Raindrops were falling thick and fast, hitting the top of the yellow umbrella, bouncing off the rippling surfaces of the expanding puddles. Everywhere there were feet; encased in shiny black boots, worn out shoes, muddy wellies, loud heels, socks and sandals. The fresh smell one always associates with rain hung in the air as the cobbles were pelted and the skies released their fury.
Hurried footsteps echoed loudly around the now deserted streets as a lone figure dashed down the road. Except they weren’t alone. Another figure, bigger, darker, with a bolder and more harsh outline was slinking just out of sight round the side of the hulking bins, drawing on a pipe with the brim of a hat masking their face. The small brightly coloured blur flitted past the shadow, and in the blink of an eye was gone. Just like that. The person had simply been taken off the street as if they had not been there in the first place. The shadow had faded and suddenly there were people everywhere, hoods up, huddling under umbrellas and awnings.
It was as if they had always been there – the shoppers, going about their business without interruption or pause even with the torrential rain. It was nothing. And yet. Something had happened. Changed. The air was no longer sweet, laughter did not rise from the crowds; a ripple of uncertainty had passed through the area and the afternoon light was sagging with the weight of the stars.
It was quiet, the street was empty and stars pushed through the dense blackness of the heavens. There were looming obscurities in every corner, at every turn, and from every angle the flash of colour, of a yellow umbrella unchanged by the amber glow of street lamps was caught in the corner of the eyes of the ones who watched.
The essence of the girl with the umbrella remained trapped with the rain; she fell through the air with the drops of water encasing everything that she was in each droplet. Every second as more rain fell, she became more visible, until reality was drowned out by the buckets of water that held the buckets of memories. Trapped.
The rain started to slow, from sheets of solid water, to a torrent of molten glass, to individual rain drops, to nothing. Nothing, except the hundreds of shoppers going about their daily business as if nothing had happened.
Written by Ro_Lucy