thump
thump
splash!

He had thought it was surface water, that's what it had looked like, but the pool went deep and his shoe was wet now, his sock clammy. Clouds gathered in the sky above him, dark, portentous, and in the distance he heard a low rumble of thunder.

No shelter ahead of him, and he was too proud to turn back the way he had come, so as the first drops of rain fell, heavy and swollen, he simply turned up his collar and squelched on.

The discomfort and chill of the rain brought back all the memories of the things he was walking to forget. Memories that the thumping of his steady pace had drowned out of his mind.

His wife, Mona, run off with a truck driver five years before. A pretty little thing she'd been once, and loving-sweet and hot for him too, till disappointment and pain had turned her hard. His daughter, Ruth, shacked up with a dead-beat drunk simply to get away from the brooding presence of her father, in the dark days after her mother left.

The empty house, cold and comfortless since they went, with the letter still lying on the table from the company he'd given his first loyalty to for all those years, neglecting home and family for their profit and loss. "Cutbacks... regret... hope you find something suitable."

He hadn't found anything yet, but he was still walking. He picked up the pace again.

thump
thump
thump

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