April Showers

“Where are you going?” her mother asks sharply.

“Just out,” shrugs Kore, the sullen-mouthed.

Her mother pales. “Now?”

Kore rolls her eyes. “I’ll be fine, Mom. Nothing’s going to happen to me.”

“If you have to go, take an umbrella. All the same, I wish…”

“Sure, sure,” says Kore, already slipping out the door. The sky overhead is a dull red from the city lights.

She walks for an hour, skirting puddles, holding her dress close against her side, revelling in the sound of rain across plastic. The trees she passes are swelling open, leaves uncurling to the spring.

A clock somewhere in the east begins to chime midnight. “May…,” whispers Kore, the sullen-mouthed. “May Day…”

The rainsound changes, becomes softer and heavier. The night is suddenly brighter. She peers out at the sky: thousands of white dogwood blossoms are falling. She drops the umbrella and raises her face in wonder. The blossoms caress and slide from her face, from her shoulders.

In the moment of her most joy, the ground opens behind her and Pluto snatches her down to the Underworld, again and forever. The flowers swirl and slowly fill the cup of her umbrella.