The Sound Of Rain

Inspiration: I wanted to write a story about a cult. This idea eventually turned into the base plot for Screaming :)

Rain can be such a calming and relaxing thing for so many people- that subtle and comforting sound as the tiny droplets fall from the heavens to end up colliding with the ground; that slight pattering noise that isn’t too dissimilar to a light popping. The fact that it manages to be both rhythmic and random at the same time is what I think makes it. That along with the comforting darkness that envelopes your world as the clouds roll in overhead and block out the sun. One of the most relaxing things you can possibly do during an aggressive storm is turn a chair to face outside, kick back with a book and a cup of coffee, and watch as the world outside has its thirst quenched. It always works to pull me into a deep focused state, which quickly turns into me wanting to take a long, cozy nap.

My favorite thing about spring is how, when a rolling storm engulfs an area, everyone and everything seems to pause and take notice- almost like everything, living or not, knows to give respect to this absolute force of nature and the beauty it contains. We all fall in line with it’s beat and adjust ourselves accordingly. Obviously, as beautiful as storms are, they do bring some things that some could see as negative- flooding, damaging winds, hail, and in some places things like hurricanes or tornadoes. Even a nice rain like the one we’ve been getting comes with the scary parts- just the other day the police found someone that had drowned in water that had collected in their yard. There wasn’t much in ways of detail, but apparently they had managed to slip and knock themselves unconscious, then they landed with their face in the puddle. It’s a shame, but I can’t imagine it was more than a crazy coincidence.

Now, my biggest issue with the current storm is that it seems like it’s unending. Like I said, I love the rain, but I can only take so much of it; one or two days of a steady downpour is fine, but this has been going for at lest six days now. At some point last week, the sky opened up and it started coming down, and while it was nice for a bit, this is beginning to feel a bit excessive, and it hasn’t come without its problems. There was a steady stream of water that was running from my gutter into the yard, but apparently there’s a clog somewhere because water was actually dripping in my patio door. On top of that, the collection of water on the side of the house caused a bit of a flooding issue in the basement. We got it solved, thankfully, but it was still a bit of an annoyance to have to do the work in the rain.

I know I’m not the only one that’s been having problems though, I read on one of my neighborhood groups that there was a house down the way that had some pretty serious damage- apparently one of the windows was broken because of the storm, and they had a lot of damage. On top of that, some kids had taken advantage of the broken window and trashed the place. Thankfully the owner seemed to be out of town as no one’s seen them for a few days, but they’re going to be surprised when they get back home.

Plus, my lethargy has absolutely had a grip on me since the storm started- I haven’t been wanting to get out of bed or do any of my work projects. That droning sound that I described a moments ago is really, REALLY, good at putting my ass out for the day. I just want to lay on the couch and watch the news. Well, I would if they would stop reporting the negative stuff- I don’t want to hear about murders or anything like that, I want to hear about the community coming together and fixing things. It’s really sad how much the media wants to focus on the negative, and not on the positive parts of our world. Maybe that’s why so many people have issues with seasonal depression and whatnot.

One thing I wish that they would report on is all the noise in this city. Yesterday morning, I swear I heard some prankster screaming out his window as loud as he could. At first I wasn’t sure if I actually heard it, it happened while I was watching some dumb talk show, just after I had woken up. I was listening to them make jokes at the expense of some celebrity. I grabbed my coffee and went to take a sip and I heard the faint sound of someone shouting. Again, I wasn’t sure that it was actually a scream at first, but then they did it again and I knew for sure that’s what it was. I got up to look out the window, and I saw that someone else in the neighborhood had put on their poncho and mask, and started down the way to have a stern talk with the person. Good on them for being considerate and wearing their mask, but I don’t think that their statements got through to the person, because no more than an hour later, I heard him again. Then another an hour after that.

I’ve been getting incredibly frustrated by this whole thing, because he keeps going, almost every single hour, on the hour, he keeps shouting out his windows for a few minutes, then it gets quiet again and I get to enjoy the rain. Of course it doesn’t last long, because an hour after that he does it again. What’s worse? He got a few of his friends to do it too, and now there’s screaming coming from other houses that are closer to me.

The first time, I was a bit unnerved, but when he did it again, I realized that it had to be some dumb kid, most likely doing something stupid like this for internet clout. Now, I understand that kids will be kids, and sure, his screams aren’t really hurting anyone yet, but I don’t think they understand how the whole ‘crying wolf’ thing works. If they keep it up, people will become desensitized to the whole thing, and won’t know when something serious is going on! How can they be so inconsiderate? How can people sit in their homes and think that it would be funny to disrupt the lives of others like that?

Like I said, I was annoyed when they started doing it, but now they’ve been doing it at night, and it’s starting to keep me awake. I get grumpy when I don’t sleep enough, and that on top of how lethargic I’ve been from the rain storm is making things really difficult for me. This evening I was watching the nightly news and waiting for the weather to come on so they could tell us how much more rain we could expect. I started to doze off, and my mind started making up fake news stories about cults and torture- it was the craziest waking-dream I have ever had, and the absurdity of it all actually bothered me. Then, within a few moments of actually falling asleep, I heard another scream! Much like I said before, I got angry and was going to ignore it, but then I heard it again and realized that it wasn’t one of the pranksters, it was coming from my neighbor’s house.

This situation is exactly what I was referring to when I was talking about the whole ‘crying wolf’ thing! You do something stupid, like scream out your window and make people think that something is wrong when it isn’t. Then, when something IS wrong, they don’t realize it’s actually something that’s a problem. I heard him scream again and decided that I should go ahead and call the police, something was clearly going on and he likely needed help. I grabbed my cell phone, shut off the TV and called 911. At first the call didn’t seem to go through, but then the operator answered. I explained to them what was going on, telling them that there was a prankster down the road that they needed to deal with later, but that they needed to come out our way now to see if my neighbor is ok. The call felt a bit strange, the man asked me for my name and address and a few other questions, like if I was home alone, and if I had a weapon. I didn’t feel that these were normal questions, but at the same time, in today’s day and age, maybe they’re really adamant about protecting their officers. I guess they were going to be next door, and they wanted to make sure that I wasn’t trying to lure them into a trap or something? Hard to say really, but I gave him the information and he hung up, saying that they would be right over for the welfare check.

No more than a few minutes later, I hear a knock on my door. I was confused at first; I hadn’t seen any cop cars, hadn’t heard any sirens or anything. I asked who it was, just to be safe, and I felt a lot more comfortable when the man said “It’s the Police. If you have a few moments, we would like to have a quick talk with you about the screaming.” I glanced through the small peep-hole on my door just to make sure, and actually felt better when I realized it was one of my neighbors. I didn’t know he was a cop, but I recognized his poncho and mask from the other day.

Hopefully he can get to the bottom of this, I’m confident he can. So, I’m going to slip on my shoes, and my jacket and talk with him. I’m sure everything will be alright, and that he’ll be able to help me with my issues- then maybe I can finally get back to sleep…