Crocodile Tears Didn't Cause the Flood
by Bradley Sides, 10th October 2022

Once upon a time, long after they’d left their families and friends and jobs and had moved to the top of the hill so very, very far away, the man and woman went outside under the comfortable silence of the stars and knelt on the cool, worm-moist dirt. There, they held one another. And they asked.

 

Begged.

 

Prayed.

 

They wept together, hoping for their dreamed miracle to finally come.

 

After a few hours, a flock of overhead rain crows interrupted them, announcing it was time to go inside. The pair raised their heads and kissed, falling into one another as they opened the door.

 

#

 

At midnight, an unusually rowdy thump thumping crashed above them on their cedar-shingled roof. The husband and wife rose from their just-warm pillows and switched on their lamps, suspecting—believing—the cause was neither rain nor hail.

 

They looked to one another, and, although they tried to contain themselves, they couldn’t. They smiled.

 

The man grabbed the woman’s hand, and, together, they approached the bedroom’s lone window. It was then that they saw the moon-lit robots that fell from the sky.

 

The couple had not imagined their child as possessing wiring instead of veins—or cold, empty space rather than blood—but they didn’t mind.

 

They were happy—so very happy that they didn’t even think to complain either that the bodies did not fall in whole.

 

The man and woman trembled laughing as shimmering index fingers lodged in the swaying oak branches and as iron ankles smushed the many multiplying mushrooms. They howled, especially joyously, as a metallic head crashed into the very glass that separated them from the lavish storm.

 

Sarah.

 

Samuel.

 

Ivey.

 

Ian.

 

They dreamed of the names the innocent face might soon receive. From the new parents. From them.

 

Still holding the other, the married pair ran to get their torn-off clothes, which remained in their bedside piles. They threw them back on, lopsided and with skipped buttons.

 

He retrieved the rubber boots, and she darted for the rain jackets. Both were so lost in the moment that neither of them realized the things they held in their hands would be of no use in the kind of flood that poured upon their hill.

 

Dressed, they went onto the porch and stood covered from the splendid wreckage. Shouting. Celebrating, still.

 

#

 

The storm raged until daybreak and ended with one final downpour of hazel and amber eyeballs. Although many of them rolled into the overgrown flowerbeds and got stuck in torn cobwebs that still stretched from the porch’s mildewed columns, the new mother and father grabbed what they could, not even taking the time to make sure they had matching pairs.

 

They waded through the awaiting parts. All the way out until they were in the center of it all.

 

There, they prayed again, offering thanks. For the perfect child, somewhere among the sparkling, dented, beautiful mess, that awaited them.

 

For their happy ever after.