Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

When the Drought Breaks – #gargleblaster175

with 42 comments


Blinded since the last rains, Agnes scrambles outside.

Wind pulls her skirt, loosens her hair.

Leaves jostle in the twisting, bird-less trees.

Agnes senses the first flash; flinches with the first rumble.

Raising her face and palms, she welcomes the sky’s blessing.







With thanks to Mel, Cyn and Tienne in the Bronze Lounge for pointing out the gaping holes (as well as the bits they liked) in my first effort. As the contents of the story changed, so did the focus of the title, hence my not adopting any of their very worthy suggestions.



Written by Sarah Ann

August 20, 2014 at 8:49 pm

42 Responses

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  1. Great job with the title! And all of it!

    Melanie L.

    August 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm

  2. You’ve managed to convey a very strong feeling of motion in this piece, which is really hard to do with so few words, I think. It’s your verbs – you used them very effectively! Really nice job.


    August 21, 2014 at 12:17 am

    • Thanks Christine and for making me look again at the verbs. The first version was very passive – Agnes being led – now I can see how the verbs do create the movement – hers and that of all around her.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 10:57 pm

  3. I love love love the title! This is fabulous – you really tightened up the story and told it beautifully. I’m so glad to see you made it to the grid, and was happy to be part of the process. Oh, and I wouldn’t say there were any gaping holes in the first version πŸ™‚


    August 21, 2014 at 1:58 am

    • Thanks Tienne. I think missing the blind bit was a bit of a hole, but I’m pleased you like the revised version and title. It really has been good getting to know people and taking advantage of their suggestions in the lounge.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 10:54 pm

  4. This is so vivid. I felt relief.


    August 21, 2014 at 2:47 am

  5. Perfect choice of words for conveying the feeling of when the rains come and the relief when a drought is broken. Well done!

  6. Nothing like dancing to the beat of your own drum – πŸ˜‰ x


    August 21, 2014 at 8:04 am

  7. So lovely and visual. I especially like the second line, it feels exhilarating.

    Jennifer G. Knoblock

    August 21, 2014 at 9:57 am

    • That’s good to know. In the first version of this, with Agnes being led outside, the second line became vaguely threatening. It has a greater sense of freedom here.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 11:01 pm

  8. I really got a sense of that tremendous relief rain brings after it has been incredibly hot.


    August 21, 2014 at 11:39 am

    • That’s what I was aiming for so it’s good to hear it worked.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm

  9. And here is what loooks like an answer to my poem itself. So glad to read this piece! It’s beautiful, Sarah!


    August 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    • Thank you. And having read yours I can see that this is the relief your nature is seeking.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 11:06 pm

  10. “she welcomes the sky’s blessing” is an awesome line. I felt like it added an epic feel to the whole thing. Congrats on the great piece!


    August 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    • Thank you. I’m glad you liked that line as I wasn’t sure it was a bit syrupy, but I can see how it could be interpreted as epic. It all depends on the context, which with 42-words, the reader is definitely in control of.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm

  11. I felt like I was standing in the rain with her. It had me on my toes ready to embrace the summer rains! Unfortunately, where it rains back home in Ohio, it doesn’t in California!

    Renada Styles

    August 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    • That is such a wonderful comment, thank you. We have summer rains at the moment, just not the heat to go with them so there’s no rapturous embracing here.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 11:07 pm

  12. That definitely would be a blessing to those of us in California suffering the drought!

    Marissa Bergen

    August 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    • And if I could send you our annoying showers to relieve your heat, I would. Thank you for reading.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm

  13. For anyone suffering from the effects of drought those first rumbles of thunder and flashes of lightning would be a welcome relief.

    Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156)

    August 21, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    • If only the thunder and lightening were a guarantee. So often they tease and the rains falls elsewhere.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm

  14. Great job–I love the last line when she raises her face and palms to the sky.


    August 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm

  15. It’s important to remember to joy of thunderstorms. I was immediately on Agnes’s side. So glad she can enjoy things so soon after a tragedy!


    August 21, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    • I think the rains have been a long time coming so she’s been able to get used to her blindness. Still, feeling rain is a new experience, and a joyful one.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm

  16. There seems to be so much back-story to this poem, which I’m not aware of, that I can’t decide whether to read it as happy or sad – but I like that πŸ™‚


    August 21, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    • Backstory really is an issue with a gargleblaster. I don’t know whether to tell you what was in my mind now as it might spoil what you’ve imagined. Maybe the blindness is sad but the relief of the rain is happy.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      • Well, in the poem she’s been blind since the last rains, so (depending on how realistic/allegorical/fantastical you want to read it) it’s possible to imagine that her sight will be restored by the downpour. Hence her anticipation.

        That’s my happy reading, anyway πŸ™‚


        August 21, 2014 at 11:29 pm

  17. I imagined Agnes as literally sightless (as opposed to metaphor) and it deepened the senses already so vivid in piece. Nice work.


    August 21, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    • Thanks Meg. Agnes is sightless so I tried to write what she would hear and feel, instead of not see. I’m glad that added a dimension for you.

      Sarah Ann

      August 21, 2014 at 11:15 pm

  18. Love the use of action verbs here like jostle and flinch. Well done!


    August 21, 2014 at 11:35 pm

  19. I like the emotion in this. (I think rain is a beautiful blessing as well πŸ™‚ )


    August 22, 2014 at 5:45 am

    • Thanks Janna. Most of the time rain is a blessing, just sometimes there’s too much of it and floods become a curse.

      Sarah Ann

      August 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

  20. The skin remembers the first touch. Always. I like her acceptance of the impairment and the acknowledgement of a blessing.


    August 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    • She’s been waiting a long time so has had time to get used to her impairment and the rain will bring relief as well as life to the land. Thank you for your comment.

      Sarah Ann

      August 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

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