It was dark, overhanging clouds heavy with rain cloaking the days in inky darkness, turning them into night. Thunder crashed overhead signaling a downpour that never came. It had not rained in ten years.
She alighted from the back of the taxi that had come all the way from the city. Her suitcases were unceremoniously dropped to the cobbled pavement. She paid the driver in notes which he gingerly held by their corners as though they were tainted, contagious, of what she did not know.
She pulled her scarlet cloak tighter around her shoulders hoping that the envelope of warmth it afforded her would extend to the people walking past, looking down, not daring to make eye contact with the beautiful and mysterious stranger.
Maybe they were afraid of greeting her, giving them something of themselves, lest she asked for more.
She knew what they were thinking, she could see it in their eyes.
“A woman on her own…”
“Look at the red cloak she is wearing.”
“She’s too beautiful to be a good woman.”
“She’s not like us.”
“I hope she doesn’t cause any trouble.”
And they hurried past, leaving her, standing on the cobbled pavement in front of the station that had not seen a train in ten years.
What they did not know was that she was not lost. She knew this village well, knew its people and the way they thought. That was why she had left, on the last train, ten years ago…leaving behind the insularity of the small village and the insularity of the villagers’ thinking.
Sitting on that last train ten years ago she had made a promise to herself to never return. She ran away, never once looking back, leaving behind…nothing.
Now she was back. She had broken the promise to herself. She was back…to nothing. She was still running away, backwards, towards this village of her birth where she still had nothing.
Nothing save for the scarlet cloak and the two suitcases still on the cobbled pavement where the taxi driver had unceremoniously dropped them.
A clap of thunder had her looking up at the inky heavens. Memories of the past crashed into her, jolting her body much like a flash of lightning jolts even the strongest tree. Trembling she raised her hand to her wet cheeks wanting to wipe away tears only to find them dry.
In confusion she looked down and saw the drops of rain starting to wet the cobbled pavement, landing on her face, sliding down her scarlet cloak to form a scarlet pool at her feet.
WordPress weekly writing challenge: Foreshadow. This week, we want you to toy with your readers’ emotions and try your hand at foreshadow. Click here to read other bloggers' interpretation of this week's theme.
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