidian hair bungeed the water that remained – dangling, mocking.

With his right hand he swiped the follicle mop away from his vision. And he noticed the locker rows had ended. Several plaques lined the free wall. Framed black and white pictures, arrayed in segments. He read through the years of each. Some dated back as early as six decades ago. He hadn’t noticed this area before. Then again, he rarely set foot in Senior Hall. After screening the photos for a few minutes, he stopped at one in particular.

Jay’s face paled.

The photo of a brunette girl with a dimpled smile stared back at him. The etched letters below it read:





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Monday, December 8th, 2008 Prose No Comments

I work for tea money.


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