by Brian W. Hugenbruch
The storm swoops in suddenly: nebulous clouds the colors of a bruise engulf what feeble sunlight had been straining to illuminate the day. My umbrella – a blue and white piece of garbage that had survived two hurricanes and three girlfriends – tears itself out of my hands and flies back the way we came, toward the comfort of city living.
Just as well. With rain coming at me sideways, it wasn't going to be of much use.
The country road had delineated itself into "mud" and "not-mud". I slog through the not-mud as best I can ... but around these parts, "pavement" is a dirty word. Soon I'm up to my ankles in a light brown gunk that is struggling desperately to acquire my boots.
After what seems like years, I trudge up the stairs of the rickety front porch, nodding politely to the water-spouting frog as I pass. I glance at the doormat, and then at my footwear, which has become more mud than boot. Still, I make a valiant effort to leave the road behind me as I opened the door.
The cottage smells of coffee and fresh bread, the way home always is. Soaked to the bone, I quickly shed my boots and yell out: "Mom! Dad! I'm home!"
On the kitchen table, though, is a piece of paper:
"Son— went off to visit the Lunsfords next door. C'mon over, we miss you! Only a mile, but take your car – storm's comin' tonight. --Love, Ma."
[Brian W. Hugenbruch is an aspiring writer living in upstate New York. He spends his time working on his house, writing, reading and neglecting his long-suffering writer's blog.]