The Rain by E.C. Fisher by E.C. Fisher - Read Online

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The Rain - E.C. Fisher

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10

Prologue

Alow-rolling fog caressed the lake’s surface ever so softly. The clouds drifted past the moon overhead, reflecting off the vast lake. The light, cool breeze made the five kids huddle together as they stood impatiently next to a large oak tree. A young boy was silently making his way toward them through the darkness. They shook with anticipation, eager to see if he would wuss out.

You know what you have to do? Matthew asked. He was the ringleader and the tallest, standing at six foot. He had on a dark colored shirt and wore a ball cap that covered his blond hair. His sapphire eyes were enough to make any girl swoon over him.  

I j-just have to s-swing out on the r-rope, Timmy said, his teeth chattering. He kept his face lowered, his shaggy brown bangs concealing his frightened blue eyes. His cheeks were sunken and he had dark circles under his eyes. He fiddled with his overalls, trying to extract his inhaler from the pocket. His nervousness made the simple maneuver all the more difficult.

He pressed the medication container to his lips and inhaled deeply after pushing it twice. His breathing slowed as he replaced the inhaler. Timmy was a sensitive, sickly youth with loads of anxieties that kept him indoors. Lack of sunlight gave his skin a sickly pallor. His red and white long-sleeve shirt covered his pale skin and underdeveloped arms.

That’s right, Bruce said. Just swing out and plunge into the water. He wore a dark jersey with a ram’s head on it. He was a few inches shorter than Matthew but he made up for it with his stocky and muscular physique.

We’ll be here to witness it, Samantha added. She was a ravishing beauty that made most girls green with envy. Her usually flowing curly brown hair was covered by a loose-knitted white cotton beanie.

So don’t wimp out, Julien continued. His curly blond hair swayed as he bounced up and down, fueled with devious excitement.

Timmy glanced up. A hint of irritation flashed through his eyes for just a moment. He said softly, I won’t w-wimp out.

Here, Sally said, offering Timmy the rope. Her hazel eyes teared up behind her glasses. Timmy wasn’t sure if she felt sorry for him or if the slight chill in the summer air was causing it.

Without another word he took the rope and settled his tiny red shoe into the loop. Bruce seized him by the waistline. Let me help you get going, he said before propelling him forward.

Wait, I can do—

Timmy was thrust through the air before he could finish.

The kids whooped and bellowed as he screamed out into the chilly night air, trying to hold onto the rope. His fear caused him to freeze and he clutched the rope tighter instead of letting it go. His breath escaped his lungs but no words came out. His hands slipped on the rope as they grew numb, turning white from his grip.

Come on, jump off already, Matthew yelled out angrily. 

Julien’s bluish gray eyes narrowed. Hurry it up, kid! You’re gonna get us caught!

Bruce, do something. Get him off the rope! Samantha furiously nodded toward Timmy.

Bruce clambered up the oak tree like a gorilla, positioning himself on the branch which held the rope. He shook it viciously, trying to force Timmy off. His grip on the rope had numbed his fingers and he was losing his grasp without fully being aware of it. The shaking of the branch caused Timmy’s sneaker to slip through the loop and tangle in it. He lost his balance and wailed as he tumbled backward into the water, his foot snagged in the rope.

The sensation of the cool water gripped his chest, making it hard to inhale a quick breath before plunging under. The rush of the water suffocated him as he gulped down a mouthful. His ankle was caught in the loop of the rope, making it impossible for him to straighten up. He struggled to breach the water’s surface as he tried desperately to hold the last little bit of breath in his weak lungs, suspended upside down, head first in the water.

He flailed his arms against the brackish water that surrounded him, dark and looming, as if Death itself were in the water with him. He had reached his panic-point and sailed passed it into a whole new level of fear. He was beginning to lose the strength to fight against his coming death. The chill of the water had sapped his strength, immobilizing him.

He knew he wasn’t strong enough to bend at the waist and pull himself up and free from the water that was suffocating him. He was weak and had always been weak. His dying mind flashed not to joyous and happy years, but to the years of torment he had endured everywhere he went. It wasn’t just the kids at school who bullied him; he could read the expressions on the faces of adults who thought he was nothing more than a burden.

Image after image of them flashed through his mind, faster and faster like a projector stuck on fast-forward. He could hear every cruel and unkind word ever uttered at him scream through his ears. The faster the images raced through his mind, the louder the jeers became until he was deafened by them. A still image held in his mind’s eye of Samantha laughing at him. His fists clenched tight, turning his knuckles white as his face boiled over in fury.

In that moment, a change stole over Timmy. He flung open his eyes and glared out into the darkness of the water, completely and totally consumed with a rage so hot it chased away the chill of the water that held him prisoner. It burned through his tiny body and he shook with the fury within him.

Even as he died, he embraced it, feeling powerful for the very first time in his life. He was no longer afraid of death. He welcomed it, as it offered the promise of redemption, the chance to return and exact his revenge on the very people who made him what he was in his death. He would subject them to far greater horrors than they had shown him. As the life poured from his body and into the water, Timmy knew he would return and make them all suffer a fate worse than his own.

The kids froze and stared in horror as Timmy fought in the water. They were too scared to move. Bruce watched from above; his breathing grew heavy as his eyes opened wide in astonished excitement. Samantha let