75. Free Fall

They came out of the skies in the millions. Free falling through the air, their forms flattened out into aerodynamic teardrop-shapes as they did, headed straight for whatever laid beneath them.

Humanity had always expected their enemies to come from the skies.

An invading alien race.

A planet-shattering meteor.

A plane flying too low.

But humanity never seemed to think that its savior would come from the skies. And it was an understandable thing – humanity liked the things that were certain. The ground, for instance. Every one of humanity’s greatest heroes had come from the dust of the ground, and most had already returned to it as ashes. The only heroes that humanity had coming out of the skies were make-believe ones, most of them dressed in ridiculously colorful tights and hopelessly impractical capes that served no further purpose than to billow dramatically in the wind.

When they came falling out of the skies as they did, they wore neither ridiculously colorful tights nor hopelessly impractical capes. In fact, they came wearing nothing. Nothing to disguise what they really were. Nothing to distract them from what they were here to do.

Their coming was preceded by dark skies – another sign that humanity had associated with the enemy; and as they came, people hid away into their homes and under shelters, none of them wanting to be caught outside when they arrived. Several of the men in the fields saw them as they came, and most fell to their knees, arms raised in thankfulness. In gratitude.

Now that was an appropriate attitude to have.

Individually, they could not do much. But in multitudes, they had in them the ability to save entire peoples. Whole nations.

And so they struck the parched ground, which drank them in hungrily. One would not have made any difference at all; but in the hundreds and thousands, even the ground gave way and softened beneath their touch. Some of them fell directly onto the crops out in the fields, taking the dust off the leaves as they rolled away, ever towards the call of the ground.

The rain fell. The ground softened. The crops drank.

The people rejoiced.

For the rain meant a harvest. For the rain meant life for them, and life for their crops. For the rain meant clean water, free of diseases. For the rain meant hunger will be kept at bay.

Even when the crops have drank their fill, like any savior worth their salt would, the rain kept on giving. Always giving more than enough. Always giving above and beyond what was merely expected. On and on it went, and for hours the rain showered over the sun-dried lands, waking life where it fell.

And then finally, it slowed. Finally, it stopped. And from behind the clouds, the sun broke through, greedily taking back the water that had been freely poured out onto the earth. No matter, though. The sun could have all the water it wanted.

For their savior had come, and salvation was upon them.


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