The rain keeps Eliza awake. She’s waiting for her sister, Kathleen, who should have been home two hours ago at a quarter past eight. Kathleen’s lateness reminds her of the evening ten years before when their parents were late. At first, it didn’t worry them, but as time wore on, they began to wonder. Then came word their parents were never coming home.
When Kathleen does return, she appears worried. Eliza knows something is wrong. A great deal is wrong. Three food synthesizers have broken down.
When the people first landed on this planet, it seemed like they’d finally found a place to settle down. While the planet was mostly water, the land was fertile, and the crops grew easily. But then the rains came and never stopped. Days, weeks, months, and years went by without a break in the rains. They ruined crops, shelters, made planting impossible, and eroded the soil.
And now, with the three more food synthesizers down…
This atmospheric little piece gives the reader a sense of dread right from the beginning. The sound of rain beating on the metal roof of the shelter and Eliza’s worry about her sister are not small things. They are also not things Eliza can do much about. Kathleen returns with more bad news. The planet becomes more unlivable every day.
Eliza remembers their parents telling them when they were children that they were brave explorers from the planet earth. That wasn’t true. They were refugees, lucky to find this planet after coming across so many inhospitable ones. But it made for a good story. Now that it looks like they can no longer live here, they’ll have to make plans. Eliza is glad the people are building a spaceship. She’s seen it.
However, not all is at appears. There’s a nice little twist at the end. I enjoyed this tale, but I cannot call it uplifting.
According to his blurb, author Martin Lochman is a Czech emerging author currently living in Malta and working as a university librarian. His flash fiction and short stories have appeared in Ikarie, a former Czech SF magazine, Aphelion, AntipodeanSF, and other places as well as a bunch of Czech anthologies.
Title: “Have You Ever Not Seen The Rain?”
Author: Martin Lochman
First published: Theme of Absence, March 15, 2019
This story can be read here.