After the Storm – Fiction
I remember the day Dean and I found this gem. A ninety-two-year-old farmhouse out of a fairytale novel, me round with Sarah soon to make us three.
We signed, moved in, and soon enough these old walls were filled with the sounds of our beautiful daughter. Baby giggles made up for sleepless nights. Dean worked the land. I split my time between being a mother, a wife, and loving this life we shared.
Sarah grew–too quickly. Seasons passed and I came to mark them by the colour of the fields. Brown, green, gold. I loved watching the wheat ripening. The stalks dancing in the wind.
Sarah went to school, two golden spaniels joined the family. Sarah, Winston, and Maggie were always out playing in the fields. Muddy and happy, they would swoop in for food and be off again until it was time for dinner. Those dogs sulked when their playmate left for school, waited for Dean’s truck to pull up every day. Weekends were spent playing, swimming in the stream, and general shenanigans.
In the blink of an eye, Sarah went to high school, prom, and off to college. By this time, Winston and Maggie were eleven and grey in the muzzle, spending more time dozing than playing.
Dean and I counted the nights of sleep till Sarah’s visits but relished time together. Cooking, reading, laughing. We laughed so much.
I miss that laugh. I miss all of him. It’s been 10 months since cancer took him from me. Maggie passed shortly before. I hope they found each other up there. It’s just me and Winston now. Sarah is still at college and visits when she can.
This storm is the first since I lost Dean. And Maggie. I hate storms. Dean would put on music, read to me. He had a myriad of ways to distract me. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m scared. Winston and me under the covers. Rachmaninoff is on full blast. Windows rattling. Winston in my arms. Tears streaming into my pillow. God, I miss you, Dean. Somehow I drift off.
Lashing rain and howling winds. Windows rattling. How they did not crack, I do not know. I guess they built things to last back then. Winston and I barely left the bed. The storm is over now. Winston is whining. He wants a walk. I need one too.
It’s chilly but there is a freshness in the air. The blue sky peeking between the clouds, glimpses of sun. Winston, nose to the ground, his tail wagging. Exploring the world washed clean. I breathe in the crisp air.
My eye catches a lone ear of wheat. Harvest was two weeks ago. The sun catches on a spider web; intricate and delicate. I smile as tears cascade down my cheeks. As the storm clears, and Winston sits by my feet, I feel hope flutter in my chest as the tiny spider weaves the finishing touches.