A Walk In The Rain

Sarah stood at the living room window and watched, with disappointment, as the thunderstorm approached.

“Why does it have to rain tonight?” she thought, “I’ve waited all day for our evening walk. It just isn’t fair! Oh, well, I wonder if Mom is ready?”

“Hey, Mom, it’s getting ready to rain. Do you still want to go to the park?” she called, silently hoping her mom would.

“Raining? Great! Oh, well, we need it. Grab my raincoat from the crock, please. I always did like to walk in the rain,” her mom answered.

Sarah grabbed a couple of umbrellas from the crock by the door and out they went. Torrential rain was falling as they stepped off the porch. It beat a steady cadence on their umbrellas as they headed for the corner. Lightning creased the sky and cast gloomy shadows in the evening sky. Puddles were forming everywhere and the sewers were working overtime trying to keep up with the steady flow of water.

“What a night!” Sarah thought as she pulled her umbrella closer to her face.

As they neared the corner a car slowed and the driver rolled down the window. They could tell that it was Officer Magursky as they peered through the rain.

“Now what are you two up to?” he asked.

“Oh! Hi! We always walk in the evenings,” answered Sarah.

“You’re going to get soaked and catch pneumonia. Better go home and forget this nonsense,” he admonished.

“We’ll be ok,” her mom answered.

Walking a little farther, her mom’s cell phone rang, answering it, she became a little agitated.

“It's you dad, he needs me to look up something in his file cabinet. I need to go back and find it. Are you coming with me or going on?” asked her mom.

“I think I’ll go on. See you later. Pizza when I get back?” Sarah asked.

Her mom nodded and turned for home while Sarah turned down a dark, lonely street, heading for her favorite place, the local park. She could walk among the trees, sit on her favorite park bench, and take time to gather her thoughts after a long day at school. She especially loved the first storm of summer. She habitually called it her “getting close to nature” outing. Rejuvenating not only her body but her soul and spirit also.

“The water is so warm tonight,” she thought as she stepped into puddles that went over the top of her sandals, but it was such a good feeling that she thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, she enjoyed it so much that she removed her raincoat, let down her umbrella, and reveled in the feeling of getting soaked in the warm rainfall. Water streamed down her face and dripped from her chin as she walked. Her hair and clothing were plastered to her slender form, making her look younger than she actually was. Stopping, she lifted her face towards the heavens and ran her fingers through her wet hair. Smiling, she shook her head like a soaked collie, water flying everywhere.

“This is great,” she thought as she continued on. The rain came down even harder as she walked, often obscuring her vision. But it was of little consequence because she was a night person and was perfectly attuned to her surroundings. The rain, in its fury, had a tendency to muffle all of the sounds around her, and little did she know that she wasn’t the only one enjoying an evening in the park. Her first inklings that things weren’t right came when she heard the sounds of running in the trees inside the park. She attempted to make out what it was but it was of no use in the darkness.

“Who’s there? Who are you?” she timidly asked.

No answer came.

“I know someone’s there. I heard you running!”

Again, no answer.

Terror crossed her face as she picked up her pace and headed for the distant street light. Panic created vivid images of what could happen to her in a lonely park at night.

“Oh, God, what am I going to do?”

“Help! Someone, please help me!” she screamed.

Her sandals, raincoat, and umbrella became hindrances as she attempted to run and quickly discarded them. Bare feet flying, she raced for safety with whatever it was behind her gaining ground rapidly.

“God, please help me get to the street light!” she sobbed as she ran.

As she neared the street light, she glanced over her shoulder for her assailant. In doing so she tripped over the curb and fell into the street as the city bus drove by. The driver caught her out of the corner of his eye but it was too late, hitting and running over her. As he jammed on the brakes he could tell he was dragging something under the bus.

Blood streaming down her face and into her eyes, Sarah’s last moments were spent under the bus. As she gasped her last breath she could see a dark form racing through the woods.

Sirens could be heard in the distance, their wail enhanced by their urgency to reach the scene. Emergency vehicles as well as a small crowd quickly gathered by the bus. As they loaded her into an ambulance, a sheet across her body, a man approached the police from the dark.

“What happened? Who is it?” he asked.

The officer pulled him aside to answer his questions.

“Until we notify her parents I can’t divulge her name. I can tell you that she was a pretty girl that lived in a subdivision on the other side of the park. I knew her well. In fact, I spoke to her not half an hour ago as her mother and she started their walk. I told them to stay home. This wouldn’t have happened if they would have listened to me,” he said with tears in his eyes.

“That’s too bad. I’m sorry. It seems like it always happens when you least expect it. I know that you’re busy and I hate to change the subject but can you help me? I have been hunting my Irish Wolfhound all evening. We also were out for our evening walk when Maggie lunged at a squirrel, broke her leash, and took off after it. She loves to chase anything that runs. It’s a bad habit of hers and it will get her in trouble one of these days. So, is there any chance that you might have seen my dog?”

July 10, 2020