Creative Writing

A Midnight Rainbow

By:  Janet Akselrud

Credit: Janet Akselrud


If you need to escape from the chaos of the moment, here is a short story:

It is dark outside and the moon is just beginning to rise. You place a blanket in a field of grass, smooth out the edges, then lay down. A faint breeze blows through your hair and rustles the grass underneath your fingertips. With nowhere to go, and nothing to do, you take a deep breath in and a long breath out. The air smells of earth, fresh after rain, but the ground is no longer wet. A few crickets awaken and chirp to the rhythm of the swaying grass and the twinkling stars.

There is a campfire off to the side. It crackles gently and you feel the slightest touch of warmth from its flame. There are no harmful creatures and no cars or buildings to serve as distractions. A cloud, gray and wispy, takes its place among the stars, floating towards the moon. You look up and get lost in the depth that only such a natural sky can create.

The moon moves overhead, illuminating the field of grass which holds you. For the first time, you notice the pond. You can make out a silhouette of a frog as it leaps from a rock, high-fiving the stars. There is a smooth splash in the water and ripples form, expanding in every direction. The ripples move further and further out, reflecting moonlight dances in its waves. You watch the light skip up and down slower and slower. The breeze quiets, and the air becomes momentarily still. The campfire grows stronger and warms you ever so slightly more. You take another deep breath in and a long sigh out, letting go of the day thus far.

Your eyes follow the singular cloud as it reaches the moon. At first, the moon shines through, brightening a ring of curves. Then, as rays of light from the moon pass through beads of rain in the cloud, a rainbow forms. It’s rare to see a midnight rainbow, harder to come across than a pot of gold. But there it is, and there you are, alone with it for a brief moment until the cloud moves on. Taking your deepest breath yet, feeling the quiet finally set in, you smile, content, having met the rainbow of the night.

 It stays with you forever; I know because I’ve met one.

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