The Melody of Rain

He woke to the call of a distant rumble- a nerve wrenching explosion that not only shook the land but threatened to tear apart its sturdy surface. Wind shrieked past the mansion's sand-worn walls and reddish brown Martian dust bellowed in its wake, each grain scrapping against the quartz windows with such fervor that they rang like out of tone electrocordions. A brilliant white flash briefly illuminated the bedroom before a second bellow rolled across the plateau with even greater intensity.

Danny sat up and rubbed his eyes sleepily. The proximity of his home to the construction site meant that he was no stranger to loud noises. Every morning the terraformers would bombard the planet with chunks of ice hauled from as far away as the rings of Saturn. The sight of these artificial meteors trailing across the sky never failed to entrance him or just about any eight-year old with a passion for space. He stood on his bed and after finding that it failed to offer a satisfactory view, climbed nimbly atop the tall antique cabinet whose top was level with the window.

9:30 AM, the implant chimed within his skull as he discovered, much to his confusion, that it was still dark outside. He lifted his gaze skyward but found every inch of it concealed behind a drape of clouds- plump, black shapes that hung lowly in the heavens and swayed to the tune of the howling wind. Could clouds really be so black and thick? He pondered while his eyes continued to absorb the alien surroundings with fascination.

Eye-searing plasma suddenly snaked across the sky, bleaching away the darkness and boldly announcing its arrival with a resounding boom. A feeling of familiarity began to overpower him- a centuries-old de-ja vu inexplicably tied to this magnificent light and enhanced a thousand fold by the musty odor of the wooden cabinet. Unknowingly he scrambled down the cabinet and dashed outside his bedroom.

"Li-ght-ning." He mouthed quietly as his bare-feet clapped against the genuine marble floor. The holographic busts of Danny's ancestors seemed to gaze at him reproachfully as he raced down the hall impertinently but he paid them no attention, hastening his pace as the hexagonal doors slid open at his mental command.

Dank, warm air filled his lungs as he strode gallantly across the dust-strewn porch, his footsteps marked by patches of platinum where the sand was freshly brushed away. He walked on, utterly oblivious to the sand rasping his face and the wind stinging his eyes and did not stop until his feet teetered on the edge of a thousand-foot cliff. Above him the clouds writhed, their tortured black bodies now so burgeoned with moisture they seemed ready to burst…

The first drops came down with the tenacity of Martian pioneers. They ricocheted off the mansion's titanium roof and pummeled the parched Martian soil until its hard, dry crust was reduced to slush. Dust scattered in the face of the silver showers and Danny smiled as water dribbled down his face, cleaning it with the gentleness of a mother's hand.

A streak of lightning!

The wind's ghastly voice was now drowned amidst the chorus of the mighty torrent. He listened attentively to the rain's melodious beats while the exquisite aroma of drenched earth assaulted his nostrils.

The booming of thunder!

The once empty rivulets now brimmed with muddy water. Now the leisurely gushing of the streams dominated the symphony of rain, its harp like adagio complemented by the rhythmic plopping of the raindrops. The first Martian rain in human history seemed to breathe vitality into the lifeless landscape and for a moment Danny thought he was in another world…

Then it stopped, as suddenly as it begun.

He felt satisfied despite being soaked to the bone and was genuinely regretful when the strange black clouds, now relieved of their cargoes, casually drifted apart. The twin suns of Mars shone gloriously in the sky and only puddles of rain water testified to the miraculous occurrence. Yet the rain held one last surprise for him.

A rainbow now arched beneath the artificial sun.