Face at the Window (FlashNano Day 12)

rainy window, da

Image: Chippewa Valley news in WI

It was strange, that face, so familiar, yet not quite what he’d grown accustomed to seeing night after night. The nose was long, almost touching the sharp chin. The mouth was a straight slash, except where it turned down at its edges. And lately, it had been turning down at its edges more often than not. 

The eyes were watery blue—or perhaps that was simply the rain pattering against the cabin’s windowpane? And they had no lashes, which was also strange, because neither did he. And its hair was lank, long and colorless, and had seemingly not been washed in a long time. Which—again–was strange, because you’d think all the rain would keep the hair somewhat clean; it had certainly stripped all color from the grass and leaves.

The face at the window had never visited during the day, even when the clouds were at their thickest. You’d think that would be the time it might knock on the door and ask to come in. And it would be welcome inside, to share in the dry shelter of this two room shack, and eat from his dwindling supply of food. He’d lost interest in food some time back. He was mostly hungry for conversation these days, but the electrical was a memory, the landline had gone dead and his cell phone had long since gone dark.

He’d hoped the rain would stop at some point, but since that great clap and cloud had mushroomed in the distance, it rained all the time. But perhaps the face at the window was shy, and did not want to impose on his hospitality. It might be up to him to make the invitation.

He nodded his head sideways, toward the cabin door, raised his eyebrows and pointed. The face at the window mimicked him. Was it mocking him? Or was it simply socially inept? Either way, he would go outside the cabin door–perhaps not today, as his heart was pounding a frantic tattoo–and extend an invitation.

The face in the window looked back at him, sick. Its skin had grown blotched as it had thinned and drooped, day after day, around the sharp bones of its skull. He wouldn’t invite it in today, but he would soon. He didn’t want to overwhelm it, if it was frightened.

This rain couldn’t last forever, after all. Could it?

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2020)      

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