Contributor: Chris Griglack

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He stands still in quiet contemplation as the heavens empty themselves around him. His mind wanders and his feet long to do the same, but they are still as the rain continues to fall.
Warm droplets soak into the tightly woven fibers of his suit, pressing close to flesh, running ever onward to some new place. He stands still as it washes over him and allows it to take him elsewhere.
The man in the suit remembers a different rain, or perhaps the same rain in a different place. The rain he remembers is lighter, a mist which hangs in the air like a fine net, waiting to ensnare any who might dare stride through it.
One child dares, though he is not snared by the mist's presence. He is energized by it, leaping from puddle to puddle and through its shimmering presence in the air. It sticks to his face as he runs, like sweat, a spiderweb, and a puppy's kisses all in one. The rain is his playground, his toy, his friend.
He remembers another rain, this one sharp and cold as ice. A rain which falls like knives against him as he walks a deserted highway. Raindrops which appear like bullets in the twin gaze of the headlights of the truck wrecked three miles back.
He wears a coat, but it is heavy and stiff from the freezing rain. Unrelenting it continues to acquaint itself with the top of his head, seeping ever downward, seeming to seek the very core of his being through eroding the outer layers of his self. He cries as he walks down that road, and the rain sweeps his tears away to new lands, estranged brothers at last reunited.
He remembers a rain which is not really a rain, yet borrows all its sensations. A crash of thunder lights a cluster of clouds far above, yet no water falls from their vaporous bodies. The smell of ozone is thick in the air, and the local flora stretch for the sky and gape their pores in anticipation, but they are to be disappointed.
The sweat rolls down his face in rivulets which form streams at his neck, pool where his thin shirt meets the waistband of his shorts, each movement spilling more through that seal until his legs feel submerged. The jungle is hot, but worse, it is humid. So humid that each breath threatens to drown him. The rain is tangible, as if it can be drawn forth from the air by hand. But there is no rain. Only thunder, sweat, and a tantalizing promise.
Each memory rises to the surface of the man in the suit like the earthworms rise at his presence. One after the other they surface and are swept away by the peaceful torrent which surrounds him.
He stays until he feels it is time to go. The rains lighten behind him as he walks where the wind blows. When he is hours gone the sun emerges and delivers back to him some of his waters. Droplets which have fallen for billions of years across the world delivered back to him as he continues his endless journey.
For it never really stops raining.
It just rains elsewhere.

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Chris Griglack is a lifelong Massachusetts resident with a degree in writing from UMASS Dartmouth. His original stories have been featured in Fear and Trembling, Microhorror, and Linguistic Erosion.
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