Storm Clouds


Author : Harshavardhan Rangan

It was the day the clouds came alive. We’ve always thought of them as gentle puffs of water vapor. We were wrong. They weren’t gentle, and they’d had enough of us.

Our understanding of the water cycle had one small, fatal flaw. We assumed the clouds had no say in it. Turns out they’re perfectly capable of sucking dry the oceans of the earth.

People fail to realize just how quickly a dreamy blue sky can turn pitch black and devastate everything in its path. Talk about mood swings.

No one really noticed when the skies started to darken. But the rains never came, and the darkness hasn’t left since. There are occasionally reports of a break in the cloud cover. There are also occasionally reports of people seeing god.

For the first month there was nothing. No rainfall, no sunshine. Just black. But the world kept spinning along. People went to work, children went to school. Pastors preached, doctors healed. But things weren’t perfect. Perpetual darkness does funny things to your head. And fears of a great famine were slowly spreading. Other fears too. Old, primal fears. The fear of the dark, the fear of the unknown, the fear of another day of darkness. We were sure it couldn’t get any worse.

It started raining on a Thursday afternoon.

There was dancing in the rain. There was a great celebration called. There was another celebration. Water does funny things to your head. After a week, the panic set in again. The rain hadn’t stopped. Crops started dying, the relentless downpour was too much for their gentle sensibilities. Cities were being flooded. Power outages were common. Doomsday prophecies were rampant. The great flood was here! Where was Noah with his boat?

One day the lights went out and never came back.

It’s hard to tell how long it’s been raining. We’re walking a world where you can’t see more than a few meters ahead of you. A world where there is no before. No after. Only a perpetual, grim now.

First the sun, then time. It wasn’t long until we realized how dependent we were on those two simple things. Everything that made us human was lost to us. We do what we can to survive, we do what we can to help others survive. But we’re only prolonging the end.

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