Summer Soul By D.I. Jolly

Max sat on the porch of the beach cottage he and his friends had rented for the summer and watched the rain fall steadily onto the sand. It had rained every day since they’d arrived and the forecast told them it was going to continue to rain. For the first few days he and his friends had pushed through and partied inside, but even that had started losing its flavour and the conversations had started about whether or not they should just go home instead. Max had participated for a while but wasn’t ready to give up on their adventure yet and so sat quietly alone watching the rain. Half in a daydream it took him a few moments to realise it when he spotted what looked like a small girl in a summer dress walking across the sand. He stared for a minute then started scanned beach looking for parents or someone who looked old enough to be responsible for her. Eventually realising that she was alone, responsibility dawned on him and he grabbed his jacket and head down into the storm following the little girl.

“Hey! Hey are you alright?”

He called out as he got closer but the little girl simply giggled and ran off into a small cave hidden in the rocks. Max ran after her hoping to catch up with her before she disappeared or hurt herself but as he turned into the small cave he found her waiting for him.

“Hey, what are you doing out here all alone?”

The little girl smiled again and Max started to realise that she looked odd somehow but couldn’t put his finger on exactly what was strange.

“I’m not alone, you’re here.”

“What about your parents or family? Do you have someone I can call or something?”

“No, I don’t have any of those things, but thank you for asking.”

She continued to beam her smile at him and suddenly it hit him.

“Hey, how come you’re not wet from the rain?”

She giggled again.

“That’s because I’m a spirit, not a person.”

“A spirit? Like a ghost?”

“No, a spirit like an essence the manifestation of an idea. I’m the spirit of summer.”

Without thinking, Max pointed to the storm outside.

“You’re not doing a very good job.”

The girl frowned and looked at her feet sadly.

“It’s harder than it used to be, people used to celebrate the coming of summer and pay tributes to it, and that energy they gave, gave me the strength to bring about summer. But no one does that anymore and so it’s difficult for me, and then more people lose faith and it gets harder again, I’m worried that soon I will fade away completely.”

She looked back up at him and he could see a few silver tears run down her face and it touched him.

“Is… is there anything I can do to help? I mean, if I start to believe will it give you enough strength to bring summer back now?”

She scanned his face and realised that he was being sincere.

“There is something you can do to help me now, if I can take some of your essence I should have enough to stop this storm, then as people start to enjoy the sunshine that will help me maintain for the rest of the season.”

Max looked a bit nerves but felt the growing weight of responsibility to help save Summer.

“Okay, what do I do?”

“Just hold out your hand.”

“Oh, okay.”

He reached out a shaky hand and watched as the little girl gently rested her palm against his. Instantly a wave of goosebumps erupted from the spot and ran over his whole body, then another and another causing him to shake and shudder even though it wasn’t painful. Then her eyes seemed to grow bright and she smiled.

“Look!”

He turned to see the rain stop, the clouds break and the sunshine burst through.

“Thank you, and, I’m sorry.”

“What for?”

He looked back at Summer but she was gone, then he turned again but the mouth of the cave had disappeared as well. He turned in a circle looked for something, anything that would explain what had just happened, where he was and how he’d get out, but found nothing.

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