Morning After a Storm: A Story by Neeti Parti

It was unbelievably sudden. One moment the sun was a beautiful radiant red ball and the next moment there was absolute darkness!

Dark clouds overpowered light and everything went out of focus. Loud crash of angry rolling clouds deafened the ears. Bolts of lightning seemed to cut gashes across the horizon.

The wind whooshed and shook the window panes as she ran up to look out at the street below. What she saw made her shake with fear. It was pitch dark outside. Torrential rain soon began lashing at the window and rivulets of water ran down the glass.

Her fear grew more.

As standard practice, her daughter had rung up to say she was leaving her office for home. Her daughter was a young and upcoming corporate executive who drove her own car back and forth from work. This was twenty minutes ago and the commute took about twenty five minutes. She should be in the vicinity. Unknowingly she began to pray while straining her eyes to catch a glimpse of the approaching headlights through the now blurred glass.

Presently she heard a loud groaning sound like someone in great pain before an earth-shaking crash. Not knowing what it was, she began shaking with anxiety and her prayers became louder.

After what seemed like ages, she heard a loud banging on the door shaking her out of her stupor. She stood transfixed for a while and then ran to the door tumbling as she ran for she had not even lit a candle till then.

Outside the door stood her daughter.

She thanked the Almighty fervently as she hugged her as if she was meeting her after ages.

Her daughter hugged her back whispering repeatedly how grateful she was to the bird who had flown across her windscreen shrieking a loud warning. Almost as an inadvertent reaction, her daughter had pressed down hard on the accelerator speeding her car. As her car lurched forward, she saw in her rear view mirror, a massive tree come crashing down on the road where she had been an instant ago.

Mother and daughter hugged each other again and thanked God for His Grace in granting her a new life.

Sometime during the dark hours, the storm lost its might and died down.

The dawn was innocently pure and bright. Mother and daughter went over to the window and found a sight of total devastation caused by nature’s wrath.

Across the road lay a gigantic tree.

Both rushed down.

What they saw brought tears to their eyes.

A black bird sat on the broken branch of the tree, sad sounds of grief escaping from her throat. In front of her lay her mangled nest with broken eggs strewn across.

A mother humbled looked indebtedly at the mother who had saved her daughter and sank down in obeisance and eternal gratitude!