This story was written in response to the following word prompts:
Today’s things are: calendar, knee, jeep
Sebastian woke up to the sun streaming into the room through a gap in the curtains. Dust motes floated and glinted in that bright beam of light. The room was already getting too hot to bear.
Wiping the sleep out of his eyes and the sweat from his brow, Sebastian walked into his en-suite shower-room, removing his boxer-shorts on the way. The Minty fragranced shower gel gave a brief sensation of coolness and it felt good to get rid of that dirty sweaty feeling that seemed to cling to him after a night of trying to sleep in that unrelenting heat. Stepping out of the shower, the heat seemed to dry him off even before he reached for a towel and began rubbing it over his toned and tanned body. He ran a comb through his floppy blonde hair and already spotted a bead of sweat developing on his forehead. ‘Will this incessant heat-wave ever end?’ he thought to himself. Grabbing a clean but cool linen shirt from the wardrobe he stretched and let it drop onto his arms and rest on his shoulders. He only did up two of the buttons, then he sat down on the bed, opened the bedside cabinet draw and pulled on a pair of loose underpants, then a pair of shorts. Jumping up, he was ready for the day. He looked at the Calendar on the kitchen wall. It was August the 14th. He pulled down the previous months page, then the next. He found the date that was ringed, June the 3rd. The last day they’d had rain.
Looking out at the land, his land, he couldn’t help but feel a huge sadness. It had so much potential when he’d bought it, using all the money he’d been left by his Grandfather and the money he had saved working on other farms for other landowners. Always he had dreamed of some land of his own. It had been green once. Green fields with his own flock of sheep and up on the chalk hills were the grapevines he’d been planning to make his fortune with. The fields were brown now, the grass withered to straw. He’d managed to sell the sheep, he couldn’t bear seeing them without enough grass to eat, or water to drink.
He felt he’d been cursed but the Immortal Gods. He wasn’t the only person being driven into poverty by the drought, but he’d had such high hopes. So much potential.
Sebastian got into his jeep and drove down the dirt track that followed the perimeter of his small holding. The dust flew up and obscured his view of the road but he knew the way, up the track, past one of the outbuildings and up onto the ridge.
He pulled up and glanced over his dying dreams. The rows and rows of grapevines, with their withering leaves and shrivelling fruit. He had spent months planting them and putting in an irrigation system. All in vain.
The pain was suddenly too much and he fell to the ground. He cried long and wracking tears, with no regard for pride. No one could see him anyway. His shoulders shook as the tears continued to fall. He prayed for rain to an immortal God that he had never paid much attention to. He wasn’t even sure he believed existed. On bent knee, he prayed. Then opening his eyes, he blinked. There on the horizon. It couldn’t be? Could it? Yes, in the distance but coming this way, a present from God, Clouds. The clouds came rolling in on soft cool breezes. Then, for the first time in months, the rains came. Sebastian stripped off his clothes and ran naked through the rows of vines laughing in joy tinged with hysteria.
The rains had come at last.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 17/July/2018