january 5th, 2021
Rain battered the old tent, now on its last legs.
“It’s the first rain of the year,” Mil said. “I hadn’t even realized…”
Rumdaal finished cleaning up. The smell of her food had long since given way to that coveted rain scent Mil had missed so much. A whole year since she had joined up with Amaud and Tibb—it had been raining then, too. And now their little team had grown so large. They were really beginning to feel like a family.
“My family always used to get together for the first rain,” Mil said. “We’d tell stories, all warm and cozy by the hearth. I wonder how they’re all doing now.”
“We always fought,” Tibb said with a chuckle. “Remember the time dad fell into the well in town square?”
Amaud cracked a rare smile. “He’d had so much ale, and he swore he could stand up on his hands for an hour. Didn’t even last a minute.”
“And you had to pull him out before he slipped all the way in!”
“Big guy,” Amaud deepened his voice to mimic his father. “So proud of you, son, you’re gonna go so far,”
“Gonna save us all,” Tibb finished. “Even then…” He trailed off, frowning.
“It’s not always a good time, is it?” Chava asked. “I mean… I can’t remember a single time I spent first rain under a roof, not since I was too little to remember anyway.”
“My parents said it was a test,” Rumdaal added. “From God. They made me train extra hard out in the rain. I always hated it.”
“I, for one, am not very fond of rain,” said Bloom. The tent fell silent for a moment, then Mil snorted despite herself.
“Yeah, I bet,” she giggled.
“Big old rust bucket, you are,” added Tibb.
“I wonder what it was like before,” Bloom said softly. They turned to look out of the tent’s open flap. “I don’t have any memories before a couple years ago.”
“I’m sure it was good,” Mil said, trying her best to reassure them. “I bet you’ll get your memories back and find out you had the best life out of all of us. Huge loving family, lots of friends, and hey, now you’ve got even more friends.”
“Thank you for saying so,” they said. “The, uh, rain appears to have snuck into my helmet somehow. Have I sprung a leak?”
Mil smiled. “Yeah,” she said. “A leak.”