The storm came as a massive cloud, dark gray, almost disappearing into the lighter gray sky around it. It moved quickly, swatches of clouds rolling and dispersing and coalescing, but the sheer size of the gale made the entire sky look bleak. Rain pelted the ground and wind shook the trees, causing the spring leaves to shudder violently.
Anne gazed out the window at the storm, watching the cloud fade into the rest of the sky. Or perhaps the entire sky was the cloud-the storm was all around her and had chased the sky away. Muted bursts of light came from the interior of the storm; lightening, hidden by the veil of clouds. A few seconds later, Anne heard the booming voice of thunder.
A sudden change in direction made the wind bring the rain toward her. She listened to the sharp tapping of it against the window as it obscured her vision of the sky. Water ran in rivulets down the glass, occasionally joining other drops in their journeys. Anne watched their progress, entranced by the simple phenomenon. Storms had been around much longer than she, and longer still than even the human race. She wondered when the first one occurred, and what her ancestors must have thought when they first experienced the tumult. The flashes of lightening and the claps of thunder made her feel small and unprotected, even in her strongly built house. What had the ancient humans thought when they had no protection against the rage of the storm? She was under a roof and encased in solid walls; they had nothing but crude shelters and each other. Anne was suddenly glad she was born in modern times. She had a house to protect her from the elements, a car to take her to safety, and lights to lead her where she wanted to go.
As if they heard her thoughts, the lights flickered and went out. The faint luminescence of the storm barely allowed Anne to locate the flashlight she had placed on the coffee table earlier. She turned it on, letting its beam of light trail throughout the room. She rose from the chair she had been resting in for the better part of an hour and made her way into the kitchen, where she kept a box of matches. She walked around the living room lighting the various candles she kept on the mantle and tables. Anne preferred the soft glow of candles to the harsh light of the flashlight and as soon as the room was sufficiently lit, she turned it off. She settled back into the chair she vacated earlier and resumed gazing at the storm. It really was gargantuan.
Anne sat, entranced by the storm, while the storm blew through her small neighborhood. After an hour or so, the fierce tapping of the rain lessened into a pitter-patter against the window, then only a soft mumble on the glass. The rhythmic sound soon lulled Anne into sleep, and she never noticed the sinewy shadow slinking across her front lawn or the large prints that were soon washed away with the vestiges of the rain.