A cold wind kicked up across the lake. The clouds came in slowly, bearing the heavy burden of rain. The sunlight winked out, smothered by the smoky gray-black thunderhead.
The surface of the lake bucked and thrashed against the wind; the last remaining boats fluttered back to dock just as the first bullets of rain struck the tormented lake.
Cal watched from his perch on the window seat as the sky spilled out its sadness, cast a deceiving dusk-dark shadow over the midday sun.
He felt a small but firm tug on the cuff of his pant leg and he rocked back on his heels to make room for his sister, who scampered up next to him and pressed both hands and nose to the chilled pane of glass. Her hot breath teased up a ghostly fog on the glass. With one precise little finger, she turned it into a frowning face.
“Rainin,” she said.
Cal nodded and hugged his knees to his chest, crossed his legs at the ankle. “Uh-huh.”
“Guess we can’t go swimming today, huh?” Cecelia turned her big blue eyes up at him, a glimmer of hope still hidden behind her mask of responsible acceptance.
“‘Fraid not,” Cal said, and the glimmer faded. “Maybe tomorrow, yeah?” He nudged Cecelia gently with his shoulder and let a small but encouraging smile play across his lips.
Cecelia perked up, though reluctantly. “Yeah, I guess. Maybe.”
Cal turned back to watch as sheets of rain cascaded down across the sky. He could see the small rowboat he built with his father teeter back and forth on the top of the water, straining against the dock line. A jagged spear of lightning fell from the sky, lit up the lake briefly, leaving an eerie stain behind Cal's eyelids. He counted the seconds, making it to three before the heavy groan of thunder came.
In truth, Cal was glad of the rain, of Cecelia not swimming. He still didn’t trust the water—not the water or the eyes it held.