Tara’s World: Making a Scene

Raining Horchata by Tara Colson Leaning (age 13)

The mass of clouds were a deep gray with a hint of midnight blue, charged with lightning but no rain.   Heat wafted like a thick bog in and out of the small house.

Lily Jane needed the rain.  Sweat made her hair stick to any skin it touched.  As she waited, she crossed her arms and drew slow circles with her finger over an elbow, staring out over the agitated ocean.  It stared back at her with only the dusty window pane between them.  They both waited for a single drop, for the clouds to break apart, for thunder, and for the water to pour out.  But the clouds were shut, unyielding.  Lily Jane sighed and turned away from the black sky and crashing waves.

“It’s coming.  Don’t worry.  It’s coming, Lily.”  The old woman leaned forward in her chair, eyes fixed out the window.  A jacket covered her slim limbs as if she were untouched by the dense heat.  No sweat betrayed her paper skin and her eyes were bright with hope.

Despite the problem of the rain, Lily Jane smiled.  She moved over to the small fridge for something to quench the dry itchy feeling in her throat.  A calendar hung on the fridge door.  It was three months behind but Lily didn’t bother to change it.  She opened the door and a white electric glow filled the room as she pulled out a bottle of cool horchata.  Lily poured two glasses of the sweet drink and brought them over to where her grandma sat at the kitchen table.  A single mango rested in the fruit bowl beside a red-painted frame with a picture of Lily, age four, licking a lollipop.

The two women sat in silence, sipping horchata and waiting for the rain to fall.

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About HomenDunRoamin

Teaching Artist & Writer: fiction, poetry & nonfiction. Recently completed work: a hybrid memoir. In progress: a novel set in an unnamed Latin American country on the brink of war. The book examines violent and nonviolent resistance and the choices women are forced to make to survive.
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