Heat Haze

Heat Haze

A Story by Kaliope
"

A story about summer...

"
The first two weeks of summer were fun. Greedily we inhaled the perfume of rich flowers, suncream and chlorinated pool water and the associated memories turned us all into jaunty children. The entire city got drunk on sunshine. The newspapers proudly announced a glorious summer, one we hadn't had in years and we rejoiced at the prospect. We celebrated by clinking ice-cream cones as if they were champagne glasses and licked the sticky, sweet drippings from our fingers. We laughed at global warming and counted ourselves lucky.

From the second week on the record heat became a nuisance. We renounced the sweet ice-cream, yet our sweaty hands still felt sticky and we began to envy the cones, sitting mockingly in their ice boxes. Our blithe smiles caked into harrowed masks which softened only under a cold shower or lawn sprinkler rain. Even though the water drops evaporated within seconds, our skin stayed hot and damp. The humid nights no longer cooled the city down and sleep came only at the price of exhaustion. Since the meteorological prognoses offered no hope for a change the newspapers tried to soften the blow by adding cuddly cat pictures to their weather reports. Their distractions worked for a while and we convinced ourselves that we loved the summer. Like stubborn fools we insisted that this was what we wanted.

Beginning with the fourth week the sun turned into a merciless tormentor. We banished all ice-cream from the fridges and began with the mass-production of ice cubes. When taken out they melted halfway down before we could even close the fridge door. Shower heads and faucets spouted hot water despite their settings, fans and blow-dryers had the same effect and the city reeked of sweat and sewage. Ancient specks of chewing gum, carelessly spat out by prior generations, rose from their asphalted resting places on the streets and clung to soles like gluey zombies. The newspapers - realizing that warm, furry creatures began to incense the masses, instead of placating them - switched to pictures of naked cats but without fur the felines lost all appeal. When we finally saw behind the curtain of their manipulation, they promised rain - always three days ahead. We knew they were lying, but we no longer had the strength to complain. We had become soulless husks that scuffled along the roads to hell, paved with self-pity and veiled in heat haze.

The sixth week almost broke me. The communal suffering had become very personal, I couldn't take it anymore. I wrapped myself in wet towels, I stuffed my clothes with ice packs, I watched documentaries about the Antarctic… but nothing helped. I stopped reading the weather report, I gave up on sleep and social interactions. My last attempt to find consolation by begging my husband for a reassuring hug ended with him grumbling that it was far too hot for an embrace. He was right of course. Thus I turned to cold beer in hope that alcohol would make me at least indifferent to the infernal temperatures. The beer failed to relieve my suffering, instead it burned me up from inside. Dazed, hot and desperate I dropped off into an exhausted slumber but restful it was not.

And then, when no one dared to hope anymore, it finally came: Rain! I ran out onto the front porch and sat on the cracked wooden bench. A cool breeze caressed my body like a gentle lover. Oh, I had almost forgotten how good it felt to breathe fresh air! I squirmed under the chilly touch of the wind, cherishing every shiver it sent down my spine. The vivid gusts, ruffling through my hair, made me gasp with delight.

Then suddenly lightning ripped the sky apart, thunder broke the heavens open and wrung precious water from thrifty clouds. Heavy drops pattered against the scorched ground and more thunderbolts hailed down like a flurry of camera flashes. They invoked visions of myself and my husband on the front lawn, laughing, dancing, kissing in the rain, getting soaked right down to our parched bones. I called him but he was asleep. Not having the heart to wake him up I kept watching the thunderstorm, dreaming, feeling, and I raised a cold can of beer to the rain gods of Central Europe.

When my husband finally awoke the rain had stopped. The precious water had been sucked up by thirsty soil and what the ground couldn't store had evaporated into the steamy night. He stepped onto the porch and behind my bench.

"I had a wonderful dream," he slurred, slung his arms around my shoulders and kissed my nape.

I dived out from under his embrace. "Too hot," I apologized, "maybe next rain."

© 2016 Kaliope



Author's Note

Kaliope
Haha, just a bit of aimless prattling. We're having a record summer here and this is my attempt to manage the trauma of the past weeks' heat. Not entirely autobiographic, but the sentiment is certainly authentic. Hope you enjoy nonetheless ;-)

As always - all comments are most welcome!

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Featured Review

Oh, my goodness! The last line is a real conversation for me - minus the "rain" part. And that perfectly describes spring/summer down here in Biloxi, MS. It gets too hot for bodies to touch, much less anything left outside. We, too, have wonderful thunder booming storms in the afternoons. This was well written and I appreciated it immensely.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

3 Months Ago

Thank you very much for your kind words!



Reviews

Love this it describes Aussie summer too
I felt it lived it loved it in your story
I enjoyed this so much

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

2 Months Ago

I live near Vienna, Austria.
Juliespenhere.

2 Months Ago

Ok wow
Didn't know you had hot summers
Kaliope

2 Months Ago

Well, it doesn't get as hot over here as in your corner of the world, but we've noticed that the tem.. read more
Oh, my goodness! The last line is a real conversation for me - minus the "rain" part. And that perfectly describes spring/summer down here in Biloxi, MS. It gets too hot for bodies to touch, much less anything left outside. We, too, have wonderful thunder booming storms in the afternoons. This was well written and I appreciated it immensely.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

3 Months Ago

Thank you very much for your kind words!
I enjoyed this story. It's fun and lighthearted, and a nice break from heavy or emotional writing. If the heat is our biggest problem, then life is great.

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

3 Months Ago

Thank you very much for this kind review!
Well done Kali - I enjoyed this story. It is light hearted, humerous and with a nice twist at the end. Your excellent writing with lots of nice images gives the piece the perfect tone. Of course nowadays there is always the shadow of climate change looming but you haven't overdone that. By the way, did you mean communal rather than commune in para $?
Try Scotland next time you have a heat wave!
Cheers, Alan

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

1 Year Ago

Thank you for your kind words Alan - and for spotting the mistake. This year though we've got a lot .. read more
alanwgraham

1 Year Ago

It is - the west coast and particularly out on the western isles are out of this world. I've been cl.. read more
I'm in admiration of your skill at description. you are good, Kali. it is a pleasure to read you.
interesting anf humourous in places.
after a heat wave, rain is a godsend (can we say that?). I've known that feeling. like you, when the rain came, I went out on the porch and danced and sang "I'm siiiinging in the rain", naked. glorious feeling.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

1 Year Ago

Oh, thank you so much. Can't get the picture of you dancing and singing naked out of my head now :-D.. read more
Woody

1 Year Ago

oh did I say naked? well not STARK naked of course. I had my pantyhose on. otherwise our neighbour, .. read more
Kaliope

1 Year Ago

Too late my friend, that image won't go away any time soon... *chuckle*
Great little story. You've really captured the glory that is the first rain after a long dry heat-spell.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

1 Year Ago

Thank you Michael, glad you liked it :-)
"We laughed at global warming and counted ourselves lucky." Great line. Would be a great line for the next Roland Emmerich Blockbuster where some natural disaster destroys the earth and only Brad Pitt or whoever is left to fix things. Well. I really liked it once again and it made me think back of the great feeling you get when rain finally comes after a period of hot weather.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

1 Year Ago

Haha, last summer - when I wrote this - pretty much felt like a Roland Emmerich apocalypse. Jeez, I.. read more
Bobby Garfield

1 Year Ago

Another thing I really like about your stories that I've read so far is that you don't necessarily g.. read more
Kaliope

1 Year Ago

Thank you again! I guess in my case the lack of melodrama can be attributed to two factors. One is c.. read more
Hahahaha Kali I was laughing out loud. This is so clever, and I completely understand the character's torture over the summer heat and then the thrill of rain. Right now we're having pretty cool weather over here, and I am really glad for it even though everyone thinks fall is coming too soon lol. I, personally, can't wait to wear comfy sweaters. Anyways, the sections with her husband were also really funny. The way you describe everything is amazing. I swear you sit there and type one word at a time haha. You're a really amazing writing. I hope your work gets read by millions and millions of people. XD Thanks so much for sharing this!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

2 Years Ago

Haha, glad you liked it. I'd be lying if I said that getting read by millions of people wasn't part .. read more
I'm wondering how he slept through all of that. Oh, well--it was his loss. Those who live in Needles, California might not have much sympathy for you, since their discarded chewing gum vaporizes before it hits the ground. (The idea of resurrected gum made me laugh) Nice writing, and I hope your weather returns to normal.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

2 Years Ago

Thanks for the review and for your kind words, much appreciated :-)

And geez, I just .. read more
Wicked prattling. I was wondering for a minute why the husband was asleep. It's a good exercise/example for plot twists. :)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaliope

2 Years Ago

Thank you very much!

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Added on August 16, 2015
Last Updated on July 15, 2016
Tags: summer, heat, haze, rain

Author

Kaliope
Kaliope

Vienna, Austria



About
Hi, I'm a nerdy IT specialist in my forties, writing for fun and to keep my sanity. Feel free to friend me and to send me reading requests. I'll give you honest feedback and appreciate honesty in re.. more..

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