Running Water

Small rivulets splashed eagerly down the trail, gliding around rocks and over logs. Droplets went flying as small, translucent bodies swept the water along. They slipped alongside the small streams, giggling around pebbles.

Their eyes glittered as they swept past me. One patted my leg in encouragement as she passed by. Another peered through the threads of my shoes. My toes shivered and she leapt back with a tinkle, leaving behind a damp imprint.

Cool hands smoothed my cheeks as my breath made clouds. White teeth sparkled and wings fluttered, brushing through my hair as they went. Incorporeal walls of minuscule bodies dove towards me and around. A misty trail lingered as they soared away.

The residual droplets created a ripple of shivers that spread across my body. My teeth clack their protest, and I surged onwards, eager for the fiery comfort of the lodge.

A Challenge from the Sky

The only time you ever jog is when the sky starts beating its fists against the pavement and then, inevitably, your face. The harsh smack of each drop against your skin is soothing, meditative, barely rhythmic. It beats to the pounding of your feet, it mimicks your heart. It’s almost as effective as a handy waterfall.

You’re soaked the minute you step outside. Your clothes cling to your body in dissent, and only concede in the safety and warmth of your room.

Your hair is distressed, drenched, limp. It nudges your eye, but you dismiss its complaint with a flick of your head. Droplets charge the rain ahead of you, but are soon overwhelmed and beaten down. You hope that you don’t succumb to the same fate.

There’s a burning sensation, caused by your harsh, desperate attempts to breathe. Sometimes a sympathetic droplet will land in your mouth, a willing sacrifice to soothe the anger of your throat. Your body is starting to show its resentment towards your choices.

Your legs are next to feel the flames of effort and exertion. They throb and groan in disapproval. They gnaw on your knees and hammer at your ankles. But you don’t listen because you know that they have always had weak judgement of what was good and what was not. Sometimes you consider heeding their advice, but in the end you can never resist the challenge that the sky spits down.

Your whole body begins to weep. Tears of pain make their slow pilgrimage downwards, towards the end of their existence.

For you are only human, you are limited, and you can only carry so much weight before you begin to protest. With every motion, you strike at the rain, then retreat again in defeat. And tears are torn from you with each stroke.