The green grass and delicate dandelions take a breath of relief, and the rose bushes relax in the cold, humid air. The icy rain had stopped just a few seconds prior, pelting relentlessly onto the beautiful, colorful meadow below. The deer scurried into the forest long before the thunder rumbled, sensing the lightning and destruction coming their way. Now, a few trees that once stood tall and proud lie broken and crushed on top of each other. Tiny chipmunks poke their heads out into the peaceful lull. The storm rolled away, leaving a few animals homeless. But it had also given the forest something else: Life.
Rows upon rows of monks, young and old, sit in silence. Heads bowed and hands clasped, they pray to their gods in the dead of night. A candle for every man flickers in the dark, casting a low and ominous light on their faces. A soft wind blows from the east, urging the small flames to dance. With their backs to the breeze, the monks stay still as their simple orange robes ripple ever so slightly.
The rain falls quickly, drumming on the cold, concrete pavement. It mercilessly pelts a few straggling pedestrians making their way across town. Then, just as quickly as it started, it stops. A calm silence hangs in the air. The green grass and delicate dandelions take a breath of relief, and the rose bushes relax in the cool, humid air. The stone benches with forgotten names engraved on their surfaces stand still, the icy water dropping onto the colored rocks below. The large field lies untouched, raindrops falling from every low-cut blade of grass. A single bird lands on a nearby tree, sending a shower onto the soft pasture beneath it. The bird stays for a short moment, surveying the field beyond. Then, with a quick flap of its wings, it takes off just as the rain begins again.
The Lunch Room
Candy wrappers and crumbs from the first lunch shift lay abandoned on the cold ground, sort of like some of the hopes and dreams past students have left behind. An older janitor begins to sweep, but then stops as he realizes his efforts will soon be done in vain. The moment he steps out of sight, a rather loud and annoying ding echoes throughout the school. Students (hard-working, lazy, happy, depressed) burst out of multiple classrooms. One-third of the crowd shuffles onward to the commons, flooding into the lunchroom with music blaring and mouths running. Teachers and janitors alike scatter to avoid the mass of hormones barreling towards them.
The large, chilly space is soon filled with conversations of homework assignments, parents, and what that one girl said in English class. A line stretches from one end of the room to the other, comprised of hungry and impatient teenagers. Very slowly, they trudge onward and decide which food looks the least disgusting. Back at the tables, those who chose to pack their lunches laugh and smirk at their miserable peers. A balding, overweight teacher takes a deep breath before launching into the daily lunch announcements. A few heads turn, but most stay engrossed in their music, food, friends, and forgotten homework due next hour.