Microfiction inspired by stormy weather and lost sisterhood
Clouds thicker than Peruvian fog, vaporous specters rising across the shifting mirror of the sky. The day’s restlessness calms my peregrine heart, part of the patterning and paradox of life I’ve come to cherish. Chilling drops of rain splatter like surprises on my upturned face, not unpleasant, like a birthday party you didn’t expect but appreciated, despite not caring much for the attention it brought. And it reminds me of home, all the homes that I’ve lost, in people, places and ideas, almost forgotten.
I turn at the sound of my name on the lips of Singita, my sister; at the grey sky mirrored in her kind eyes, as much in natural colour as in mood, even under the umbrella she holds overhead. I start as she moves to wrap a thick, knitted shawl around my shoulders, its bold, symmetrical patterning as twin to the one already draped around her, as she was to me. Her eyes glance towards the door she left open; mine follow.
“Mama said to come in before you make yourself sick standing out here. She wants you to check the upstairs shutters before Sari–before the storm hits.”
I nod as I move towards the door of our home – Burro Casita – and the warm, spiced scents of mama’s dinner wafting through an inner archway, pulling me further inside. If comfort had a scent, it would be this. Tugging the shawl tighter around me, I make my way up the endless flight of stairs great grand-uncle Bruno was said to have built almost two hundred years ago. The future is in the bones of all who walk this way, reads the plaque at the top of the landing on the ninth floor. Two more floors after that and I would have made it to the top of our house – eleven stories and five generations tall – despite its modest appearance from the outside.
Entering each room, I inspect the storm shutters for breaks, lubricating their tracks in preparation for Sarita.
The name of the oncoming storm . . . and my vanished, younger sister.
The sister whose lips I cursed to never kiss again, the day I caught them on Milo, our neighbour and childhood friend. She was always taking – and breaking – my stuff. He was no exception.
“I hate you!! How could you kiss him?!”
. . . I love you. How could you leave?