Hail

Jimmy heard rocks clattering at his window. At first he thought it must have been Harriet and Carla messing with him, but as he lifted himself from his messy bed, he realized it was hailing. It was so irregular for the normally sunny coastal town he lived in. Jimmy lolled over to the window and stared out with mild fascination at the white-scattered streets and the little white rocks ricocheting off the identical adobe-style houses that peppered his street.

The neighbor, Mrs. Applelight, walked outside in pink pajamas and her hair askew. As the hail beat down on her, she attempted to block it with her hands and started screaming obscenities skyward. Jimmy knew Mrs. Applelight was not having an easy time at home. Her husband had died three years ago and she was aging poorly. Her sanity wasn’t always there.

She began to shout streetward, at every bush and corner, trying to find the culprit throwing rocks at her. She began to wail and fell to her knees. A couple of kids had over the course of the last two years, encouraged by the overgrown lawn and the withering state of the house, dared each other to ring her doorbell on repeated occasions, which had certainly worn down what sanity she did have.

Jimmy felt useless, standing at his window. He wished she would just go inside so he wouldn’t have to feel bad about being one of those kids. It was an easy dare for him to take, he knew her before she was scary. But even still, when he rung her doorbell she didn’t seem to remember him, didn’t remember living next to him his entire life. She swatted him away and perhaps after that day he was a little scared of her. Perhaps he felt a little like she deserved what she got.

But still, Jimmy stood at the window, feeling sad.

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