After the Rain
It finally rained. The water across their shoulders felt like ice and they hid under the awning of the patio to watch it. Sometime after, the steam of the day evaporated, and they lay down in the grass and let their clothes soak up the water. They found buried toys underneath them – pieces of plastic chipped off a shovel, old plastic tubs their playdough once lived in, wheels and axles missing their cars. They whispered to one another and ran across the yard, searching. Their lips kept moving, but all the other one could hear was a gentle shushing sound. They let the remaining heat of the sun splinter on their slide, the plastic warm and melting underneath their legs.
Sometime after, the pair of them tried to convince their mother that they could run in circles forever, that they were so fast that when they ran, she wouldn’t be able to see them. They ran and ran until they couldn’t suck in enough air to fill their lungs and had to throw themselves down on the ground for breath. Their mother clapped and they told her that they were right, and she agreed. She brought them small cups of Gatorade and fruit snacks and granola bars with chocolate across the bottoms that ended up on their cheeks and hands and shirts.
They tried to climb the leafless tree that they had helped their father plant the year before, felt its smooth, small branches underneath their hands. They kicked off their shoes and tried to climb higher, but the trunk bowed from their weight. When they jumped off it righted itself and the trunk cut through the air with a swish in their ears. They scoured the yard for weeds and gave them to their mother as a bouquet, roots and dirt hanging from the bottom. They decided that flowers needed grass and gave her handfuls of blades like tufts of hair. They asked her to find a vase and give the flowers water and set them on the kitchen table as a centerpiece.
They decided that they wanted to play baseball and the younger one went inside to find the balls while the older one gathered their bats. They swung at one another as they tossed each ball in the air, smashing their bats against each other. They asked their mom to throw the balls at them and they would swing with such force that whenever they missed their bodies would keep spinning in circles until the world wouldn’t stop moving. The older one hit a ball over the fence and shouted touch down and the two of them ran a victory lap in celebration. Sometime after, they decided to make the bats into clubs and then smashed them into the ground and shook them at one another. Then, the bats became dinosaur hands full of sharp and dangerous claws and they chased one another around the yard roaring and growling, shaking their heads at the sky.