April Showers

By L. Vancil          
The rains of February and March were hiding under the hills when the April showers began.  The news was full of slides and broken houses.  My wife stood on the back porch looking up at the hill. 
"You think it will come down?" she asked.
I looked up at the green expanse.  She has antennas tuned to my concerns.
"I don't know.  I don't think so."  I replied.  I had walked the base of the hill that morning.  Water seeping out onto the old road worried me.
A few days of sun made me feel better.  Then the showers returned.  Each one made me a little more nervous.  I started standing at the back door looking up in the night.  Would it come down?    My wife's antennas were twitching.
"The county guy says it's stable," she murmured wrapping her arms around me one night.
" I know."
"So, why ..."
"Am I being paranoid?"  I finished for her. 
"We can go to a hotel."  she offered.
"No.  I'll be all right."  I said, refusing my fear.
"Honey."
"No.  Lets go back to bed.  I'm just being paranoid." 
In the morning I walked the old road again.  The seepage didn't seem any worse. The forecast was for warmer and dryer days ahead. 
Each morning I was awake a little earlier and my wife greeted me with a hot cup when I returned.
We insisted that the county geologist come back.  I walked the road with him and pointed out the changes I had noted. The geologist  told me about the soils in the hill and pointed out the traces of seepage from years past. The seepage dwindled and then stopped.
I had been up early and walking the road for almost a month.  For the last week my wife had joined me. We slipped out into the pre-dawn and walked up the old road. After winding along the hill the road turned and wound its way towards the summit. 
Last Saturday we were walking hand in hand and talking.
"So, anyway, Allie was saying.."  My wife stopped as we both splashed into cold water.
"Shit!" we both exclaimed.  -Splashed?-
The seepage was back!  It had become a stream.  Or had we both missed it just yesterday?  I looked up at my wife's wide eyes.  I'm sure I had the same caught in the headlights look.  But, after a moment we walked on.
As the road began to slope upward into the dawn light we leaned into it.  We were about half way to the top when the rumble started.  Just behind us the road vanished.  Through a sudden mist we heard the sounds of breaking and the snap-twang of broken power lines. The noise seemed to go on forever.  As each sound rattled up the road a weight lifted from my shoulders.  As everything stopped and quiet descended I felt nearly euphoric.  I could feel tears on my cheeks and the smile twisting my face. My wife's expression mirrored my own and understanding flashed in her eyes.
We collapsed in each others arms alternately laughing and silently crying in the warm April dawn.
Copyright L E Vancil, 1998  All rights reserved


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