Friday, November 28, 2014

The Umbrella - Haidji - Short Story - Excerpt

see also    SG - Suicide Game - ebook and book   and  SG - Suicide Game - Video

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The Umbrella

It was cold. 
Not the nice winter cold—snow outside, skis waiting close by, sun shining over the mountain.

It was cold and humid like it is after days and days of rain, shortly before the real winter starts.
The end of a season.  Before the start of a new one.

Cold like it is when things die.  Cold like it is when autumn leaves die into their end, giving space for the emptiness that winter needs to be able to begin to freeze the rest of everything that one day had been…Spring.

Cold like it is when dreams die.
The rain knocking on Emily’s window always made her think about friends knocking on the window’s glass, asking her to go outside.  As would a window be a door you can see through.  But it was raining.  And cold.
Emily didn’t want to go outside.
She missed her Umbrella.


It was a couple of months ago, the first rainy day in the middle of the summer, when Emily was walking around in the center of the city, on her way to her appointment with the dentist.  Braces!  Every month she had an appointment to practically spend 40 - 45 minutes just waiting in the waiting room, for only 10 minutes inside the treatment room, to see if all the metal pieces where working well and tight, making her teeth a little bit more together, or apart, in the right direction.  Maybe to justify the price her parents had to pay for the treatment, the dentist made it almost one hour in total.

She did not have an umbrella, and summer tempests came mostly unexpected.  Who would think about buying an umbrella, when jumping from tree shadow into the next tree shadow, because the air is so hot?
The rain was refreshing for the first few minutes, but after a while it was too wet.  Wet as only water can be, entering through her 100 percent cotton dress, turning her red hair darker, while rain drops were sliding over her face as would they be competing with her freckles, sliding over her skin and trying to reach the bones under her flesh.
Emily could swear that she was wet all the way into her bones.

Emily entered the shop.  Lots of umbrellas.  The shop owner, unlike her, watched the weather forecast on his iPhone.
Emily’s iPhone was for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other essential apps.  Who needs the weather forecast, anyway?   
“Another girl with an iPhone who didn’t see the rain coming…” mumbled the old shop owner, as she entered the shop holding her iPhone, of course.
“Another adult that doesn’t know what iPhones are here for…” mumbled Emily to herself, as she heard him mumbling.

Emily saw lots of umbrellas, in different rows, in all colors and designs.
Looking around, she found a row of beautiful ones, black with a white fringe.  A white fringe that was like embroidery, around the entire edge of the umbrella itself.  They had it in all colors:  black and pink, black and grey, black and blue, black and green, black and black and probably ten of the black and white one, the one she liked most.
Emily decided for the black and white one.
She picked it up, and once it was out of the large mass of umbrellas, the umbrella was really cool.

It was nice to walk under the rain.  This umbrella had something…almost romantic…with the white fringe.  It was not too romantic or girly, and it was not too minimalistic.

But, as unexpectedly as summer tempests start, they finish.
As she arrived to her appointment at the dentist, the rain had stopped and Emily was carrying the still-soaking-wet umbrella in her hands.

During her 45 Minutes in the waiting room, the umbrella was next to her.
When Ms. Clare, the dentist’s receptionist finally called her name, she rushed out of the waiting room and into the treatment room without her umbrella.
Ten Minutes later, rushing out of the treatment room, Emily completely forgot about the umbrella.

As much as she loved it, she remembered it only on the next day, as the summer rain came back.
Emily called the dentist.
“Hello, this is Emily.  I forgot my umbrella yesterday; is it still there?”
“No, no umbrella here, I’m sorry”, said Ms. Angela, one of the dentist’s receptionists.
“Oh, it was so cool.  Someone else must have taken it.  Can you ask Ms. Clare about it?”
“I will ask her, but I don’t think so, maybe you forgot it somewhere else.”
Emily was disappointed.

Needless to say, she was completely wet for probably 3 or 4 more rainy days, but she didn’t want to buy a new umbrella.  Her pocket money was not that much and the rain would stop sometime.
On one of those days, her Uncle Geert saw her walking around with no umbrella, under the heavy rain.
“Hi Emily, where is your umbrella?  You will get a cold, walking under the rain.”
“Hi Uncle Geert, I lost it.”
“You don’t have another one?” asked Uncle Geert, as would it be the most common thing in the world to have two of everything.
“No…” said Emily.
“Next time, buy two.  Hear my advice.  Now, go have a hot shower, change and when the rain stops, go and see if you can find the same one again and buy two of them,” said her Uncle, while walking Emily home sheltered by under his own umbrella.
“…” Emily could not speak out her answer immediately.
After a while she said:
“Thanks, Uncle Geert.”

Emily did not go to the shop to buy two new umbrellas.  The next day was a sunny day.

The rainy days were over anyway.
Emily did not think about it anymore. 
At her next dentist appointment, she did not ask about it.


She did not think about it until…

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