Fiction: Waterlogged

Sharon waited in her car until the last possible second, then hugged her jacket tightly and stepped into the deluge. Water sluiced over her hood, cascaded past her shoulders and rolled down her unprotected lower body. Within moments, she was soaked below the hips.

The wind jerked her first one way, then another. Every step forward was a fight, and the slick pavement made her movements pinched. Halfway to the courthouse stairs, she met a pair of wingtips exiting a dark car. Without looking at each other, Sharon and the man fell in step.

He brought up his umbrella, but a blast from behind snapped the bumbershoot’s fabric outward, breaking it cleanly in less time than it had taken the man to raise it.  He threw down its remains.

“Hold on to me,” said Sharon. She was unsure whether she meant to support him or the other way around. It didn’t matter. They hooked arms against the storm, and in so doing gained the stability to run. Pulling each other, they reached the stairs and then the door. The man handed Sharon his briefcase. As she took it, she realized this was Richard, whom she would divorce within the hour. How little he resembled himself as he braced one hand on the wall and pulled with the other against the monsoon.

A sliver of light as the old wood yielded, and Sharon jammed in her foot to force the door outward. Then, as with the umbrella, the wind changed, walloping Richard back. Sharon grabbed his arm again to keep him from falling.

He seized her, and for a moment they teetered on the threshold. Then he gained his balance and propelled them both inside, where the fickle wind slammed the door behind them. They staggered forward together, still connected in that instant, as they moved out of the world where water held sway and into another dominion entirely.


This week’s word over at Trifecta:

Dare to Share at The Lightning Bug

The Lightning Bug.

And Write on Edge

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Fiction: Waterlogged — 47 Comments

    • It definitely could be! I've found that these Trifecta stories – and I've never written short shorts before so well – seem to start with the word. Then I decide how I want to use the word. From there, I'll grow a sentence. And after I have that sentence, I'll figure out the story that led up to it.

  1. I want to read more of this. I want to know about the ending – the middle and reunions.

  2. I like the way you've evoked the isolating power of the rainstorm by having her encounter "a pair of wingtips" instead of a person — when it's raining that hard you really only see those snippets, and anything farther away may as well not exist. Nicely done!

    • Thank you! The Trifecta prompts don't leave me room to write sprawling things like I'm used to. So I have to capture the story of a single moment, and I'm really enjoying the challenge. I'm so glad it worked for you.

  3. I really enjoyed this, Jessie. As everyone's already said: great imagery. And your style swept me along with them.

    • Thanks earlybird! I can't believe how fulfilling this is — makes me think next year I would enjoy the river of stones. I'm not normally so competent in short-short form.

  4. Incredible. I was swept up in the storm and in your words. You definitely have me wondering at their connection. The chemistry is still alive it would seem, and I'm curious as to why they're divorcing. Definitely not from a lack of emotion in the relationship. There are so many directions this story could go in. Brilliantly done!

  5. "They staggered forward together, still connected in that instant, as they moved out of the world where water held sway and into another dominion entirely."

    Some people who love each other can't be married to each other and are the best of friends when the marriage ends. That's what I got from this. Very nice.

  6. I absolutely love this.
    Clean, engaging, vivid. I've run up stone steps in the rain, I can see how exes could still cling when the other needs them, I get it.
    So well done.
    Came from the LALB linky.

    • Thanks Kim! It was something you posted a few months ago that made me realize memes were free and therefore something I should look into. Specifically, it was LALB you posted about. I'm really glad you liked the story!

  7. I love, love, LOVE that you used the word bumbershoot.

    I have to be in a courtroom once a month as part of my job. Ours is a pretty modern building, less than 10 years old, but the feeling evoked by your last paragraph is spot on even for our building.

  8. The weather mirrors what we're having here, so I can relate. Fortunately the marriage doesn't! Like others who have left comments, I'm wondering if the divorce is going to happen once they realise that they can ,at times, support each other… Really enjoying your writing. 🙂

    • The downpour is based on one that I got stuck in. I had driven my daughter to therapy, left her at the door (covered), then had to park. I couldn't find my cell (it turned out to be under my seat) and HAD therefore to go in. I didn't have a jacket, and the wind snapped my umbrella. I walked in the (automatic) door and I was the one raining everywhere. The water jus poured off of me. The therapy staff took pity on me and gave me scrubs to wear while they threw my clothes in the dryer. Proof of how wet I was? An hour later they were still damp, but I was so much less wretched!

  9. Wow! "Richard, whom she would divorce within the hour." Hmmm…or maybe not!

    Storms, emotional or otherwise, do have a way of sometimes bringing people together again. Somehow, in this story, I'm left with the feeling of a different ending.

    • The fun thing for me with these challenges has been creating a single moment from which thousands of other stories could spring. I'm glad you liked it.

  10. So much passion and connection in this little piece. Every bit of it is alive. Great job. I'm already imagining them in front of the judge.

  11. We're so glad you found us, Jester Queen. This is an excellent piece. I love the vivid description of the storm but how, as they struggle through the rain into the confines of the courthouse, something seems to give…perhaps suggesting all is not lost. I love how this could have so many endings. Looking forward to more from the Jester!

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  13. wow, so many things can happen after that, its like that moment was meant to be, would love to hear if you will continue this or not 🙂 Stopping by from SITS
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