At Storms End

The rain assaulted the window in big fat drops as lightning streaked across the black sky.

“One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi.” Thunder rolled.

“The storm brings them, mom. I don’t know why? I can feel the humidity and then the temperature drops. I know they’re gonna come. It’s only a matter of time.”

Tim cowered and pulled the cover up to his chin. It had been the same as long as he could remember, with every storm they came. Lightning lit the sky outside with purple-white streaks that saturated the skyline.

“Brings what dear?” Debbie, Tim’s mom shook her head at her Fifteen-year-old son.

“One Mississippi, two Mississippi, they’re nearly here.”

“God damn it, Tim, you can’t still be scared of thunder and lightning, you’ve got to grow up.”

Tim muttered to himself as he bobbed his head under the cover as the thunder rolled again. It was getting louder. Tim’s mom huffed and went to the window to pull the curtains closed.

“NO, leave them open, I’ve got to watch.”

She twirled like an angry tornado. Her long brown hair whipped about her face as she glared at the only visible part of her son’s head. Lightning flashed again, apocalyptic streaks of blue-white light lit the suburban street outside his bedroom window.

“Got to watch what, Tim?”

Tim shut his eyes and swallowed hard, it was never easy to watch them come, but he had to know.

“Oh my God Tim, your incredible, you know that. Ahhh.”

Tim’s mom strode to the door and slammed it shut.Tim listens as her heavy footfall stomped down the stairs. Tim peeked out from the blanks as thunder rolled again.

“One Mississippi.” The lightning flickered and flared in the window as Tim again and pulled off his covers. He had to see; he had to be sure that they weren’t coming for him this time. The storm was directly overhead now. He knew they were out there.

He crept across the plush carpet to his window. The blackness outside only disturbed by a scattering of street lights. He knew he would see them, the spectral army of the dead. The ghostly images of people gone and forgotten, the spirits of the ones who met the end by tragedy or age.

They were all there as he looked out, slowly gliding forward as the storm drifted along the earth. A loud scream sounded in the hallway and Tim shuddered. He opened his eyes to see a ghost of a colonial soldier float down the path away from his door.

He pulled back from the window as relief numbed his limbs. They had a soul this time. Tim watched as a ghostly woman flowed into the masses of the dead and joined its swelling ranks. Guilt spread icy fingers across his chest and jabbed at his heart as his mom’s dead body cooled on the hallway floor. Maybe he should have warned his mother not to go near the front door.

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