The Drop

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
Riley Rainer is a young raindrop that is curious about the world. He can't wait to start exploring, until his mother disappears right in front of him. Now he's off in search of her.

Submitted: June 26, 2014

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Submitted: June 26, 2014

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The Drop

 

 

Riley Rainer had been barely more than a speck during the first Drop that he remembered. So small, in fact, that he was not allowed to participate in it. His mother told him to wait until he had grown a bit, and maybe he could go on the next Drop. Riley was impatient, because from the stories that the others told, the Drop was an amazing event that allowed all those that participated the chance to see all manner of strange and wonderful things.

 

You see, Riley Rainer was a raindrop. Actually, at the moment, he was more of a raindot. He didn’t like being so small, but as his mother predicted, he soon began to grow. Maybe he would be big enough for the next Drop. Only time would tell. Speaking of time, he passed his by talking with the others about their adventures below. They would talk about the great gatherings and parties that happened after the Drop, and they would talk about their time in the cloud, but they never talked about the Drop itself, or even how they got back in the cloud.

 

The lack of this knowledge scared Riley a little, but his mother said that there would be no wrong way to perform the Drop, or the Rising, as it was called. She said that both were parts of his nature, and that nature would take hold when it needed to. It may not have been the answer that he was looking for, but it was an answer. Of sorts, at least.

 

Riley made a few friends that had never been part of a Drop before, but most of his friends had made the journey at least once. All of the new Droppers (as they called themselves) liked to collect stories of the veterans in order to come together afterwards and try to piece together what to expect when the time came. The closest they could figure was that when the time came, they would find themselves pulled towards the world below, and that they really had no choice in the matter.

 

This new information bothered Riley, because he had always thought that choice played a part in the Drop. He liked to think that he would choose to participate in the Drop when the time came, and that he would be brave in order to make his mother proud. He knew she was already proud of him, but he thought it never really hurt to add to that feeling. However, finding out that he would do it no matter if he wanted to or not kind of tainted the excitement that he felt when he thought of the Drop.

 

He mentioned these thoughts to his fellow Droppers, and a few of them agreed, but the rest just said that it added to the excitement. They would say that it was like rolling down the side of a steep cloud: You couldn’t control what you were doing, so you might as well enjoy it while it lasted. This made some sense to Riley, but he had trouble shaking the feeling that things were out of his hands. If he knew the word inevitable, it would have fit his thoughts exactly.

 

Finally, the day had come. The Drop was at hand once again. As luck would have it, Riley was nearly full-grown, so it would appear that he could participate in this Drop. He was visiting with his mother on the day of the Drop, and she was the one that pointed out that the darkening of the cloud was the first sign of what was coming. The second sign was the wind, and no sooner had she said this than the wind started to blow harder than Riley could remember ever happening before. This was when the Drop happens, his mother told him. She saw the fear on his face, and started to tell him not to worry, that everything would be fine, but before she got more than a word out, she was gone.

 

Riley was watching his mother, and listening to her, when the bit of cloud she was standing on just blew away. She had started to say something, and then she fell from sight. Riley screamed for her, for he had been told long ago not to venture too close to the edge of the cloud. Falling off the edge was a good way to miss both the Drop and the Rising. If he missed the Rising, he’d never make it back up here to his mother. To the best of Riley’s knowledge, there was no exception to this rule, but he didn’t let that stop him from doing what he did next. He let his nature take over.

 

Riley went after his mother.

 

His only thought was to find his mother and to be with her. He jumped through the hole left when the cloud let his mother fall. He didn’t care if they never made it back to the cloud, since the cloud had let his mother fall through on a whim. Riley saw his mother, but she was already so far away. How had she gotten so far away? He didn’t know, nor did he pay attention to all of the others that were falling around him. He did notice when he started to gain on his mother, and was hoping he would catch her before they hit the ground. He wanted to be with his mother when that time came.

 

Unfortunately, as he began to really pick up speed to catch his mother, she was picking up speed, as well. No matter how fast he was going, she would always be out of reach, and he couldn’t figure out how to will more speed out of this fall. This fall? Wait, another word for fall was… Drop. This was how the Drop happened? No wonder people didn’t talk about it! It was way too frightening, and if they had told him about this, he would have found some way to keep himself and his mother on the cloud. Too late now.

 

It didn’t matter that this was the Drop. What did matter was getting to his mother. He kept her square in his vision, so that nothing would distract him from finding her on the ground. The only problem was that the ground was coming up mighty fast, and it all looked so different the closer it got. It wasn’t the rolling expanse of countryside that he could see from the cloud.

 

It wasn’t all flat and far-reaching. There were huge lumps that looked like they had things moving in and out of them. Most of the moving things had large curved objects over what he assumed were their heads. They were moving quickly from one lump to another, or from one lump to much smaller lumps that were moving at great speeds across the ground. It was one of these smaller lumps that his mother hit.

 

However, before Riley could join her, the lump had moved out of his way, leaving him to hit the ground. Riley lay where he hit for a moment, marveling at the first feeling of solid ground beneath him. All he had ever experienced until very recently had been the semi-solid vapor of the cloud. After a few moments soaking in this new sensation, he came back to his situation, and tried to run after his mother. But no matter how hard Riley tried to run straight after her, there was something pulling him towards the side of this bit of ground.

 

When Riley looked around himself, he saw that the ground that the small lumps were traveling on was sloped downward from the middle. He realized that it must have been a way to clear the ground of Droppers, because that was exactly what it was doing. Riley, along with all of the others, was being pulled towards the edge of the ground into what looked like a huge collection of Droppers in a pit.

 

At first, the thought of being surrounded by all of those Droppers terrified Riley, for he was afraid that he would lose himself and any chance of finding his mother. But the thought of his mother brought another idea to him. He could always use help in his quest to find her. Amid the growing number of Droppers, Riley found an old veteran that had been through the Drop countless times. Riley had always enjoyed his stories, so he knew that he could count on help from the aging Dropper. After working his way over to the veteran, Riley explained his situation. The veteran nodded understanding, and told Riley that his best bet was to wait until the Party near the end of the cycle. That was a place where all of the Droppers came back together in order to celebrate the successful Drop, and to await the coming Rising.

 

There’s hope. That’s what Riley heard in those words. He let the passing scenery wash over him, not to mention other Droppers, as he travelled along waiting for the Party. Eventually, the Drop ended, and Droppers stopped falling from above. The clouds moved on, and the sun came out of hiding. Having grew up in the cloud, Riley had never really been able to get a good look at the sun, but what he saw amazed him. There was a ball of fire in the sky, and it was so very warm! It seemed to call to Riley, but he had no idea what to do about it. In the sun’s rays, Riley could see other Droppers hanging off of some of the smaller green things near the edge of the pit, and the sun made each of them beautiful before they fell in with the rest. Each Dropper that the sun caught showed a dazzling array of colors, and as he passed by, it seemed to Riley that the colors were ever-changing. Riley had never expected to see such beauty, nor could he wait to tell his mother about it.

 

As Riley rode along, he found that the pit emptied out into a larger stream, full of Droppers beyond count. In the pit, Riley could easily see the sides, but in this stream, the sides were much further apart. By this time, all of the late Droppers had joined in on the journey, and the group was moving faster than ever. After a bit, the stream that they were riding emptied out into something that Riley didn’t have a word for. It was like the stream had grown by several hundred times. There was no way that Riley would be able to see the other edge of this mammoth body. All he could do was hope that the party was soon so that he could find his mother.

 

Riley was on the verge of dozing off when the old veteran nudged him and told him that he didn’t want to miss what was coming next. Riley didn’t get much chance to ask what was coming when he experienced it. The edge of the great body fell away to show the horizon open to the Droppers. There was nothing but Droppers for as far as Riley could see, and for some reason, he tasted salt. That confused him, but he forgot all about it when someone yelled to let the Party begin! That was his cue. He could now travel around and look for his mother.

 

Riley spent hours going from one group of Droppers to another, always looking for his mother, but with little luck. It didn’t occur to him that his mother might be looking for him, as well, and that they might very well be passing each other by. Even if it had, Riley couldn’t have forced himself to sit still and wait. It wasn’t in his nature. After many days looking for his mother amid the Party that didn’t seem to end, Riley was tired. He had looked for her continuously, and had seen the sun rise high in the sky, cross it, and fall over the horizon, just to be replaced by the moon each night. The sun was unchanging, but he had noticed that the moon was not. It had been as round as the sun on the first night, but each night there seemed to be less of it in the sky. This troubled Riley when he thought of it, but his thoughts always turned back to the task at hand.

 

Finally, when Riley could search no longer, he decided it was time to rest. After all, he thought that at this pace, even if he found his mother he would be able to do little more than fall asleep in her arms. Thinking of that, he smiled and fell asleep.

 

Riley had no idea that the Rising was taking place.

 

When Riley opened his eyes, he found himself back among the semi-solid vapors of the cloud. He had no clue how he got there, but he was gripped with the terrible fear that his mother had not made the trip back up. He had spent so much time looking for her that he had not allowed himself to think about what would happen if he never saw her again. He sat down on a small puff of cloud. He didn’t know what else to do, so he just sat there.

 

After a few minutes, he noticed a familiar scent in the air. It smelled like his mother’s favorite perfume, but this time it had a hint of salt to it. He jumped off the puff and ran around looking for the source of the scent, but no matter where he went, he didn’t see his mother. But the scent didn’t diminish, either. It was very curious, until he had an idea. Riley went around a sharp turn of cloud, then immediately turned around. His mother turned the corner and nearly ran him down.

 

Riley was so happy to see her that he never even considered being angry that she had played the small joke on him. He just hugged her. After all this time, she was back. Through the Drop, the Party, and the Rising, he had searched, only to find her back at home. Finally, Riley could relax, and tell his mother all of the sights that he had witnessed, and of his adventure. She listened with a smile on her face, and after he finished with his story, she gave him a big hug and told him how proud she was of him for trying to find her. After the hug, she had a twinkle in her eye and told him about the wonder that is a rainbow.

 

 

 

 

The End


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