During the squall, the young woman centred the vortex. Greasy newspaper pages gusted, struck, and peeled away. They wheeled in the wind before yesterday’s affairs disintegrated under the relentless battering downpour, but she was unmoved.
Snapshot flashes of light showed how acid rain tears lent momentary gloss to her cheeks, even as they roughed her smoothness.
Her linen skirt, patinaed by the weather, was fixed in the momentum of her turn, folds caught as she pointed towards the hospital.
Children, clear tubes snaking into their skinny arms, awakened by the rolling thunder, rolled their drips to stare out at the midnight storm. One by one, curious sickly faces ghosted the panes; small breaths obscuring the view through the encircling windows, even as they reflected the lightning. She smiled at them from the square, unblinking at their probing dread.
Always, the ward windows failed to meet the statue’s constant gaze.
Still amidst the ozone-laden air with her marbled bones rooted in the earth, the ancient goddess of soothing pain didn't know the death or illness that surrounded her. Carved out of timeless rock, this impassive girl was no pillar of medicinal salts eroding in her own downfall.
Bio: Rebecca Dempsey Rebecca Dempsey is a writer, living in Melbourne, Australia. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Deakin University and when not arranging words into tiny morsels for little stories, is working on larger stories and her blog, https://writingbec.wordpress.com.