Following is PART THREE of a three-part writing exercise from Matissta on the topic of thunderstorms. In PART ONE, I wrote about a thunderstorm from my perspective and in PART TWO, from a child's perspective. Here, in PART THREE, I write about a thunderstorm from Flannery O'Connor's perspective. I was given 10 minutes to complete each part.
For those of you not familiar with O'Connor, here are biographical excerpts from the back of a sheet of the newly-issued O'Connor postage stamps:
- "In her unsettling and darkly comic stories and novels, Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964) explored the potential for enlightenment and grace in what seem like the worst possible moments."
- " . . . O'Connor populated her fiction with criminals, con artists, misfits and freaks, and she delighted in confronting readers with a harsh and humbling mirror."
- "Although O'Connor's stories frequently culminated in acts of violence, her goal was not merely to be lurid. Instead, she hoped to shock readers toward moral and religious revelations, difficult messages that she knew readers might overlook or resist."
PART THREE: Write about a thunderstorm from Flannery O'Connor's perspective.
It had not rained all summer. The dust churned up by the tractor clung to the window curtains and settled on the corn-on-the-cob porcelain salt-and-pepper shakers like a sandy pollen. Mrs. Trumble knew that she would have to pick up each one, one-by-one, to remove the dust, but had decided to wait until after a long, hard rain. A violent one, actually -- a thunderstorm that would transform the dusty road leading to her house and entranceway to mud and then a hard surface where she could walk to the barn with nothing sticking to her house slippers.
She hated putting on the black rubber boots that had belonged to her husband, Frank. For one thing, they were four sizes too big. For another, they smelled like him which always irritated her until the morning she walked into the barn and saw the backs of the boots facing her, Frank face down on the hay underneath milking cow #34. The cow looked at her still chewing its cud as it was used to Frank falling asleep next to her while pulling her teats. The milk bucket hadn't toppled over. Only Frank.
Mrs. Trumble stood looking at his blue jean overalls for several minutes before she walked over and picked up the bucket and poured its contents onto the dust.
"From dust you came and from dust you have returned," she said. "I told you that you should have gone to Dr. Lowry as soon as I noticed you panting."
But Frank hadn't, and there he was, dead in the hay, the dust. Yes, thought, Mrs. Trumble, what I wouldn't do for a thunderstorm right now. Something to remind me that God hasn't abandoned me altogether.