Stormy Weather

When night fell, you couldn’t see the wires.

From her perch above the party, Sara tapped her foot to the swing and snap of Glenn Miller from the orchestra below. A hundred umbrellas floated over the assembled guests, suspended by now invisible tethers.

There were electric fairy lights and impossibly real-looking potted tropical trees, the gentle light of a thousand hurricane glasses amplifying the flickering candles. No expense was spared for this turn of the year celebration. The hosts had even gone so far as to install a weather pattern with a chance of rain.

The better to delight the party-goers with the quaint notion of umbrellas.

Riordan was down there, chest full of air that like magic transformed into bright spots of sound. His brass trumpet was a relic from Before, not an alloy replica like the rest of them. He’d showed her how to blow into the mouthpiece once, warning her it was harder than it looked.

“I can sneak you onto the roof,” he’d said. “So you can hear the music.”

Up above the dancing, above the umbrella tops glowing like paper lanterns in a nostalgia reel, Sara saw the artificial storm roll in. Showy, she thought, as the high thunderheads rolled overhead, but when the rain broke open over the party, a collective oh! of wonder rose from the crowd.

“It’s going to rain, Sara,” Riordan had said. “Like they say it used to.”

The band kept playing, a drowsy song full of those rich, almost human brass notes, while the gentlemen in vintage tuxedos and the women in frothy, old-fashioned gowns twirled under a ceiling of color.

“Happy 2233,” Sara whispered to the manufactured clouds, smiling up into the rain, a sea of umbrellas below.

 

writing prompt, creative writing prompt, photo writing prompt, memoir writing prompt, fiction writing prompt

Image courtesy of treborwilson via Flickr CC2.0. Click image for source.

This week, Write on Edge challenged us with this photograph and 500 words.

13 Responses to Stormy Weather

  1. Pingback: Red Writing Hood Link Up: Photo Prompt, Umbrellas | Write On Edge

  2. “It’s going to rain, Sara,” Riordan had said. “Like they say it used to.”

    Well, now that is a bleak look at the future! But still you treated it magically with grace as the partyers danced and celebrated :)

    Fabulous Cam! I hope I can come up with something for this image. I keep drawing blanks

  3. I was struck by that same line, “It’s going to rain, Sara,” Riordan had said. “Like they say it used to.” Also this one, “The band kept playing, a drowsy song full of those rich, almost human brass notes.” Moments of magic and wonder in a bleak future.

    I really enjoyed this.

  4. ” a drowsy song full of those rich, almost human brass notes, while the gentlemen in vintage tuxedos and the women in frothy, old-fashioned gowns twirled under a ceiling of color.”

    Beautiful. What a picture this made in my mind! I like how your characters make the most of what they don’t seem to have anymore. A very human tendency!

  5. There’s a dystopian feel that is unlike most of your brilliant work. Of course, I like it.

    I love this line:

    “I can sneak you onto the roof,” he’d said. “So you can hear the music.”

    music is heroic here. That’s perfect.

  6. What a curious peek into the future … a little dystopia in the morning! :)
    Wonderful references to old artifacts … horns, tuxedos, rain. Lovely.

  7. That’s really good. I love the way you slide the antique big band music ( a love of which my grandparents embedded in me from a very young age) in with all of this futuristic stuff. It grounds the story perfectly in the the present and allows readers to believe in this version of the future.

  8. It’s so steampunk! I love it. I love that Riordan helped Sarah so she could hear the music. I hope you’ll continue with this story line.

  9. “The hosts had even gone so far as to install a weather pattern with a chance of rain.”

    What an interesting view of the future! No rain – but still big parties…. makes me the gap between the have and the have-nots must continue to widen too!

    Great piece for thought and lovely details about the trumpet from Before.

  10. So rich in color and sound and texture. I could feel the rain on Sarah’s face. Feel the wonder of it through her.

    As always, perfectly done.

  11. Sorry about the *h* on Sara, I automatically add it, it’s my daughter’s name. ;-)

  12. I like that it feels dystopic and nostalgic and a touch whimsical all at the same time. We don’t really get a feel for how 2232-2233 actually works, but it’s bittersweet to see how much they’re trying to recapture what we have now.

  13. no better way to welcome a new year than to think about the things we loved about the years past.

    My favorite line was about Riordan, (and his name, just loved it) about his “chest full of air” that transformed into song, it was so poetic and perfect for the time. I saw him barrel chested and robotic at the same time.

    love the places your writing takes me.

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