The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/10/2016 | Sudden Shifts
“You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hail starts descending from the sky. Write a post about what happens next.”
“Liam! Nooo!” I shrieked, as my one-year old son dropped a fistful of wet sand into my head. I pulled out my ponytail and shook my hair violently, trying to disperse the itchy particles from my scalp. My little terror smiled brightly, turned on his heel, and took off in the opposite direction toward his father, who was doubled over with laughter.
I rolled my eyes, giving up on my hair, and leaned back into my lime green beach chair. My eyes adjusted to the shade provided by my comically large beach umbrella, and I sighed in defeat. I looked over at my husband and son, who were happily attempting to build a sand castle, with little success. Life with a one-year old, never a dull moment. I smiled, and turned my head to survey the rest of the beach. Families and groups of friends, both big and small, were scattered across the vast, sandy beach, frolicking beneath the warm, July sun. It was the third day that week that we had spent the day at the beach, as the weather had been perfect, and despite having to dig out sand from every nook and cranny of my body, and having a slightly pink complexion, I was definitely not tired of it yet.
“Is it supposed to rain today?” I heard my husband’s voice, and turned my head lazily to face him.
“No, I think it’s supposed to be sunny the rest of the week. Why?” I asked him, sitting up in my chair to embrace my tiny toddler, who was now climbing into my lap.
He made a confused “hmm” noise, and turned away from me, staring out toward the water. I suddenly became aware that the sun was no longer shining brightly down on the beach, replaced by the shadows of storm clouds, dancing across the sand. A chill entered the air, and I wrapped my beach towel around my son and myself. Kyle turned to me, opening his mouth to speak, when suddenly, something heavy landed on top of my umbrella, startling us.
“What the hell was that?” I asked, picking Liam up tilting my umbrella to investigate. A large ball of ice slid down my umbrella, and landed with a thud in the sand. Confused, I looked up into the sky, now dark with storm clouds, and shivered. Was that hail? Was it hailing? How? I heard a loud curse from behind me, and turned to see Kyle bending down to pick up another large ball of ice from the sand, while rubbing his head gingerly.
My eyes widened as he presented a baseball-sized piece of hail to me, and we stood there speechless. All around us, concerned voices, as well as cries of surprise, rang out, and families and friends ran to gather their belongings. Without another word, we quickly packed up our chairs, towels, and other beach accessories, and ran as fast as we could toward the parking lot. I held my umbrella over heads as best as I could, nearly tripping several times.
“This is crazy!” Kyle shouted, but it was still hard to hear him by my side over the roar of hail falling around us.
We got to our car and quickly barricaded ourselves inside. The pounding of hail rang loudly in our ears, and I was surprised to discover that my tiny toddler was remaining calm, and seemed to be amused by the balls of ice raining from the sky. We sat in silence (well, not really), and watched hoards of people as they dove into their cars in desperation. I couldn’t help it, and I began to laugh at the bizarre shift in the weather. I turned to Kyle, and saw the intensity melt from his face, and he too began laughing, reaching for my hand, and squeezing gently.
He started the car, and we followed the herd of other vehicles to the main road. Less than a mile later, the sky opened up, and the sun made a welcome appearance. We drove home with smiles on our faces, both ignoring the fact that the outside of our vehicle now likely resembled the craterous surface of the moon. I glanced in the rear-view mirror at my son, now sleeping soundly in his car seat, and sighed contently. We drove home in a happy silence, hearing only the sound of our tires crushing the occasional ice ball on the road. What a beautiful day.
Thanks for reading, friends!