Rainy Day

Something cold runs down from her hairline, trailing on the folds of her forehead until the drop of water matches the feverish warmth of her skin. More of this falls from the sky, feeling nothing like water when it falls against her outstretched hand so hard she wonders if its intent is to pummel her and riddle her skin and wings with bruises.

And then it settles down in the middle of her palm, cold and ever-changing, escaping her through the cracks between her fingers.

Her voice comes out in a hoarse exhalation of breath, rustling like the crack of dead leaves, "Look at this. Your favorite" but it is drowned out by the pitter-patter of rainfall.

The tree whose branch she's taken the liberty of alighting on gives no answer. It's half-asleep, its leaves all fallen, scattered and layered in a muddy mess underneath her. As more water runs down her forehead, she leans her head against the trunk of the tree, her body fitting snugly in the crook of the tree branch.

Just within her reach is a collection of acorns, the nuts having meticulously been picked off by ravenous birds and squirrels. There's nothing left of them but their inedible caps. She reaches out and with some effort, manages to tug one off. With it comes a sliver of the branch it hung on, but she plops it down onto her drenched head without reserve.

The rain drums an uneven rhythm against her improvised hat, too quick to fully catch her attention, but loud enough it feels like a strange sort of torture when she closes her eyes and listens to it.

A scrabbling along the tree branch alerts her to the presence of a sparrow, landing on the same branch she's occupying. With a nasty glint in its eye, it flits about the branch until it stops, its entire body going still.  It cocks its head at her and lets out a shrill chirp before sweeping her off with a wing.

The rush of the cold wind cuts into her soaked skin before she manages to grab onto another branch, her other hand gripping desperately onto the acorn cap. As she pulls herself up, she takes a moment to chase away the beginnings of a grudge against the sparrow by remembering that there's nothing in this world she can truly call her own, especially not her less-than-comfortable seat where she once watched the rain.

Soon enough, something bigger might chase away that sparrow, she supposes, maybe a blue jay, maybe a strong wind with an agenda.  The thoughts bring her a strange sort of satisfaction as she plops down on the branch and sighs.

At the very least, her acorn cap, unwanted by everything else, will stay with her for this rainy day, until the greedy earth once more claims it for itself.

The End

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