33. He ran into the room, his heart pounding, and his clothes soaking wet.


by X-Himy about 8 years ago

He ran into the room, his heart pounding, and his clothes soaking wet. There had not been a storm, at least, not that one could have seen. But rain fell on him nonetheless. A ghost of a storm, haunting him.

It was like some cartoon raincloud that hovered over him, that soaked him. He carried an umbrella everywhere, drawing strange looks. In an effort to avoid this, he had gone fancy, eschewing the utilitarian umbrellas, the ones meant to fold up, to fit in a purse or a pocket.

No, he used full length umbrellas, massive black umbrellas with gold handles. Umbrellas with clever prints. Umbrellas that were clear, umbrellas that hid a sword in the handle. Umbrellas that doubled as canes. He was forced to cultivate this as a hobby, and his home was full of umbrella stands, hooks, and hatracks, a necessary second hobby.

He never knew why the ghost of the storm followed him, and him alone. Perhaps it was his curse, his punishment for some unknown crime. Had he cut a gypsy off on the highway? Had he killed something, somebody, someone? Were there others, or just this one? He spent time on the internet and in books, and never found hint or mention of someone similarly afflicted.

At first, he decided to just get wet. In summer, it could even be refreshing. But in winter, he found that he could barely be outside for minutes before shivering and then hypothermia set in. Thus, umbrellas.

He was known for it, profiled in local papers and odd blogs. If anything, this made it easier, to be known as "The Umbrella Man", he could walk around with his umbrellas and no one would mention it. It made dating hard, but in the case of actual rain, few things were more gallant than having an umbrella at the ready. He might get wet, but he would have anyway.

It was his secret thing, thankfully kept outside. If the rain ever found a way through the walls, he did not know what he would do. It was all he could do to stay dry now.

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