It had been raining for three days. That was what Vyxen O’Connell noticed. She didn’t watch the news—she preferred to get other people’s spin on it—and she really didn’t care about checking the weather. So she didn’t even really know there was a hurricane.
Of course, as hurricanes go, it was pretty unimpressive. I mean, obviously, if Vyxen didn’t even—not that she was the most observant person, but still. It didn’t rip up trees from their roots. It didn’t flood houses, that she could tell. It just rained. A lot. And she liked that.
But at the end of that one particular day, Vyxen O’Connell was walking home from class just as the reain was about to let up and she happened across an old woman on the ground by the side of the road, curled up in a ball in a coat—a coat made of leaves.
You don’t just see a coat that’s made of leaves and not stop to help somebody.
“Excuse me,” Vyxen said to the old woman, “do you need my help?”
“Bless you, child,” said the woman in the leaves.
Vyxen took the old woman by the hand and suddenly, there were fingers made of wind with a strong grip clutching at her hair and the woman, whose face was a cloud, pulled herself close in to Vyxen, peering at her face. “I know you mock me,” said Hurricane Frances. “You shouldn’t even be out of doors, even this far inland, but I have a little surprise for you.
The hand that Vyxen held was turning blue, and not from the grip.
The old woman whispered in the voice of the wind, “I promise you,” she said. “You will notice me here after I am gone!”
Then the hand in Vyxen’s burst like a water-balloon and the old woman in her coat of leaves fell back down to the ground, blending in with the rain.
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