Drought Relieved By Judith Joubert (431 Words)

Drought Relieved

Damned sun. The man threw his faded and frayed hat in the dust, having nothing else to throw, nowhere else to throw it. He squinted up at the sun and stooped to pick up his hat, hitting it against his leg. The man stuck it on his head.

Sparing the scorched crops one more disgusted grunt, he stomped home angrily. In the hallway, the man avoided looking at his wife’s portrait. That’s why she died; Elizabeth died because of the drought. Two years ago. Only two? It seems as if it was a different life, altogether. 

There was no sign from the sky about its being relieved soon. Soon and not a month later. Not only could Frank not stand it anymore, he was on the brink of financial ruin – now more than ever. He went into the tiny kitchen and sat down heavily in a wooden chair. Oh to hell with it all! There was half a bottle of brandy on the table. He reached for it, consolation. 

Much later in the afternoon, he staggered outside, with the now empty bottle in his hand.
“What do you want from me?!” he called to the sun. “You’ve taken my wife, my money, my stock and more than once my crops!” He smashed the bottle against a rock. The glass
shattered and landed in the dust, some fragments planted themselves and prepared to wait an eternity.
The man passed out, in the dust and glass, spent after his sudden burst of anger.
The sun set bathing the sky with the most beautiful colours. Purple, pink, yellow, orange and red streaks filled the heavens. The earth looked very gentle in a last departing glow from the setting sun...
But the man lay in deep slumber, unconscious of the world passing him by.

And the moon rose and everything was beautiful again, though it was bathed in a different light – for a while. Huge black clouds appeared and blocked out the silver majesty of the moon. Every nocturnal insect that had been singing its lament became quiet before the mighty promise of relief. Drops of rain fell to the seemingly unfertile earth.

Thunder rolled, the man awoke. “What the hell is this?” A fragile raindrop burst on the tip of his nose. Reality dawned on him – it was raining! He looked up but was blinded by the falling rain. He bowed his head.
The crops were dead, the cattle were dead, Elizabeth was dead. And now – the God who had been punishing him for so long has sent forgiveness in abundance!


  1. Judith,
    Sounds like you were describing "my" life in metaphor. I hear raindrops?

    Good to see you getting around! I'm not sure if Flash Fiction works for me but I love reading it.

    1. Abdula,
      I actually killed the character off in an earlier version with a bolt of lightning '... and a fried man lay in the dust...'
      It was funny, but on rereading it, I realised God wouldn't do that.

      Try it, you would ace it!
      No probably not, your words are too big.

      Here's the best shortest one I ever read:
      For sale: Baby shoes, never been used.
      I actually cried, I'm such a sap.