He stepped out into a sunless day. He wondered where it had gone. Oh no. Could this be that end of the world people always went on about?
But then the clouds parted, and it was sunny once more.
A perfect day, he thought, to kill his mother-in-law. She’d always been critical of his inability to predict the weather. Her harsh judgment made him nervous every time he stepped in front of the TV camera to announce the weather conditions for the next day.
His viewers knew Peter by the nickname he’d adopted, calling himself “The Guy with the Akamai Weather Eye.”
Some people have doubts about their ability to do their jobs. Peter certainly did. This was due to his mother-in-law constantly mocking and ridiculing him, pointing out every little mistake in his predictions.
This had to end. Today.
As he walked to her house it began to rain. He’d not thought to bring an umbrella. Last night he’d predicted today would be sunny and clear with gentle tradewinds up to five miles per hour.
Peter cursed Hawaiian liquid sunshine. His mother-in-law must die. But, he thought, in Hawai‘i sometimes this kind of light rain was seen as a blessing. Maybe this rain was a sign that his plan to silence all her nagging criticism had now received the stamp of approval from the heavens.
The wind began to pick up. Trees danced and bent. Large gusts blew all sorts of debris around. A plastic fork flew through the air and nearly blinded him, sticking in his cheek just below his right eye. He pulled it out and walked on against the torrents that came at him like a wall of defensive lineman on numerous doses of performance-enhancing products.
His cheek bleeding, Peter arrived at his mother-in-law’s house. Emboldened by his lethal resolve, he refused to knock and simply let himself in, bloody and soaked to the bone.
“Oh Missus Tamashiro!” he shouted, “where are you?”
“I’m right here,” said the old woman, coming at him from the kitchen with a large butcher knife.
Peter narrowly sidestepped his mother-in-law. “What the hell are you doing?” he blurted out, startled by her spry pluckiness.
Panting, the old woman faced him. “I have a load of laundry drying out there on the line. You said it would be sunny and fair today, and look at this downpour. It’s a regular hurricane out there. It feels like ‘Iniki all over again. I’ve had it with your weather reports.”
“You witch!” Peter shouted. “I’m sick to death of your negativity. Did you never hear that we are all entitled to mistakes? That we are merely human? And that as humans we should be able to forgive each other our shortcomings?”
“Why are you here?” asked Mrs. Tamashiro.
“Truthfully,” said Peter, “I came here to kill you. I’m no longer able to weather, no pun intended, your criticizing my ability as a weatherman.”
Mrs. Tamashiro’s face relaxed its maniacal gleam. Lowering her weapon, she asked, “What happened to your cheek?”
“I was stabbed by a plastic fork. The wind whipped it up into my face.”
“Come sit down,” said Mrs. Tamashiro in a kindly way. “I’ll patch that up for you.”
The old woman put down the knife and headed for the bathroom medicine cabinet. She returned shortly with some gauze and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
“Sit back and relax,” she said. “I’ll try to make this as painless as possible.”
Peter was amazed at how this whole situation had turned around. No longer enraged by his mother-in-law’s withering critiques, his feelings toward her had warmed considerably, and she herself had and was ministering in such a kindly manner to his obvious need for medical aid.
Mrs. Tamashiro doused the gauze liberally. “Here I come,” she said. “Hold still.”
His mother-in-law’s strength took Peter by surprise, but given her recent demonstration of athleticism, it might have been anticipated. She pinned him to the chair and pressed the gauze against his nose and mouth as if she were holding back the dogs of war let slip. As he began to lose consciousness he realized that the old woman must have filled the bottle with something akin to ether.
His prediction was correct. The last thing he knew was Mrs. Tamashiro cursing him for ruining her load of laundry.
“Goodbye, Mr. Guy with the Akamai Weather Eye,” Mrs. Tamashiro spat into the air, wiping the rain and sweat from her face with the back of her soiled hand. She watched disgustedly as the clothes the line whipped around in the wind and rain. Tamping down the last shovelful of dirt, she looked up into the sky and shouted, “Sunny and clear, my ass.”