Petrichor

*Most of the details are based on Basque (Euskadi/Euskal Herria) and its language (Euskara).

‘Do you know the meaning of your name Euri?’ the wise old man asked a lively young girl.

‘No Grandpa, what does it mean?’

‘It means Rain, girl. Your dear Amona (grandmother) particularly chose that name for you because you were born during a cloudburst. Of course, it always seems to rain back in Vasconia. Oh how I miss my dear Euskal Herria. ’

‘Grandpa, I am confused. I have never heard of rain. What is cloudburst Grandpa?’

‘Oh my blurry memory, I forgot that you were not old enough to remember your time in Basque. ’

The wise old man was Euri Elixabetes’ Grandfather; a man who always wore a txapela(beret), smoked a pipe and loved his homeland with all his heart. He told his dreamy little granddaughter all about his time in Basque and stories of his youthfulness in that beautiful place. He kept nothing from her, nothing at all. He told her about the perfectly mild and comfortable climate of Basque, never too hot, never too cold.
He described to her the sceneries of Basque Land as she dreamily wondered how it would feel to climb the lush green hills and valleys, drink water that melted down from the ice capped mountain and run along the immaculate coastlines. He told her about the perpetual rainfall in Basque.

‘I have never thought that I would come to love rain as much as I hated it back when we were in Basque’ he said ‘I would have never sought independence if I knew that it would get your amak(mother) killed and us imprisoned. But what else could I do? They took from us our freedom, our cultures and tradition but mainly, our tongue!’

Ever since Euri and her grandfather were taken prisoner by the French government they have not seen rain or freedom. But little did she know that she will come to experience both freedom and rain at the same time but for a great price. Euri always fantasized about rain. She thought it was a blessing from the God, something magical with a its own healing power and it fell from the sky.

‘It soothed me, cooled me down when I felt hot with anger, washed away my depressions and sadness’ Her grandpa often told her.

She never realized that rain was simply water.

Living in a congested old cellar with many other strange prisoner made her life miserably uncomfortable. The place was humid and it reeked of filth. There was a scarcity of water so no one used it for bathing or cleaning themselves but strictly for drinking only. The food was dry and tasteless. However, she was used to it because she spent most of her life growing up in that cellar. ‘Maybe that’s the way  life is’ She thought.
They never saw sunlight. Sometimes they could hear loud rumbling of thunder and then her grandpa would tell her that ‘Its raining’.

One stormy night when it was raining so heavily that the sound of rain drops hitting the roof penetrated through several folds of wall and even reached Euri’s ears. They were all trying to fall asleep quietly when suddenly there was a loud bang at the end of the tunnel of the cellar. There was another loud bang and the cast iron door of the tunnel blew open. A prisoner’s silhouette gesticulated a ‘follow me’ sign and screamed ‘RUN’ and he himself ran away. The prisoners of the cellar were shocked but they gathered their senses soon enough to make a run for freedom. Grandpa took Euri by the hand and started running towards the door when suddenly a soldiers appeared with a Kalashnikov and began open firing at the prisoners. Instinctively, grandpa embraced Euri’s little body to protect her from the bullets. Some of the prisoners gave up their life to overwhelm the soldier in front of them which made the tunnel free to escape through again. But unfortunately, Grandpa was shot. For the first time Euri experienced a tragedy, a loss of the only person she knew she could call ‘family’.
With his dying breath Grandpa pushed Euri away. ‘Run my dear child….RUN!’ he gasped and fell dead. Euri was heart broken but she had to run for her life. There was no time to mourn her grandpa’s death. She saw many dead bodies lying here and there as she followed the tunnels upstairs. She ran and she ran until she was outside.

For the first time, she smelled something other than filth. She smelled a revitalizing fragrance that emanated from dry earth, petrichor, it filled her lungs to its content. She felt the rain droplets on her skin. It washed away her pain and sorrow and mended her broken heart. It cleansed her soul. At that moment she felt the joy of freedom in the rain. At that instant she realized:

God is in the rain.

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9 thoughts on “Petrichor

  1. Woah! *_* Like seriously, please be my mentor for story writing. This is amazing and the last line “God is in the rain” blew me away!! Honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised because you always produce great work but I can’t help but fascinate the way you have the power of story telling. It is not just telling a story, it is the power to grab your reader’s attention in such a way that they stick with you till the last punctuation mark. Simply amazing. I don’t have much words because obviously, my vocabulary is poor. I love how you develop the characters as the story moves forward. At first, I was super messed up and lost reading that Euri had no idea what rain was because I was imagining a cell with a small window ( like in the movies?) , then I realized- maybe not! I loved how you mentioned that Euri “fantasized” rain…something that we take for granted…something so simple, so ordinary…but maybe not so ordinary to her. It also compels me to think that the things we take for granted and yet complain, we should just look down at the people who have so little yet manage to be so content. It is inspirational in a way. I found it pretty interesting when you said that Euri had to leave her Grandpa behind. I was thinking of so many possibilities. One of them was that if a kid is young, she would not often use her mind but her heart but in this case, Euri had suffered enough at such an young age but was it really as painful as to Grandpa? I know I may sound total psychic but here’s how I perceive : Since she was so young when they were in prison, she barely knew about freedom and the outside world and to her, somewhat the prison had to have become her home but for Grandpa, he had lived a different life so, he had two lives to compare to while Euri had none. The Second thought was that maybe the reason why Euri’s passion for freedom was stronger because she always had her doors of imagination open…so, it was NOW or NEVER for her to live her dream, literally and thus, she (of course with a heavy heart) was able to leave behind her dying grandpa. It is all to fascinating to me. I loved it..that’s all I can say.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The idea is fascinating, and you did pull it off. Just barely. This could use some work, if, of course, you are willing to take this to a professional level.
    There are no typos, I commend you for that. I fully agree with @blessthebliss about Euri’s mindset. It is unlikely that she would just leave her beloved grandpa behind. She doesn’t have memories of Basque. One way to make that part more believable is to include a scene in which she vows to do whatever Grandpa says, possibly following a close call scene.
    The way I see this in perfection, it would be WAY longer.
    Good job, though! I can see you did some research. That sort of forms the skeleton of the story, and it nullified the frustration the imperfection left.
    😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grandpa was old, He was gonna die soon anyway (totally my opinion)
      Euri didn’t want to leave her grandpa, the situation at that time was nightmarish with a chance of freedom, plus, she was old enough and to make her own decision. On a side note, grandpa told her a lot of time that he was gonna die soon and he wanted her to be free more than anything. There were countless reason for Euri to choose freedom over a dead body she could not pry away from her captors unless she wanted to join grandpa. @blessthebliss #explanation_right_here.
      Yeah i double checked for typos. I rushed the ending.

      Liked by 2 people

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