By Rebecca Harrison
Bella translated raindrop patter. She put it into her own words. At night, she slept with a notebook under her covers. Her blankets smelled of torch light. When clouds cracked and spilled, she woke and wrote her words until the skies were clean. On damp days, she scribbled under her school desk. Her notepads frayed. She tore out pages of storm-speak, and stored them in her boots to read under silent blue skies.
She didn’t teach the other children. At rainy play times, they gathered in staid games while she pressed her face to clammy windows writing out downpour and drizzle. Her hair stuck to the glass. When teachers glimpsed her pages, her words were shapes they hadn’t known. Her parents closed curtains to shut out the rain. She tipped her money boxes on the garden, covering it with coins, to make the patter louder.
She grew up. She smelled of pencils and clouds. She’d noted down everything the rain had said. But her hands still ached to shape more of her own words. She began spying on tree sway and listening to insect crawl. She wrote out everything she saw and heard. Her notebooks filled the rooms. They sounded like stuffed ears. She lived in the gaps. She crawled close to the ceilings. Every night, she reached into the papers, pulled out a page and read the rain-speak until sleep. She climbed onto the roof and wrote smoke swirls and moon glide into her own words. She slept curled between warm chimneys. She stayed forever on the rooftops there, translating the faint blink of distant stars.
***Rebecca Harrison sneezes like Donald Duck and can be summoned by a cake signal in the sky. Her best friend is a dog who can count. Through the WoMentoring Project, she was chosen by Kirsty Logan as her mentee. Rebecca’s been nominated for Best of the Net, and was a finalist in the first Wyvern Lit flash fiction contest. Her stories can also be read at Rose Red Review, Maudlin House, Luna Station Quarterly, and elsewhere.***