This is a piece I wrote as an exercise in metaphor. However, I liked the imagery and thought the prose was nicely constructed. There’s not a major plot, just metaphor summing up a life not lived.
She stood, as she always stood. Back to the wind, never facing it. Over her shoulder the willow tree stretched out its limbs, long fingers reaching down to stroke her, but she stood out of reach, her back to the wind. The house, where she had lived all her life, shuddered in the wind. She had been born here, grown to adolescence, then to adulthood, and finally, old age. When her parents died, she inherited the house, though there had never been a boy on the porch for her, never a stolen kiss.
A rambling two story building, once filled with laughter and light, the shutters creaked and slammed in the wind, but she didn’t turn to go back and fasten them. She watched the lake, ripples marching across its surface as the wind ran across it, laughing the way wind does, but she didn’t hear it. Her hair, long and grey, whipped about her face as the wind tugged at her, pulled and played, but she stood still, back to the wind, and would not be teased.
A family of ducks tread the water, striving vainly to reach the shelter of the shore, but the wind pushed them back. They swam on, undeterred, making slow progress, and the wind laughed once more.
The clouds overhead streamed in the air, moving so swiftly that shapes rose, fell, and vanished in the span of a few heartbeats. A white clipper ship, its sails tall and proud, turned to a long peninsula of mist and fog, stretching out in ribbons that lengthened until they touched the horizon. But she did not see. She stood, her back to the wind.
A scent of rain danced on the air, moist and cool, and chilled her skin. She pulled her arms in tight and bunched the old sweater close about her. Thunder sounded in the distance, but she did not see the lightning that gave it birth. It streaked down behind her, a bright arc of violent beauty, and the gods clapped in delight.
The first drops fell, like sweet kisses of little children, and wet her cheeks. She’d never had children, and never would now. The wind picked up, and blew her skirts like the sails of a ship, but she stood, back to the wind, and felt the cloth slap at her legs.
She turned to go in, and fell, hand clutching her chest. The wind kissed her mouth, her first kiss, sucking her breath away, pulling tears from her eyes. She went down, hit the ground hard and gasped for breath, but none came. The wind stole it away.
She wept, not for what she was leaving, but for what she never had, and then she fell still. Her back to the wind.