I run to the kiosk in a pink hoodie and no coat. Torrential rain batters down around me, flattening grass and turning the rocks dark grey, deeper even than the clouds that surround them. Fierce, wild wind drives the raindrops, almost horizontal, stinging and on fire.
The Italian barista in the kiosk grins at me as my hair whips into my eyes and covers my face. I order a latte and plink my change into the tips jar. Taking a deep breath I jog back across the loose stones of the car park, back to my little silver car, almost lost against the skies.
I fumble for my keys, hands wet from the rain, trying to balance the hot cardboard cup as I open the door. The wind whips the metal from my hands, banging the door wide open. I hurriedly fall into the drivers seat and slam the door shut, pulling hard against the gale outside.
I give up trying to wipe away the inevitable steam rising from the cup and fogging up the glass, and instead watch as the rocky outcrop and valley below are finally obscured by the opaque haze. I push the drivers seat back as far as it will go, and close my eyes, breathing in the latte aroma and listening to the cacophony as the raindrops batter loudly and insistently onto the roof and windscreen. I let the sounds fill my ears and drum inside my head, here in my little steamed up cocoon of car.
With my eyes closed, I feel protected against the wildness of the weather sweeping down the valley. I see the rocks in my mind’s eye, looming behind me, casting their great age and wisdom all around. Time seems to slow down, a human like me not even a blink in their great age. I feel the ghosts of thousands of years, a small part of every soul ingrained somewhere within the cold, hard stone. The rain continues, fat drops falling from leaden skies.
Slowly, I open my eyes and pick up my latte. I wrap my hands around the cup and let the warmth tingle at my fingertips. I breathe in the steam rising from the plastic lid.
It’s time to return to the real world. I fasten my seatbelt, turn the key, and slowly drive out of the car park, following the road downwards and back to the present day.