Day 264: A storm destroys your uncle’s shed and kills his six-year-old son. Describe the color of the sky right before the storm hits.

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Nathan,

This is the note found in the lodgings of Mr Harold Harvey. It seems perfectly normal and yet… Have a read.

Clear skies are simply a canvas awaiting dark clouds. That’s what Uncle Aloysius always said to us. He never was the same after Frederick died.

I was thirteen years old, the day the storm came. Freddie and I had been playing out on the beach, playing catch with a tennis ball. Freddie was a good kid, always scrambling to explore and to learn and living by the beach gave him everything he wanted. Every time we went to visit, he’d rush back from the beach, blue eyes glittering with a smile and whatever new treasure he’d found clasped in his hands.

His smile gleamed in the sunlight. The world got a little bit darker after the storm.

We came back in, Freddie covered in mud and scrapes from the rock pools we’d had a look at and me in my strange combination of shorts and wellingtons. We must have looked a right pair.

By this point, I was about twice the size of Freddie, all arms and legs and the beginnings of teenage angst. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be at Aloysius’ beach house, but Freddie could still pull me into being a child again. He could make anybody feel that way, like his energy was a virus that infected you and made you think like him. I loved that kid.

His mum, Auntie Suzanne, sent him out to the shed to put his clothes in the washer. I always wondered why they kept it out there, but hadn’t bothered asking before. Of course, there was never really a right time for it afterwards.

He did his best to wheedle out of it, but you can only argue with Auntie Suzanne’s stern face for about three minutes, then he stuck out his bottom lip and said “Fine.” He rushed out to the shed.

That’s when I heard the argument. Aloysius and Dad, just raised voices to start with, but it quickly devolved into shouting. I snuck through the house towards the lounge, where they had a few empty bottles kicking around.

“Your son needs an education! He needs a strategy! You can’t just abandon him to the wilds because you don’t know how to deal with him!” That’s Dad. A man who looks as though a brisk wind would send him flying away, but if you got him riled, you had to be on the lookout. He’d use words like a lumberjack used an axe; swift, effective and you’d be the one falling over at the end.

“He’s my son and I’ll do what I damn well please. You get that? Just because your boy is a waste of space.”

“Say another word about my son, you piece of shit.”

The blue sky outside was descending into a grey haze and a wind began to swirl around the house. The beams of the old cabin rattled as their argument raged on. My heart was beating as if it were trying to shatter my ribs, something I firmly believed it would accomplish if I didn’t do something. I pushed the door to the lounge open, only to have it pushed right back by a gust of wind, screeching through the house like the breath of a vengeful god. People hurled themselves from the walls to the relative safety of the floor as the grey haze outside faded into black, ominous clouds.

I looked up, directly out of the back door towards the shed. I saw Freddie curled inside, eyes wide with terror. I knew that once again, I had to do something. My heart was striving to escape now, hammering away as my breath came faster and faster. I crawled towards the door and his eyes met mine.

He nodded at me, then bolted from the door towards the house. There was a wet thud, then where Freddie had been, there was nothing but a long scrape in the ground. I closed my eyes, tears rolling uncontrollably down my face as I curled into a ball on the hardwood floor.

I don’t know how long I lay there crying, but by the time I stopped the skies had cleared again. Uncle Aloysius had found his son, down by the rock pools he’d been searching earlier that day. Or at least, he’d found what was left of him. A sign, proclaiming Freddie’s favourite beach to be the most beautiful spot on Marie Le Noon had been torn from its foundations and flown through the air like a kite.

Freddie would have gone instantly.That, and the fact that the shed had come completely apart as well, were the only small comforts I had. That freak storm, as the media called it, tore our family apart. My grades hit the floor, Aloysius and Suzanne broke up, Mum and Dad even moved to Russia. It wasn’t far enough though.

That freak storm wasn’t the only one I came across in my lifetime. They followed me, everywhere I went. Every time I got scared, or angry, or upset, the skies would darken and the storm would rise. Which always put me into a downwards spiral as I would remember what happened to Freddie and the vicious cycle would continue.

So today, I close the circle. I’m sorry, everyone. But I can’t hurt anybody else. By the time you find this, I’ll be dead. There are no storms in Heaven.

I’ll see you soon, kid.

Harold Harvey, 12th December 1990

Beside it was located a diver’s knife, a bottle of prescription painkillers and a noose, very neatly laid out on a small stool. The confusing matter is the fact that the knife was clean, the bottle still full and the noose untouched and of course the fact that there was no bloody body at the scene either. The story of Harold Harvey requires some digging. Are you up to the challenge, brother? 

Meet me at the Docker’s cafe, three o’clock on Monday. I’m sure we can come to some arrangement. 

Victor

In my head, I have this as a mystery story. A puzzle to be solved by my protagonist, Nathan. Of course, this also means I can bring in either a supernatural element by saying that Harvey’s has weather controlling abilities, or I could make him the victim of an attack by somebody else who can. It could be science, it could be magic. Either way, this is one I intend to check in on again. 

The Idiot in Tin Foil

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