Where The Rain Never Falls - Edwin Gavis

We glanced nervously at the dark clouds as the biting wind tugged at our jackets. The grim statues stood guard over the field, and we shivered faintly beneath the unblinking gaze of those giants of history. Our footsteps crackling in the dry grass, we stumbled towards the next of the battered monuments dotting the endless field. Despite the vastness of the plain, the faint smell of dust drifted through the still air and not even the roaring blasts of wind could dispel it.

Those elemental howls were the only sounds to dare rage against the sanctity of the silence. The fallen leaves danced and spun like living memories of those spirits who had once stood upon this land, a stark contrast to the weight of the looming rocky outcrops. They looked as if they had been strewn upon the field by an invisible hand, but each had earned his fame. But now those pillars of stone stood only as mute witnesses to the quiet veil of time.

Clambering onwards, we mounted the crest of those precipices and gazed upon the spreading plains. The wind yanked at our jackets and slashed in freezing strokes across exposed skin. The lone watchtower stood as a silent sentinel, towering over the equally distant town it guarded. Even the mighty monuments could not match its height, and so it held guard alone, over the now empty streets.

                We climbed down the steep slope, stepping carefully on the faint trails left by generations of visitors before us. The rumbling of thunder haunted our steps, yet the clouds still showed merely a dark purple hue. Not a drop fell, as the wind died away, completing the disappearance of time. The sun was hidden beyond the veiled sky and each shadow seemed to stretch away into infinity as they too faded in the lack of light. We walked on towards the next cairn and then the next and the next beyond that.

Yet with a crash, like the thousand cannons that were, the skies broke open. The heavy rain poured in solid sheets upon us and instantly soaked through the pitiful defenses of our jackets. A crack of lightning shattered the sky along the horizon, and we turned away, to slog back towards the waiting bus. Yet, like all those before, we did not run as we retreated from that battered field. And as the bus pulled away, the air was still once more over Gettysburg.