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Article Specs

Article ID: 7543

VoxAcct: 8

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 5,186

Times Read: 6,873

It's Raining, It's Pouring, the Old Man is Snoring...

Author: RuneWolf [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 13th. 2003
Times Viewed: 6,873

It's raining like Hel up here in the wilds of Northern Virginia, buckets and buckets of it. A veritable torrential downpour. The wind is clattering the bare tops of the naked trees, and the rain is rattling on the gables. Cats and dogs? Hel, those are wolves and cougars at least, pardner...

I lie swaddled in my bedclothes, listening to the racket outside, reminding myself that it's all a part of nature. Perfectly, well, natural. Nothing at all to worry about.

"...the water...the leaves...the water..."

Yes, the rainwater streaming down, tap-dancing on the dead leaves. Ordinarily a lovely sound. But not tonight. Tonight it's bothering me.

"...the water...the leaves...the water..."

If you listen long enough, you could swear you hear the trees talking, murmuring to themselves as they stand stoically in the teeth of the storm. Murmuring, muttering...cold, wet and grumpy. Only that's not quite it, the words are coming from somewhere else. Somewhere closer...

"...the water...the leaves...the water..."

I flick my ear, as if to shoo away a worrisome fly, roll over, scrunch up the bedclothes, and resolve, this time, to fall bloody asleep.

"...the water...the leaves...the water..."

Of course, there is that pesky drain at the bottom of the side stairwell, the one with the sliding glass door that leads straight into the rec-room. You know, the room with the nice Berber carpet that had a little moisture in the corner after that hussy Isabella came through. But there were leaves down then, and it certainly rained like Hel that night, had to have accumulated more than we ever will tonight. So what's to worry?

"...the water...the leaves...the water..."

I sigh, crack one eye, and regard the interplay of shadows on the wall, listening to the incessant staccato of the downpour.

If something does happen, by some impossible stretch of the imagination, that's going to mean, what? Flooded basement, ruined carpet, clean-up, insurance claim, a day of work missed, at least...yuck. Still, it's a pretty far-fetched notion...the odds are against didn't happen last time.


I sit up and look out the window, listening to the sounds of the storm.

"...the water...the leaves...the water..."

I flop back into bed, roll into the covers, and attempt to bury my head, not in sand, but in dreamland. If I just ignore it, it'll surely go away.

"...the water...the leaves...the water..."

I sit bolt upright in bed. "Shut up!"

"Who are you talking to?" my wife asks, groggy from being woken rudely from a deep sleep.

"Goddamn House Spirits!" I mutter, struggling into my robe in the dark, saving her - and myself - the agony of turning on the light.

"What?" Yeah, I know...sounds crazy to me, too, dear.

"Nothing!" I snap, and stomp out of the bedroom. Quietly, of course - after all, it is the middle of the night.

Down through the living room, grab the flashlight, on into the basement and to the side door.

And I stand there gaping at the stairwell filling with water, the drain clogged by a mass of leaves, the relief holes in the retaining wall spurting water like two demented Renaissance cherubs.

"Well, kiss my sister's black cat's..." I observe to no one in particular, realizing that in the time it has taken me to take this all in, I've lost a good half-inch to the rising tide. It takes me a little while longer to get fully cranked up - and to get my wife out of bed - but soon the bail buckets are flying. We got there not a moment too soon - another ten minutes, and it would have been over the edge of the doorsill and into the basement.

Once we get the level down, we attack the real culprit, the leaves mounded against the retaining wall that are somehow funneling water down behind it to the relief holes-cum-rainspouts. It takes about an hour, all tolled, and is cold, wet, muddy work. But in the end, we manage to restore some semblance of normal operation to the drainage scheme, the Berber is saved, and...

I don't hear the little voices anymore. Rather, I hear a sort of smug, self-satisfied silence. An expectant sort of silence.

Now, you can tell yourself, as I tried to, that it had nothing to do with "House Spirits," or "benevolent entities" or anything like that. It could all be explained in rational terms - the unconscious mind worrying at a problem that it knew it could and should solve, following the chain of logic to its inevitable conclusion, refusing to let the conscious mind rest until it had its say. All very proper, Jungian stuff.

But that wouldn't account for the nagging feeling that I owed somebody something.

We clean up the tools and ourselves, and start the long climb back up to the bedroom. But halfway up the last set of stairs, I stop. I turn around and go back to the kitchen. I root around in the cabinets and the fridge, raising such a clatter that my wife finally calls down, "What are you doing NOW?"

"Nothing! Go to sleep!" We have such a communicative relationship, my Sweetie and I.

I hike back down to the basement, and check the stairwell once more. Draining like a champ.

Then I turn and raise the plate in my hand, to no one in particular.

"We offer this, with thanks, to our friends who stood the watch and raised the alarm, when we would have slept the night away into disaster. We offer this, with thanks, to our friends who stood with us against the mischief of wind and water, and who helped to protect this home that shelters us all. I have no milk to give tonight, but I do have cake, and honey and sweet whipped cream! May you enjoy - you have certainly earned it."

I set the plate down, and head off to bed, reasonably certain that I can get to sleep at last.

Sure, you could explain it all rationally. But why bother?




Location: Reston, Virginia

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