Short Story

I wrote this in college.  I thought it timely to post now, what with a hurricane about:

Andrew’s Sacrifice
By: A.F. Grange

Andrew cruised northward across the Atlantic.  Winds propelled him while his one clear eye searched out across the ocean.  A growing hunger welled up in him, as he had yet to find satiation.  

In a darkened room in Florida City, near Miami, a man sat and listened to the patter of raindrops at the window.  Deep in thought, he absent mindedly rubbed his thumb across his chapped lips.  A weeks worth of pills lay on a circular table before him.  They were organized into an intricate spiraling pattern.  He leaned forward and adjusted a yellow, tubular shaped pill a fraction of an inch.
 The rain brings him...it’s the rain that brings him.
His head jerked to the left slightly, as his body slowly rocked back and forth.  He continued to rub the dead skin around his mouth with one hand, while the other presided over the pills.  Sores had stared to open up at the corners of his lips.  He registered none of this.
Somewhere in his consciousness a T.V. droned.
 “Andrew has just been upgraded from tropical storm to hurricane status.  It is definitely growing in strength,” a news anchor said. “All of southern Florida is under full evacuation, as the storm’s projected path takes it directly over Miami…”
He will be here soon.  I must prepare for his arrival. 
She must be prepared.
The man stood up and walked to the window.  He opened the faded curtains to reveal a bleak urban scene.  He gazed up at the grey clouds and tried to follow the individual rain drops with his eye.  They whispered to him.  Without looking down, the man reached into his pocket and pulled out a phone.  He pressed two and put it to his ear. 

Susanne tried to ignore the gloom around her.  She knew the rain was only a scout for the infinitely more powerful storm behind it, but she ignored the anxiety this thought caused to well up in her.
“Why, all this rain will help my garden,” she thought and looked out her living room window at her soaked flowers.  Even they looked depressed to her.  She sighed despite herself. 
“Well, I can get some reading done at least.”  She picked up her book from the brown coffee table in front of her, but before she had a chance to escape into it, the phone rang.  
“I wonder who that is.”  She picked up the phone and said, “Hello?”
“Hi,” said a voice that sounded as though it had not been used in a while.
 “Hi.  You don’t sound so good.  Is everything all right?”
She heard a throat being cleared.  “I-I’m just nervous” said the voice at the other end.
“About the storm?” she asked.
After a pause came, “Yes.”  The man’s voice sounded far away in the telephone receiver.  
“Do you want come over here?” My house is solid brick, much safer than your place,” Suzanne said, “Maybe you’ll feel better with some company.”
“Yes.  That would be best,” she heard the voice say.
“Ok, I’ll see you soon,” she said.
Susanne hung up the receiver and stared out the window.  The rain hypnotized her.  The falling drops seemed to intensify as she stared.  Her eyes glazed over as she fell deeper into thought. 
Should we evacuate?  What if this storm is dangerous?  He better be careful driving in these conditions…
After shaking away the hypnosis, Suzanne got up and went into her kitchen.  She still felt slightly entranced, as if only recognizing her actions a moment after they occurred.  She soon found herself sitting at her kitchen table, drinking a cup of tea while staring out at the grey day.

The winds urged Andrew towards Florida.  There he could fill his growing need.  There he could find satisfaction.

“Why are you doing this?” Suzanne said to the man she thought she had known well.  He made no answer.  She struggled against the ropes that bound her arms and legs.  Outside, the wind and rain pounded loudly against the window, while debris was propelled down the street.  A low pitched growl was barely perceptible as the storm moved ever closer.
When he first arrived at her house, Suzanne thought the ropes he carried were for securing the windows or something.  When he rushed her she was caught off guard and fell to the floor.  He quickly used the ropes to tie her instead. 
 “Please, just untie me,” she said as she wrestled against the ropes, “Why are you doing this?” 
The man moved to her head where he tied a red bandana around her eyes.  She screamed in fright.
“Don’t make me gag you too.  He wouldn’t prefer it that way,” was the last thing she heard before darkness enveloped her.  The man started to drag her out the door and into the back yard.

The craving that began to gnaw at Andrew abated slightly as he made landfall.  He progressed slowly across the southern tip of Florida, consuming all that lay before him, like a hungry man at an all you can eat buffet.  His great twisting arms reached out and slammed against the buildings and trees in his path.  Windows shattered and power lines whipped about in agony.  Andrew found satisfaction.

Outside in a beautiful sunny day, Suzanne ran around her house to her driveway where the man’s car was parked.  It was strangely untouched by the storm.  She knew the calm weather was temporary and would last only as long as the storm’s great eye stared down at her.  She felt strangely as though someone was watching her.  This she explained away as paranoia from the terrible incident she just narrowly escaped.  She was still in shock as she drove away as quickly as she could, while swerving to avoid the strewn wreckage.  
“What was the matter with him?” she thought to herself.  In her panic to escape, Suzanne failed to notice the mound of pill bottles in the passenger seat beside her.  After she made a particularly violent swerve to avoid an up turned dumpster, the bottles rolled about and caught her attention.  She picked one up.
“He was on medication?  I had no idea…”
This partially explained why her backyard looked like a scene from a sacrificial ceremony.  She would never figure out, though, how a shard of flying glass both cut her ropes without breaking her skin and also killed her attacker.  It was as though some unseen hand purposely set her free.  The man she once thought of as a friend, lay mutilated in her back yard, as though some ravenous beast had consumed him.  Suzanne clicked the radio on to find out more about the storm and take her mind off that terrible image. 
Over the static she heard, “Andrew has veered slightly southward, only hitting the southern most part of Miami.  The storm’s eye seems to have stalled somewhat over Florida City, as it makes its way back out to sea.  For those of you left in the area, remain indoors.  The storm is not over, repeat, stay in doors.”
Suzanne brushed away matted hair from her face with one hand as she drove.  Tears began to fall down her wet cheeks.  She knew not where to go; only that she needed to get away from the sickening scene and into some kind of shelter.  There was little choice of direction for her in any case, as some intersections were blocked entirely by rubble and others were left clear.  It was as though someone laid out a specific path for her to follow. 
After driving under clear skies for a half an hour, Suzanne found herself at a hurricane shelter where she parked her car and ran inside.  There she survived the remainder of the storm.  She emerged to start sorting out the confusing events of the past hours and the rest of her life.

Finally sated, Andrew sailed back out to sea and expired.  He gave one last satisfied sigh.  The last thing his single great eye beheld was the thin, white backbone of coast receding behind him. 

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