Microfiction: Sunlight after the rain

The Daily Post prompt is: transformation.



We first saw it in the rain, a light drizzle that hung a diamond on each blade of grass in the meadow. The farmhouse of grey stone, colour of the low cloud, glowered, a squat, stubborn expression on its façade. Tall trees stood behind it like a squad of security guards, casting no shadows but obscuring the edge of the sky. From among their branches came the mournful cry of a large bird, repeated and echoed back and forth across the valley.

I remember the glances we exchanged, caught between admiration of the spot and unease at its loneliness. The bird called again and again. Was it anger at the disturbance of their solitude? Or was it simply the language of the avian world that did not even notice ours? We pressed on, around to the door, past shuttered windows that might have been blind and might have been monitoring our passage.

The key turned, a long, slow, grinding turn in the lock, the wards clicking with disuse, age, weariness maybe. We pushed the heavy door open, half-expecting to find the persistent rain falling inside, mice scuttling into hiding, spiders darting back into their lairs among the rafters. Instead the air was mild, still and dry. A fire was laid in the big fireplace, and on a long, age-blackened table, houseplants, freshly watered, waited for someone to place them back in the window. We went from room to room, opening shutters, letting in the cool, damp air, and the light, silvery and steely like a mountain stream.

High in the sky, the sun was poking at the clouds, dragging them apart, and through the ragged holes, the light fell, changing from silver to gold. It fell through the old bubbly glass and kindled a slow fire in the terracotta tiles. It caressed the plaster, white and uneven and glowed in the grain of old polished wood. I caught your eye as you reached out a hand to catch a golden beam, the cupped palm filling with light, and you smiled. We had come home.