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Weather Person

Story by Steven Grassel (Read author interview) September 17, 2018

Art by Lawrson Pinson

The weatherman John Donovan says a flood is coming and the weatherman Jon Donovan is my neighbor. Standing in the local news studio, in front of a video of a car being swept away by water, he recommends that viewers take precautions before the flood. Standing in front of my door, John asks me to the ball game again. The viewers must buy boats and ponchos. John offers to buy me nachos and a beverage. I buy a poncho and bucket in case the water fills my basement. I tell John I will not go to the ball game with him, not after his behavior the last time. John smiles at the viewers. John smiles at me through the crack in the door. “I tell you it will be different this time.”

“I don’t think so, John,” I say at the television. John is holding flowers and talking about how flowers grow if the right amount of water falls from the sky. I look into the price of boats, just in case. The air smells like a flood is coming. “They don’t play baseball in the rain,” I say. John lowers his eyes as if trying to see water coming up from the ground. I open my front door and there is a package there, a box full of a blue dress. When my bathtub is full of water I hold the dress beneath the surface until it drowns.

John calls from the television, “How did it fit? We will have five feet of water before morning.” I put the bucket on my head and sob. If someone is listening from the window, I don’t want them to hear. Buckets are the most soundproof material purchased to prevent a flood from destroying all your everything. John takes me to the studio and shows me all the liars. They have invented the flood in their blue suits and ties. They are trying to make the world the color of their clothes.

The television is full of weathermen and they are all saying the same thing. It is time to prepare for the reality of our future. I take the drowned dress and put it on and tear it off. If I could see myself I would be beautiful. The floodwater is above my bedroom window, trickling in slowly. I have more time than I expected. The sun is coming through the window. The refrigerator is full of food and water.

“A 10 foot wave,” he says from outside my bedroom window. I pretend not to hear. I don’t hear. The scraps of blue tied around my limbs as bandages. One is tying me to the bed so I don’t float away. If I can survive here, in my home, all the weathermen will be out of work. The baseball game will be cancelled. The floodwater will be broth to feed, not cook. Water has risen above the television so I shut it off. Nothing to see here. The phone is ringing. It has floated away or sunk below. I don’t hear anything. John Donovan’s face ghosts across the television’s blank screen.

“Hello John,” I say.

“How’s next Wednesday?” he says.

“That’s a terrible suit.”

Water pours weakly out of the electrical outlets. I close the front door.

About the Author

Steven Grassel is a writer from Pittsburgh. His work has appeared in Wigleaf, Word Riot, and The Turnip Truck(s). He lives in Brooklyn.

About the Artist

Find Lawrson Pinson‘s photography at Unsplash.

This story appeared in Issue Sixty-One of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Sixty-One

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