Fatima A. Dadou: I raced barefooted through the pouring rain occasionally stepping on an acorn or pebble making me clench my teeth in pain. My clothes were now soaked making me shiver with cold and stick to my body like glue making it harder to run. Yet when I thought the storm had hit its worse, the rain intensified, the dark night became a bright day with the fierce lightning, and the extreme noise of thunder forced me to cover my ears. Clutching my umbrella I sought refuge from the merciless storm under a tree. Its strength and ability to stand upright in this violent storm gave me a slight sense of ease for a moment. But then fear pierced my heart when I thought of little Sara who was out and lost all alone in this strange dark forest with the frightening storm.
"Sara!", I screamed once again yet to no avail. My voice was quickly lost in the howling wind. I knew my daughter well, she would be terrified and shuddering with fear by now. Panicking more than ever now, I ran straight into the storm once again. I was trembling with fear for Sara. Maybe a wild animal would find her before I did and attack her. What if she fell into a river and drowned? Perhaps she had stumbled and broke a bone, She was wearing only a t-shirt when I last saw her, would she freeze to death? For sure, I thought to myself, I would lose my mind before I caught sight of my precious girl again.
Emma Weinheimer: As the rain picked up, my umbrella could do little to protect me, but any protection from the blinding rain was better than none. There was nothing I could do but run, my anger driving me on. But it wasn’t him, it wasn’t him. Kicking my shoes off, I didn’t even turn around. I could hear him behind me, calling, pleading. “Anna… I’m sorry…Anna… wait…” But I didn’t wait. I ran as hard as I could. The ache from the day along with the shame from running made the raindrops sizzle on my burning cheeks. To make him run after me and beg for my forgiveness was unthinkable, but the more I ran, the more I felt that couldn’t turn back and tell him it wasn’t him. It wasn’t his fault that I had lost my job. The city buildings loomed over me, threatening to crush me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed help. I closed my umbrella and turned around to look at him, persistently walking towards me. He knew me too well; he knew I’d eventually lean on him. I walked towards him, and together, we leaned back against a guarding tree. Strands of hair pasted themselves to my face as, together, we lifted lifted our faces to the merciless sky.
Raquel Martinez: The rain cast a haze on the world. Drops leaked, drizzled, fell from the sky in a gentle cascade that flooded the streets and sidewalks. The streetlights, which came on well before dusk, cast halos in the misted air. It was a sleepy day. It was a day to stay indoors, behind closed curtains and sealed windows, when the world was muted and emptied all by the sheet of rain. Yet on the paled street, where windows were dark and drawn, there was one that shone bright an illuminated, unfazed by the gloom. It cast shafts of light onto the street, a brave frontier parting the darkness. Behind that thin pane sat a woman of stature, her hair pulled back in a stately manor, her eyes perusing the pages of a book. It was silent in that house, apart from the sounds of rain and the gentle ticking of the clock. The phone ran shrilly, shattering the quiet and the woman looked up, as if startled to remember there was a world away from the black and white page. She moved quickly, holding the phone in one hand, the book in the other, a frown on her brow. "I need your help," Said the voice on the other end. It sounded weak, tremulous, on the edge of tears. The woman’s eyes widened. She opened her mouth, and turned slightly to the window, gazing out at look at the downpour on the other side of that thin pane of glass. "Wait for me” She whispered. She did not hesitate another moment, not even to reach for the shoes that lay scattered by the door. Instead she snatched the umbrella that lay there, and unfurled it as she left the warmth of her home, the security of the lights, the comfort of the dry. Without a second though she delved into the wet world, of cold and mist and hazy skies. Why? Because she was needed.