An Encounter on a Rainy Night

By Anonymous

>My father always told me, "If you don't like the weather around here, wait five minutes and it'll change."

>He really wasn't very far off the mark, since the weather has always been a little bipolar for as long as I can remember.

>Unfortunately, it often has the habit of changing at the worst possible times.

>Like now, clear night sky changing to inky black downpour.

>And, Murphey's law, this had to hit just as I was heading home

>So here I am, sprinting through sideways rain, trying my best to cover myself and not get swept off my feet by the periodic gusts of heavy wind, looking for anything resembling shelter.

>Most people seem to be inside, lucky bastards, though most people usually don't go home at 3AM.

>Finally, salvation appears, a small enclosed bus stop. The buses don't run this late, but at least it's somewhere dry.

>As I near the stop, something else catches my eye.

>Someone sitting on the ground.

"Hey, are you ok?"

>No answer

>I get closer, the figure seems to be a woman, clothes soaked to the skin from the rain, hair hanging in wet, stringy clumps.

>How long has she been out here?

"Hey, are you ok, Miss?"

>She raises her head slowly, the darkness obscuring most of her features.

>She must be well and truly drenched, as large drops of water rolled down her face.

>Eventually, she speaks

<"It's a nice night, isn't it?"

"Are you joking? It's raining buckets, Lady."

<"I like the rain."

>Great, she's on drugs.

"Miss, there's a bus stop just a few yards over there, I think you should get out of the weather."

>She cocks her head, considering my words as if she doesn't quite have a grasp on the language.

<"Oh, I hadn't noticed."

>Yep, definately high on something.

"Here, let's go over there together."

>I offer her my hand, and her eyes widen at the gesture. She takes it and once again I wonder just how long she's been out here, as her skin seems so slick from the rain it's almost running through my fingers as I grasp her hand.

>I expect her to let go first, but she keeps her slippery grip on my hand the entire way to the shelter.

>It may be my imagination, but I swear I feel her grip tighten just as I relase mine, almost like she didn't want to let go.

>She sits down and I quickly call a cab for myself.

>The woman has already sat down, so I move to join her.

>So here we are, two people trapped under a flimsy glass and metal bus stop waiting from the rain to subside.

>She seems to be staring at me pretty intently, though without any light I cannot make out her exact expression

"Jeez, you know there's supposed to be a light in here but I guess the bulb is broken. Someone should really call the city about this."

>She says nothing, but continues to stare intently

"Aren't you cold?"

>She jerks up at being addressed.

<"I suppose I should be."

"I can't see too well, but I looks like you're turning blue. That isn't a good sign."

>Father always told me to help out when I could.

"Here, take my jacket. I don't know how much it will help but It's better than nothing."

>I quickly drape my jacket over her shoulders, causing the girl to pull it close to her.

>She really must be cold.

"If you don't mind me asking, what were you doing out there?"

>Her expression doesn't change, and her words are very matter of fact

<"Waiting."

"Uhhhh, I don't think the buses run this late."

<"Not for a bus, for the time to be right."

>I'm not even going to attempt to riddle out junkie babble, but making small talk probably keeps her from wanting to shank me for her next fix

"Uh, my name's Chris, if you were wondering."

>Again, her expression doesn't change.

<"Mizuko."

"That sounds Japanese, is that where you're from? Your parents maybe?"

<"Yes."

"Yes, you're from there, or yes, your parents are from there."

<"Yes."

>All of me just wants to bail, before this freaky girl decides my eyes would make a great snack, but another part of me wants to stay and help her. The good samaratin side Dad drilled into me.

"So, this weather, huh?"

<"Yes, I like it. Rain is peaceful."

"I mean, I like it as much as the next guy but I'd rather be warm and dry at my house right now."

<"House?"

"Well, apartment, but it's all the way across town and walking in this squall ain't my idea of a fun time."

<"I don't have a home, not yet."

>A junkie and homeless? Color me surprised."

"You'd be surprised how many people share that dilemma. Do you have a place you sleep?"

<"I used to sleep with the other girls at the barracks, until they sent me through earlier today."

>More junkie babble, like she's some kind of alien sent through a stargate to Earth.

"Oh, when are the other girls coming for you?"

<"Tomorrow, and they aren't coming for me."

>She finally turns to face me fully

<"You are a very nice man, thank you for helping me."

>Surprisingly coherent.

"Oh, well, i'm sure you would have done the same if our roles were switched."

>Silence reigns for a shorter period, but I can tell she's getting closer.

<"Are you married?"

"No, w-why do you ask?"

<"Haha, just curious."

>A short time passes as you listen to the rain beating on your shelter

<"Do you belive in fate, Chris? That things happen for a reason."

"As much as anyone does, I suppose."

<"The weather was supposed to be clear tonight. Yet here is the rain."

"Yeah, pretty funny."

>I can feel a damp hand placed on my own.

<"Do you believe fate applies to meetings as well?"

"M-maybe?"

<"I belive this was fate. Falling into this world and already finding a husband."

>Hold on, did she just say what I think she said?"

"Hey, dont get the wrong idea, I just wanted to make sure you were alright."

<"You are a nice man, you've shown me great kindness. Is that not what husbands do for their wives?"

"Listen, Mizuko, you seem like a nice girl, but we just met, I barely know anything about you apart from you liking rainstorms and believing in fate. I bet you know even less about me, probably my name and that's it."

<"I know you are a kind man, one who goes out of his way to help strangers."

>I can feel her hand trail up my arm, across my shoulder and neck until it eventually comes to cup my cheek.

<"Beyond that, you are correct, I don't know you."

>Her other hand moves to brace herself against the far wall of the bus stop, her face coming closer to mine.

<"But that's the wonderful thing about marriage, we'll have the rest of our lives to find out everything about each other."

>Her other arm moves from my cheek to the wall behind me, trapping me between her arms, my face in line with hers.

"I t-think I see my taxi, it was wonderful t-talking to you but I have to go, now. Got work in the morning, you know."

<"Ah, I don't believe you are so heartless as to let a woman freeze to death in the rain."

>She's right, had she acted normal I probably would have offered to let her stay with me for the night. But as it stands...

>I can see that her face is only inches away from mine; this close up I can more fully appreciate her face.

>Eyes a cloudy blue

>Lips pale, and tinged the same color as her skin.

>Her lips especially draw my eye, as I notice them part slightly on their path directly in line with my mouth.

>I begin to feel something dripping on my legs. She still feels damp to the touch, but she shouldn't be dripping this much water after a half hour under cover.

>As she closes in to seal her kiss, I notice the headlights of an approaching car

"I'm sorry about this, Mizuko. BUT GET OFF ME!"

>I give her a forceful shove, but instead of feeling resistance or inertia I feel something completely unexpected.

>My hand sinks into her chest up to my wrist.

>She looks down

<"Oh, I guess the secret is out now..."

>I'm trembling as the woman I'd been talking to for the last forty minutes begins to... well, melt is the only word for it.

>Her smooth features bead and run, her hair taking on a drooping gel like consistancy

>Her legs turn into an amorphous puddle, completely engulfing my own.

>I let out a scream, catching her off guard enough for me to quickly free myself

>Just as the taxi pulls up, I jump inside, not wanting to give that creature a moment to compose itself.

>"Woah, what's the matter, pal?"

"341 Birch street, and step on it."

>"Hey, doncha want to wait for your lady friend?"

"Just drive."

>Without another word, the car pulls away. In the glow of the rear lights, I can see Mizuko standing there watching me leave.

>A look of utter sorrow on her face

>It would almost make me feel guilty if I hadn't experienced what I had.

>When I finally arrive upstairs, I lock the door and quickly take stock of my garments.

>My pants are soaked, but none of the murky blue-black slime remains

>Mizuko still has my coat, though that is a small sacrifice.

>I'm in one piece and safe, this is just going to be a strange memory and maybe something to talk about over the water cooler tomorrow.

>A warm shower, a change of clothes, and I'm ready for bed.

>I spare one last though over my encounter, feeling a little bad for the creature named Mizuko

>She didn't seem malicious, if she wanted to eat me she could have done so easily when I was helping her to the bus stop.

>It seemed like she only wanted love if her constant references to finding a husband meant anything.

>Still, I doubt I'll see her again.

>I wake up in my bed, alone.

>My first action is to check my phone for the time and any messages.

>Time: 6:23, still about a half hour until sunrise

>Messages: One from my boss

>"Something weird is happening, don't bother coming into work today."

>Well, at least some good news this morning.

>Still, I hear an infernal dripping from somewhere in my apartment

>I get up and examine every faucet in my house, all of them proving to be shut tight.

>I check the shower...

>Hanging from the showerhead is my jacket, still damp from the rain.

>I check my whole house, every room except the one I know is clear. My search is ultimately fruitless.

>Maybe it was all imagination.

"I need some more sleep."

>As I throw myself back into bed, I notice my sheets are oddly damp.

>I must have been sweating something fierce last night

>Turning to my radio/alarm clock, I attempt to tune the frequency to the one classical station in town, but ultimately end up on a choppy news broadcast.

>"Yes... Giant Portals... All across the globe... entirely female... men being abducted off the streets... reccomend staying indoors."

>Oh no, I recall something Mizuko said

<"The girls are coming tomorrow, but not for me."

>Just as I am about to spring from my bed, I feel a damp arm drape itself over my bare chest

<"Hrmn, your bed is much warmer than your jacket, Husband."


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Anonymous

nice