The Rain is Gone

(500 words)

On the day he died, Peabody Magoo was awakened by an unusually chipper Missus. “Get up, my dear!” she had chimed in a sing-songy falsetto. “It’s a bright, bright sunshiny day!”

“Isn’t that a song?” he mumbled, sitting upright and rubbing his eyes. “And what are you so happy about?”

“Oh, I don’t know… just seems a pity to squander such a gorgeous morning on anything but pure positivity.” She twirled around and exited the room, humming to herself.

Staring after her, Peabody shook his head. Something was up. He rolled out of bed and pulled on the same clothes he had worn to the poetry reading the previous evening, having received high praise for his newest sonnet entitled A World Without Rhyme in which he cleverly encapsulated the theme without rhyming a single word, thus refuting the sonnet’s apocalyptic conclusion. Of course, only real poets would get it.

Downstairs he was confronted by a sumptuous honey-glazed vegetarian omelet, shredded hash browns (his favorite), and a bowl of fresh fruit, lightly crowned with a dollop of fat-free whipped topping. Something was definitely up. As the Missus poured him a steaming almond latte, Peabody casually inquired, “So… what’s going on Louise, aside from the landslide of positivity and all? Is there something I should know about?”

“Not a thing, Mr. Magoo, except that while you were engaged at your poet’s circle last night, Ms. Templeton gave me a very favorable reading.”

“You know I don’t like being called that,” he snapped, “and I thought we’d agreed that those psychic readings were a waste of money.”

“Now dear… you agreed. I didn’t. You have your poetry and I have my readings. It’s what keeps us both happy. Don’t you even want to know what she told me?”

“No, actually. I don’t. Whatever she said…” Peabody suddenly gagged as a bit of shredded potato lodged in his throat. He snatched up the latte and took a gulp, hoping to wash down the offending crumb, and that was a mistake. The scalding liquid caused him to spit out and forcefully inhale, thus sucking the hash fully down his windpipe which then became impassable. Moments later, after some thrashing about, he was dead.

“Waste of money, indeed,” the Missus said from across the room. Still humming to herself, she lifted a notepad on which she had jotted down the exact words uttered by Ms. Templeton the previous evening, and began to read aloud:

“A poet’s life may end in death

A final, choking gasp for breath

Yet soon enough my dear, you’ll see

A sunny future, bright and free.”

Smiling, she casually picked up the phone to summon an ambulance, then resumed singing the tune that had been floating around in her head all morning:

“I think I can make it now, the pain is gone

All of the bad feelings have disappeared

Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for

It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day!”

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