Note from Brian:
Welcome to January 2018! If everything goes according to plan, “Running Rain” will be the lead story in my first full-length collection, Walking With Ghosts. As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d rather comment that way instead of on this actual post. Thank you again for your support! — BJF
by Brian James Freeman
This is one of those perfect nights when he doesn’t need the streetlights.
The world is bathed in the beautiful glow of the full moon, enough light to see for miles in every direction when he tops the hills.
The trees along the sidewalks sway in the winter wind and a dog howls somewhere in the distance, setting off the other dogs in the neighborhood like dominos toppling.
Tonight, he runs.
Running frees him from the pain of life, from the memories, from the nightmares.
Even with the bitter air nipping at his exposed skin, he runs.
He runs and he whispers the names: Benjamin, Amanda, Susan, Michael, Andy, Beth, Lauren, David.
He crosses back and forth from one side of the neighborhood to the other, and he doesn’t stop when he reaches the place where the blacktop road ends and the woods begin.
He continues onto the dirt trail the kids keep clear every summer, the winding path along the river.
He runs and he memorizes the way the moonlight shimmers across the icy water.
The way the moonlight dances.
The first time he saw this river, he thought: Those waters are deeper and faster than they look.
That thought has troubled him ever since.