Hello again dear readers! Just hopping on to say that I’ve written a short story and entered it into Freewrite’s 100 Million Words Writing Contest.
For starters, you can find the contest here. Please be sure to look for my username “xchrissygeex”. For some reason, the link to share directly to a specific story doesn’t seem to work.
If you’ve jumped over to the link and noticed the story looks like a giant block of text, you wouldn’t be the only one! It seems the contest submission form did this to everyone’s stories. So, I thought I’d make a little post with the story in its original format for you. Please give it a read and give me a vote if you enjoyed it!
Short Story Contest Piece:
“Every cloud has a silver lining,” her mother always told her.
Of course her mother would say that. She was the silver lining. Or… at least she was the reason for those linings.
Stormy remembered the days when she was young. She would watch as her mother would pluck strands of her magical, silvery hair and add them to the loom. She wove blankets that were draped over the clouds. The sun’s rays would become entangled in the magical blankets and bring light and hope to those on Earth who sought it.
Her mother, Goddess of the clouds, was a beacon of hope.
Stormy wished she’d been blessed with her mother’s talents. Or her father’s beauty.
Her father, God of the night, brought the moon and the stars. People on Earth wrote poetry about him and the magic he shared.
The people loved her parents, but oh, how they feared her.
Stormy had a darkness that no one wrote sonnets about. No one waxed nostalgic over the storms and devastation she brought to the land. They ran far from every clap of thunder, hid from every downpour of rain.
They cursed her and prayed for her to leave. Wherever her parents were welcome, Stormy was not.
“Every cloud has a silver lining?”
Stormy’s clouds seemed to reject any beauty her mother tried to bestow on them. They blocked out every star her father tried to share with the world.
While she didn’t doubt her parent’s love for her, she could sense their disappointment. And why shouldn’t they be disappointed? Bringers of joy and beauty gave life to the most destructive force of all.
Like her mother, she was fair. Like her father, her eyes shined brightly like the stars. But where her parents had silvery, magical hair, hers was dark and unruly like the clouds she summoned in a storm.
Other Gods and Goddesses avoided her whenever possible. Just like the people of Earth.
It was a lonely life.
There were days when she found solace on Earth. Still, even when she left the clouds and thunder behind, people were wary of her. She didn’t know if it was her unruly appearance, or if they could sense her energy.
Either way, they avoided her.
Outwardly, Stormy scoffed at the idea of love… or even friendship. Inwardly, her heart ached when she caught sight of friends enjoying an outing, or lovers strolling hand in hand. If every cloud had a silver lining, then where was hers?
She found herself wandering along the shore. It was something she avoided most days. The sea always seemed to churn up and react to her presence. As used to storms as she was, there was something unsettling about the angry waters. Usually,, she only saw the white capped waves from the safety of the sky.
Here, she felt small. Fragile even. Logically, she knew she couldn’t be harmed, but she was in awe of the power all the same.
“Don’t go!” someone cried out when she backed away from the shore.
Stormy searched, frowning when she couldn’t find the source of the voice. She jumped when someone tapped her on the shoulder.
“Hey.” A young man stood where there had been nothing only a moment ago.
She almost demanded where he came from, demanded an answer for scaring her. Why wasn’t he afraid? Didn’t he know what she was?
He chuckled, and she looked down at his feet in the sand. Immediately, she noticed they weren’t in the sand.
They were sand.
Instantly, he transformed completely and crumbled to the ground. She watched as the ground seemed to move beneath her. When she turned to follow, she saw him appear again closer to the water.
It was then that she was able to get a good look at him. Tanned from years in the sun, eyes green and stormy like the churning sea. His hair was long, blonde, and just as unruly as her own.
Stormy joined him at the shoreline. “You control the waters,” she guessed.
“Among other things,” he nodded as he kicked up a cloud of sand. “People are afraid of me too.”
“Oh…” he knew who -what- she was.
“Honestly,” he shrugged. “I kinda like it when we work together. It scares everyone, but some of those hurricanes we collaborated on were pretty cool.”
Stormy shook her head. She’d never collaborated with anyone. It took her a moment to realize though, that she had. Maybe not consciously, but she knew it was true. There was no way she could have caused as much damage as she had without a little help.
The only difference was he seemed to enjoy his powers.
Even more, he seemed to understand how to control them.
“My parents spend their days bringing love and hope to the world,” she explained, unsure as to why she felt so compelled to share her troubles. “Don’t you find the hurricanes and storms a bit lonely?”
“Not when I’m with you,” he admitted.
He’d been trying to get her attention… she realized. How long had he gone unnoticed?
“It gets easier, you know,” he said. “To control your powers. And people might not see it, but they need you.”
“They need destruction?” She asked.
He shook his head. “There’s always going to be collateral damage when it comes to weather. No one can truly control that. But without the storms, there would be no crops. There would be droughts. Without the destruction, things would never change and grow. Sometimes, you’ve gotta tear down a mountain or two to make way for a valley.”
Stormy regarded him and his observations. In a way, it made sense. The last landslide her storm had caused had leveled a particularly difficult climb. Her latest hurricane had flooded an area, but had made way for more fertile grounds when residents returned.
They feared her, ran from her chaos, but he was right. They needed her.
“What’s your name?” She asked.
“I haven’t got one,” he confessed.
That seemed strange.
“I was born from the sea foam and sand,” he explained. “No true parents to give me a name.”
“So you have no friends, and no family?”
He shook his head, then looked to his feet, still sand up to his knees. “Nobody wants to hang around when the waves are threatening to level a city.”
No wonder he didn’t know how to communicate very well. She could see by the look in his eyes that he’d been alone far longer than she ever had. While she had the ability to leave her domain and walk the Earth, he seemed tethered by the sand.
“But if you can control your powers, then why didn’t you just calm the seas? I’m certain more people would talk to-“
“A man who is pretty much nothing but a centuries old deity made up of sand?” He quirked an eyebrow and chuckled. “Besides, if I calm the seas, they don’t notice me.”
“And if I didn’t come running in with all the lightning, they wouldn’t notice me either,” she laughed. “But really, if you wanted me to take notice, all you had to do was say hello.”
“Oh…” he shuffled his feet, making interesting little patterns as the sand fell back to the ground. “Hello…”
“Hello,” she said with a smile. She took her hand in his and shook it. “It’s a greeting,” she explained when it was apparent he didn’t understand. “When you meet someone, you shake their hand and introduce yourself. I’m Stormy.”
He shook her hand a bit too rough, but she didn’t mind. His grip was strong and his enthusiasm was contagious. “I’m…” he frowned and dropped his hand. “I’m not sure what you should call me.”
Stormy thought for a moment. Some would call him cruel, others, unforgiving. Just like they would call her on the days when her powers were at their worst. But she didn’t want to saddle him with a name that made people think of the chaos he could bring. She wanted him to have a good name.
A strong name.
“How about Tiberius?” She suggested.
“Tiberius…” he mulled the name over, repeating it until it sounded almost silly. Finally, he nodded. “I kind of like the sound of that.” He held his hand up again and they shook. “Hello Stormy. I’m Tiberius.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Tiberius.”
She went home that evening, feeling lighter than she’d ever felt in her life. Finally, she had a friend to call her own. Someone who wasn’t afraid of her. Who liked -admired even- the powers she had. Who didn’t see her as a destructive force, but something good that brought life to the world.
A light drizzle fell on the Earth as Stormy readied herself for sleep. As she attempted to tame her hair, she caught sight of a glint in the mirror.
With a smile, she twirled the streak of silver that had wound its way through her curls.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
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