Waking to the chatter of rain against my window, my eyes open to a kaleidoscope of colour. Bushes and trees in sundry shades of green with scattered purples and yellows stretch beyond my view. Water-kisses balance on leafy branches that bow and shiver with succulence.
I roll over in bed anticipating the distant rumble of thunder. Satisfied, I pad to the kitchen. Opting for instant coffee, I fill the kettle. Rain dots the window above the sink. It spatters and puddles on the deck. Beneath the darkening sky a delicate blue cloth clings to the drenched table top.
This is a p.j. day. A perfect writing day. With a contented sigh, I forgo the office and carry my manuscript, coffee, and laptop into the living room. I settle into my chair and balance the computer on my lap while scouting the garden beneath the window. There is not a bunny in sight. I am convinced they are nestling in the sheltering span of the spruce.
Tree branches sway and bushes shudder in what is now a downpour. I am elated. That is until I realize it is the first day of school. I picture the little ones, backpacks braced on narrow shoulders and lunch pails clutched in tiny fists, as they wait at the side of the road for the big yellow bus. Cars splashing through puddles; muddy streaks trailing down brand-new rain coats; sandals forsaken for rubber boots. Waterproof hoods tug wisps of hair from freshly styled pony tails and send perfectly placed barrettes askew.
Lexus whines; her tail tucked between her legs. Her expression reminds me that she prefers being downstairs during a storm. Come, she pleads. No, Lex, I’m staying right here, I say aloud. She harrumphs – an annoyed snort – then facing the wall she flops down with a thud, her nose to the baseboard.
My thoughts evolve from bunnies and the kindergarten clan to the high school girls. Can’t help but grin imagining their shrieks as they race around the house changing outfits for the third time. Mo-om! You have to drive me. What about my hair? No raincoats, no umbrellas for them...not cool − not for the first day of high school.
My sympathy for their predicament does not dampen (sorry) my gleeful appreciation of the stormy morning, as I finish checking emails and the latest facebook updates. With unbridled enthusiasm I begin work on the second draft of my suspense novel.
The wind picks up. I glance out the window at the rain sweeping across the stone walk. Lex stirs. She approaches and nudges my leg. No, Lex, I say. She lowers her chin to the floor between her paws and then drops her hind end. I feel the vibration on the bottom of my bare feet.
I continue to edit my manuscript while casting intermittent glances at the glorious sheets of rain washing down the front porch.
My manuscript slides off my lap as I reach for a notebook. My muse is creating images and thought patterns not relevant to my novel. Is that a person I see in the driveway? Is someone crying for help? There is a pounding on the front door. I look over at Lexus. Undisturbed by my imaginings she remains snoring softly.
The lights flicker. Reaching beyond my coffee mug, I fumble through loose sheets of paper and grasp my pen. With a shuddering breath I begin to write.
It was a dark and stormy night.....