A Shapeless Storm

Writing Prompt: Driving down the road you see the sky tear open, from the tear a person descends onto the road. With no time to stop you run them over killing them. Before you can process what happened you notice other people from the tear kneeling around you, you are now the ruler of another world.

Ariel was all alone before she was taken.

She had been driving down the motorway bound for home (which at that time was North London) when the skies opened and the heavens started to fall.

It was a storm the likes of which she’d never seen, hail rained from above in so frightening a manor blinding her to all but the faint flicker of wayward lights. The wipers of her car had not the strength nor speed to abate the raging waters. Though she would not stop. She knew these roads and home was close, close enough to risk a few more miles.

But what empty miles they were.

Not another car in sight, at least what sight was left to be had. Night was drawing in, the lights of the road were dim against the distant bolts of lightening. Only there was something to that lightening, something in the colour of it, the shape of it. A vague pinkish hue that fell like a wave more so than like a bolt, as if it were a bridge formed from the sky above, or just a tear perhaps.

Ariel settled her eyes on the furthest horizon she could manage, peeking through the tight drawn gaps of lashing rain and hail. There her eyes remained, until the shadow of a figure came upon her.

By then it was too late.

Thud.

A dull and heavy sound, like a wet slap; the hand of God thrown hard against the tarmac.

The car’s tires screeched as Ariel slammed on the breaks, coming to a sudden halt. She sat there, hands clenched around the leather of the wheel, focused only on her breathing. Thunder rattled, coming closer, and still the bolts that followed swam with an essence not quite of this world.

It was a shadow, nothing more. No man would walk in this storm. Madness! To be out, and to be out on the road no less.

Ariel’s eyes averted to the rear view mirror, to where the figure’s body should have been. But there was no single body to be seen. No. There were thousands.

Gathered in the dark and faintly glowing at the edges, they looked human, they certainly stood as if they were human. Two legs with arms down at their sides. So many of them, silent in the storm, huddled in a circle that grew in spans around the vacant fields that fell away to either side of the motorway.

And yet Ariel felt despairingly alone. Not another car had passed her by, no flash of headlights ever came.

One and all, after a deliberate stillness, the shadows of the night raised their heads. Dim lit eyes pierced through the solemn veil of deepest dark, turning collectively to Ariel and to her car.

She could hear now faint murmurs rising from the throats of these fallen angels. Angels only for the glow that they gave. They bore no wings, no halo, but surely to fall from the skies meant something.

It did not.

Ariel fumbled with the gears and then the clutch, her foot groping at the accelerator. She stalled. She panicked. She tried again.

The murmurs rose. A thousand feet and more came marching over hill.

Ariel’s eyes never left the rear view mirror.

She knew now that escape was hopeless, as again she toyed with the pedals, and again the car stalled. Call it fate, if you must call it anything at all. Ariel sat there, heart wrenched by the dark, eyes poisoned by what they saw, by what her mind alone refused to believe was true.

This can’t be happening. I’m hallucinating. It’s the storm… it’s a dream… I crashed. Yes, that’s it! I must have crashed. I’m in a coma, in a hospital bed, there’s a kindly doctor caring for me, a heart monitor ticking and beeping away. I’m safe.

I’m safe.

Finally the shadowed beings drew in, on, and around the car. Shapes collided with the windows, limbs hammered deftly on both the glass and metal casing of the car. Yet it was the eyes that troubled Ariel most of all, each one affectionately drawn to the woman in the car.

Ariel, not cowering away, but watching with a sickening intrigue, resided to her fate.

Though what her fate would be…

The car began to rise as desperate hands carried it up from the road lifting it gently onto a sea of waiting shoulders, and now the murmurs, the faint ringing of throats that could barely have been human, were just loud enough to be heard.

It was simple in its meaning, a necessary message, one that spoke of death and now a new beginning.

In ceaseless repetition, unified as one voice against the raging storm, those figures beyond the car window screen were chanting;

“The King is dead, long live our Queen.”

Copyright © K R Perry 2019

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