A Fragile Short Story by Matthew William Elsbernd

Clouds plague the sky. Crowds of fans try to catch a glimpse of the old master making his re-entrance to this world. With the beckoning of these masses, the wind rushing through the trees, I start out from the shelter.

The ground below is mud scattered over gravel. Now with every step a scratching sound accompanies the relentless squishing noise. With the same unease and slow progress I continue. My path lays ahead of me, as apparent as the distinction between mud-covered grass and mud-covered gravel. But I know for certain where I am slowly headed. Years of practice has enabled me to hobble this forsaken path with such certainty.

The loud clamor of the wind, as it pushes and pulls on the stiff, wisened trees. I watch them swaying back and forth, invisible children playing their game of tug-of-war. As I look up at these wise, old giants a crack of thunder shoots through my spine. Almost in reaction, the trees violently begin to shake back and forth.

Mr. Thunder has just warned me about his friend Mr. Lightning, who I can't see yet, but who will soon make his presence known. Just then the sky opened up to give me another warning, in case my hearing had already left me. The rain fell down upon me like a wall of ice, with its chill soaking its way into my skin.

Then with a speed that makes it ridiculous, I open my umbrella and lift it above me. My crowd of followers in the sky shower down their disapprovals of my shielding myself from them. The incessant pounding on my umbrella, nearly ripping it apart, as they attempt to get an unadulterated view of me. But my umbrella withstands their assault, leaving me to bear the continuous pounding of their pleas.
Last PageCopyright 1990 Revised January 1997Next Page