Prompt text: It is a rainy morning. Imagine the smells, colors, the feeling of the air. At the periphery of vision, surrounded by fog, something emerges. Watch what happens, and write your scene.

The alarm shrieked at me for the third time this morning.  Unlike the previous two, I reach for the switch to turn it off rather than hit the snooze button.  I fight with the idea that I can sneak another five minutes of sleep in by counting backward from 300, then dismiss it knowing that if I tried to make that happen I’d sleep back through until late in the morning.  For myself, that would be fine but my running buddies might plot to murder me in my sleep.

Deciding that I’d rather live, I swing my legs off the bed and try to sit up.  In doing so, I accidentally bonk one of my cats in the head.  Black cats are entirely too well camouflaged in the dim early morning light.  By the surprised mew, I surmise it was Jackie.  Dobie trills more the mews.  I make my way to my feet and shuffle towards the bathroom, kicking the clothes I discarded onto the floor the night before.

The relief of an empty bladder doesn’t rival the satisfaction from a good early morning coffee, but it is enough to make me at least somewhat cognizant of my surroundings.  Gauging how much time I have to leave and still meet my fellow runners on time, I hurriedly throw on my running tights and a long-sleeve thermal top.  I’ve lost just enough weight from running and toned my upper body enough in the gym that I don’t feel entirely embarrassed about how I look in the clingy, spandex-like material.

The running shoes slip on and I stop in the kitchen long enough to dispatch kibble for the furry children.  They make their best effort to kill me, wandering in between and around my feet before they go sniff at the bowl.  I’ve become accustomed to stepping around them and avoid their nefarious murder plot.  I make my way to the front door, pulling my keys from the spot behind the love seat cushion where I usually toss them when I get home from work.

I lock the front door and as I step off the porch, the first drops hit my face.  There’s a light rain falling, not hard enough that it would have made noise on the roof.  That probably is the only thing that kept me from texting cancellations, turning off the alarm and rolling over for another few hours of sleep.  I consider going back in to get a hoodie and decide I’m not going to melt  from the moisture.

The sun isn’t close to being up yet.  It gets the benefit of staying in a couple of hours later than I do today.  There’s dim orange light being cast by the streetlamp on the near corner.  The halo from the the light shimmers in the rain, and makes everything on the block that’s visible the same color.  I find myself idly wondering if they make the lights in Texas that color to give us some semblance of fall in lieu of foliage.

I walk down the path to my car in the driveway.  The drop that hit my face stick to my glasses and through my vision off as my eyes try to adjust between the near focus and the distant one.  As I get to the driver’s side door, I take my glasses off long enough to wipe them on the tail of my shirt.  It probably would make more sense to wait to do this inside the car, but the blurred vision annoys me enough that I need to clean it now.

I replace my glasses and look down the street before getting into the car.  There’s a patchy fog that leaves some yards looking like pillowy fields of grey cotton. The neighbor’s car isn’t in their drive so the grey extends out into their drive.  As I am about to make my leave, a spot of black seems to move towards me in the mist.  I stop and look, and as I do the small dark ball moves closer, fading into dark grey.  The neighbors don’t have pets so I’m wondering what wildlife has decided to pay me a visit.  Idly in the back of my head, I recognize I’m going to be late for my run.  But my curiosity is stronger than my need to be punctual this morning.

The dark ball moves closer, skipping across the pavement like the bouncing ball on song captions that help you follow the lyrics.  The fog recedes a little and I find myself staring at a tiny rabbit, no bigger than a decent size grapefruit.  Its ears are laid back low on its head, and I make out the twitch of its nose as it sniffs for predators or anything else nearby.

I slowly reach for the pouch on my running belt I carry my phone in.  I try to unzip it as quietly as possible, afraid of sending my visitor scurrying off into the dark.  The rabbit stops and turns towards me, causing me to freeze, the tab of the zipper still between two fingers.  Eventually my visitor starts looking around again, and I manage to extract my phone from the belt.

I angle it, knowing I probably won’t get a good picture but try to anyway.  I pinch my fingers on the phone screen, trying to zoom the camera in as much as possible.  The rabbit turns to look at me, almost as though he knows what I want to do and strikes a pose for the picture.  As I press the button to snap the shot, the LED on the back of the phone lights a split second before the flash a shutter click.  The rabbit freezes staring at the light, then turns and sprints away as the photo is taken.

No longer needing to be cautious, I review the photo but as expected it’s not evident what the picture is of.  All there is is a blur of gray with the splash of light from the flash reflecting off of its fur.  I curse my luck and my carelessness at not turning off the flash, though without it I would be swapping a black blur for a lit grey one.  I look to see if maybe the rabbit is still close by, but he or she has been spooked out of sight.

The rain pelts my face, bringing me back into the moment and I decide that it’s a good morning to run.  The cool and the wet feel good against my skin, and I take a deep breath, savoring the mossy smell that fall rain brings.  I get into the car and immediately roll down the window.  The engine fires into life and I slowly back my way out the drive, making sure to check for any gray blurs moving across the drive.

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