The Raining Woman

This is a story of a long time ago. It was before planes and typewriters. It was before gum and rockets. It was before absestos contact lenses.

People were different then.

People didn’t need planes to fly, back then. They didn’t need typewriters to type. They didn’t need gum to chew.

They did it all with the undivided power within them.

The dissolution came later.

People got limits later.

They didn’t have them, back then.

Sky was a woman. She wasn’t the sky. It was just her name. Most people called her Incredible Sky, because she was pretty incredible, just like you and me.

Sky wanted to go into space.

Now, a lot of people wanted to go into space back then. There was Morgan, who flew into space and then blew up. There was Irene. Irene flew into space, and maybe she got where she was going, and maybe she didn’t. No one knows. No one heard from her again. There was Skip. Skip flung her puppy into space and then was very sad, because she didn’t have a puppy any more.

(We could all learn a lesson from Skip about throwing puppies into space.)

People were different back then, but mistakes—mistakes were still the same.

Sky had an idea. “If I hold my arms out like this,” she said, “I can probably get to space and back.”

She held her arms out like one does, when flying into space.

Sky gathered her friends Storm and Skitter. They held their arms out just like that. They flew into space.

Now space has lots of dangers. There are the aliens and the asteroids and the cosmic rays. It’s the cosmic rays that got Sky.

“I’m raining,” said Sky.

That’s what she was doing. She was raining down over the earth.

There was Makemba, tending her fields. She looked up. “Fantastic!” she said.

But Achta, chewing on a bit of grain, corrected her. “Incredible.”

Incredible Sky rained down.

There was Reonet, herding alligators. It’s hard to herd alligators. Sometimes they’d eat her hand. But it would always wriggle around so much in their throats that they’d have to spit it back out and it would squirm back to Reonet.

“River’s going to flood,” said Reonet.

Incredible Sky rained down.

Camilla looked up. “I fear no rain.”

(Later, Camilla drowned.)

For days and nights Sky fell. Her body never stopped the raining. That was the power the cosmic rays gave her.

Dove came to visit Sky, up in space.

“Hey, Sky,” said Dove. “You’re going to kill everything. Every plant. Every animal. Every person. That’s not appropriate for a member of our society.”

“Can’t help it,” said Sky, tersely. “Cosmic rays.”

“I’m sorry,” said Dove.

So Dove fought the raining woman, high above the earth. Dove tore at her with hooks and claws. They fought until Storm couldn’t watch any more. Storm knew it was right, what Dove was doing, but she sobbed and flew to Sky’s defense anyway.

Storm burned with a terrible fire.

The light of Dove’s eyes seared everything she looked at.

That was the cosmic rays. Those were the changes they’d made.

And Storm couldn’t win in the end. She got pinned in Dove’s gaze like a bunny in a snake’s. And she died. And Sky died. And that was the end.

Dove came down.

Dove told everyone else, “The rain’s over. But I’ve got to go. I can’t stay. Because I’d burn you with my eyes.”

So she left. She flew into space, where the cosmic rays are, where the dust is, where the void and the aliens are, and she never came back.

Nobody knows what happened to Skitter. That’s a hole in the story, no denying it, but it’s the way the story has always been.

Now, this was a long time ago. People didn’t need asbestos contact lenses back then, and I guess Dove could have made her eyes fireproof, if she chose.

But what’s the point of choosing if you don’t take the consequence for each choice?

She flew away, and she stayed away.

Maybe she loves it there, in space.

Maybe she’s dead.

No one’s heard from her again.

8 thoughts on “The Raining Woman

  1. 1) Ow. Laughing too hard.

    2) There seem to be an awful lot of legends about That Flood Story recently. Perhaps Jane is a tad fixated on it for some reason?

  2. Egarwaen asked why Jane might be fixated on the Flood. The Flood story is another instance of “It is the way of the Lord to leave a remnant”. Look at
    Remnants (III/V) and The Flower (I/IV).

    If I had to make a psychoanalytic theory for why Jane would be thinking about this a lot, I would say that Jane is a survivor. Now that it looks like Martin is actually stronger than the monster, the pressures of simple survival are, for the moment, over. When a survivor gains the ability to consider those who did not survive — when they think of themselves as part of a remnant — you get what is called survivor’s guilt, where one asks oneself, why did I survive when they did not. Jews of my generation tend to know a lot about this, because some of our elders were Holocaust survivors.

    Of course this could be nothing more than a theory suggested by my own point of view and having nothing to do with what Jane is fictionally supposed to be thinking at all.

    Lebob, you asked if anyone could explain the story, and others have already suggested various references. I would add that in structure, style, and several of the unusual elements (like the part of the story that is acknowledged to not be resolved, but is kept because it is part of the story) the legend is like an African folk tale about how something came to be.

  3. I don’t know if this is in any way important, but my first thought on reading the name Incredible Sky was to think that a good nickname would be Ink. And Sky does want to explore… dunno about the death bit though.

    It also reminds me of The Field of Broken Sky.

Leave a Reply