This story is really just an exploratory mission.
I’m working through an idea for a character, and this is an experiment. The concept is odd, so I’m seeing what it will be like to flesh it out.
As a result, there’s not much of a plot to this one.
Spoiler alert. Sorry.
I like the feel of it, though. I find myself wanting to know the character better, which is a good sign. I don’t write about characters I don’t want to get to know.
Speaking of that, I have at least 3 partially finished series going right now, and I do intend to come back to each of them. I’ve been a little wind-blown myself, lately, and I’ve been rolling with whatever felt like fun to write for my weekly offerings here.
But don’t worry. The breeze will carry me back that way soon.
In the meantime, please do let me know what you think of this in the comments. I invite that sort of feedback all the time, but this one is unique. I want to know if YOU want to know this girl better.
weather girl, part one
The weather changes only for her.
She never knows what the wind will bring, or what it means.
The day she turned 21, a cold front blew in. The temperature plummeted to well below freezing. It was July. She spent the day in layer upon layer of clothes.
When her best friend died 2 years later, it was sunny. Warm. Pleasant.
She was happy on her 21st birthday and sad at her friend’s passing. Was the weather reigning her in on one day and comforting her on the other? Or was there something more going on? Did something terrible happen on her birthday? Something she or others would attempt to insulate themselves from for years, but without success?
And her friend, Simone. Was her death in some way a good thing? Did it help someone? Bring peace?
She couldn’t imagine how the world might be a better place without Simone, but on a day that was overcast, wet and chilly for everyone else, she basked in the sunlight.
For no one else perceives the weather she experiences. It is hers alone.
Which means she’s that girl on the bus wearing shorts and a tank top in the dead of winter. She’s the weirdo in Walmart shuffling around the store in a hoodie when it’s over 100 degrees outside. She walks in the rain without an umbrella, and she’s been known to make snow angels in the mud.
People don’t talk to her much. She has few friends. Simone’s death left her one fewer, but it couldn’t be helped.
The clouds didn’t warn her. The sun shone bright. If only there had been a tempest that day, she might have known something.
She’s lived with this singular experience her whole life. She relies on the internet and the Weather Channel for actual conditions. Her experiences rarely sync. She can look normal, but she’ll never be normal.
Her weather will always be hers, and hers alone.
She no longer responds with silence when asked why she’s dressed in apparent opposition to the environment. She used to, before Simone. Now she just says, “It’s cold for me,” or “I’m burning up,” or “I don’t feel like it’s raining.”
There aren’t typically follow-up questions. Apparently, the novelty of talking to crazy girls doesn’t amount to much.
But she’s not crazy. She doesn’t have a brain tumor or an uncommon mental condition. Most likely, she has a touch of witch’s blood in her, maybe from her father’s side. It sure as hell isn’t from her mother’s.
She’s never researched it.
Instead, she tries to decipher the meaning of each day’s condition. There are no forecasts to consult, so she cannot peer into tomorrow. Yesterday’s weather is equally irrelevant.
All that matters is today. Why this temperature? Why these patterns in the sky? Why this storm?
If there’s an art to interpretation, it alludes her. She’s learned enough to know that extreme conditions mean something. But to capture and hold that significance, that she cannot yet manage.
Maybe one day.
Until then, you’ll see her around. She worn galoshes last week when it was bone-dry. Yesterday her hair was wind-blown all day, even when she was inside. She’s not hard to spot.
After all, the weather changes only for her. Perhaps today her sun will shine.