Author: Johanna Holmström

The storm

1 June 2011 | Fiction, Prose

From the collection of short stories Tvåsamhet (‘Two alone’, Söderströms, 2005). Introduction by Tiia Strandén

A storm blows up during the night. As he lies in bed, not yet asleep, just lingering on the brink of falling, in that soft yet sensitive state where sounds seem to grow and get bigger, he can hear the clattering, hissing sound of the wind coming up out there and sweeping up everything not fastened down, capable of being put in motion. It scrapes against the roof and window, loosens leaves and pine needles which scud across the ground, and it whistles and whines round the chimney and the windows, and it even beats against the shed door, which Dad must have forgotten to shut properly before he came in. Before he stamped the mud off his boots in the front hall. Before he had a chance to pull the front door shut firmly as well, because Joakim can hear how he brings the storm into the hall with him, and it sweeps through the kitchen faster than he ever could have imagined. Joakim shuts his eyes tighter, even though he is no longer really awake, and he hears the powerful gust flap past Dad, who is still standing with his hand on the door handle, and then Mum starts shouting because the wind is slamming into the furniture and making dishes crash to the floor and making pots and pans do the same. When Dad starts shouting as well, Joakim lets go of the last little bit of wakefulness and lets himself sink down into the cradle of dreams to be carried along until the morning. It is the sun that wakes him, or maybe the sound of the telephone, because he wakes up just as it rings, but in any case it has stopped blowing, and the branches of the big lilac bush outside the window are completely still. More…