Third Feb-Flash piece has arrived! Read it here and share yours in the comments. The prompt for this week was to start the story with the phrase: “It was a dark and stormy night.”
It was a dark and stormy night. As my luck would have it, it meant I was waiting for a bus without an umbrella, a raincoat or even a hood. So, in addition to dark and stormy, it was wet and miserable.
I sighed and squinted against the water drops splashing on my face. Perfect. I’d get sick, fail my finals and never graduate. Bye bye good career and secure finance situation. Bye food. Also bye the socks and new shoes that were soaked through by now.
My body shivered as the wind picked up. Chattering teeth. Skin turning blue. Classical first signs of a person dying of hypotermia. They would find me in in the morning, once I’d turned into an icy puddle.
Maybe I wouldn’t have minded during the day but here in the dark… There could be anything in the shadows. Anything! I wouldn’t even hear it coming because of the whooshing rain. Even if I did, I wouldn’t get far with my soaked boots and shaky legs.
Was that splat just more rain? That gush just the wind?
I spun around on my heels. Nothing but darkness.
Another splash. Behind me. My heart jumped to my throat. They’d find me in the morning as a pile of–
I screamed and jumped. If I had an umbrella, I would’ve whirled it around like a sword.
A figure emerged from the rain. A horrible, horrible monster, my frightened brain kept shouting.
But it wasn’t. It was an ordinary man, with an ordinary umbrella above him. And he was smiling. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you. Waiting for a bus?”
I nodded but inside I was running through all the possible endings. What else would I be doing on a bus stop? Was it a test? Did he have reinforcements?
He stepped closer and the only reason I didn’t run into the wilderness was the frozen state of my feet. He held the umbrella over us both without saying a word.
My teeth chattered and drops still ran down my face. I didn’t think it would matter anymore, considering I couldn’t really get any wetter, but it was surprisingly pleasant to be warded from the downpour.
I glanced at the man discreetly. Maybe he was just waiting for the bus too. Why else would be offer to help?
Nothing nice ever happened to me. This was either a murderer or a kidnapper or he was setting me up for a prank. Maybe he didn’t want me to move before his friend drove pass and splashed mud water all over me.
But no car went by. No knives were drawn. Minutes passed in silence and my brain eventually got tired of staying alert.
The darkness was finally broken by beautiful, merciful headlights of the bus.
“That’s my bus,” I said and waved for the vehicle to stop.
I stepped inside the bus and looked back at the man. He stood still, smiling from under the umbrella.
“You’re not coming?” I asked.
“Have a good night,” was all he said before turning away and disappearing off to where he’d come from.
I blinked in surprise. The bus driver snapped at me to hurry up so I showed him my bus card and took a seat in the back.
I couldn’t see him from the window. I barely saw the bus stop sign through the rain.
I smiled to myself. A complete stranger had stopped to help me for no other reason than to be nice.
Maybe nice things did happen — even on dark and stormy nights.