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"Waiting for the Rain" is the fourth short-story in Remember - Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It is written by Mikael Hedberg and includes an illustration by Rasmus Gunnarsson and Jonas Steinick. It takes place on August 18, 1839 CE—one day before the events of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It follows the story of Elise Zimmermann, as she tries to escape from her family's farm and her abusive father.

Plot summary[]

Elise Zimmermann is at her brother's funeral at the Altstadt cemetery. She meets up with her friend, Jacob, and talks about running away with him from her family and her cruel father. She then rides home with her family to her home, the Zimmermann Farm.

Her father, in grief, knocks over the dinner table and rushes out of the room, leaving the rest of his family in fear. Elise wanders to an old oak, where she has an assortment of items hidden. She decides to run away. She sneaks into the kitchen to steal some provisions, but is caught by her father. She runs away, but her father catches her. Believing she is a "changeling," he raises his axe, intending to kill her. At the last moment, he changes his mind. Elise gets to her feet and starts running towards Altstadt. In that moment, she is filled with hope as a carriage approaches their farm.

Full short story[]

Click the "Expand" button at the right to read the full short story.

Waiting for the Rain

Elise watched the digger fill the grave of her brother Friedrich. He had been sick for almost a month before he finally passed away. Typhoid fever was not something she had heard of before, so it meant nothing to her, and at the same time, it meant everything. Watching her brother die, had made her realize that she was miserable. Not because of this particular tragedy, it was her life and the people she shared it with, which made it so.

Her father Gustaf swallowed his sorrow the best he could. He loved his only son desperately and his death was nothing he was prepared to handle. This was something which had become painfully clear to the entire family as they had watched Gustaf fall into despair.

Elise ran her hand up the other arm to comfort the sore muscle. Her father had pulled at her arm just before the funeral, as she wasn’t moving quickly enough.

“Why couldn’t it been one of the girls,” whispered Gustaf to his wife Agathe. They all heard him, but said nothing. Agathe just stood there cradling her youngest child in her arms with a faraway look in her eyes. Tears ran down Margarethe’s cheek. She was the oldest child now and she tried to stay composed, but hearing her father wish something so terrible made it impossible.

Elise also felt the sting of her father’s words and turned away. She looked over to the church and the town square beyond.

Just behind the church she saw a young boy sitting and digging in the dirt with his hands. She carefully removed herself from the funeral, knowing well she wouldn’t be missed.

Tinker, the black cat, sat on a narrow tombstone and studied Jacob’s effort. Elise stroked the black cat which arched from discomfort. The humid weather was already making the thick fur unbearable and he certainly didn’t need anyone touching him.

“What are you doing?” asked Elise. Jacob looked up at his visitor.

“I’m planting an apple tree next to mother. It’s going to rain soon, you know? Best time to sow – before rain.”

Elise looked back at the funeral. It was still going on.

“I’m sorry about your brother,“ continued Jacob.

“Thank you.”

Elise gazed up into the gloomy sky. A single drop of rain struck her cheek. She prepared for the rain to come crashing down, but it didn’t.

“I don’t remember much about my mother, but I know she loved apples.”

Elise couldn’t concentrate on what Jacob was saying. Her mind was preoccupied.

“Do you ever think of running away from your family?” she asked.

“I don’t have much to run from anymore.”

“I mean, this life, your master, the Innkeeper.”

Jacob thought about it for a moment. He was content with the life he lived. He had a good stable where he could sleep, and a master which kept him fed and clothed. He looked at Elise, the sad girl in her Sunday dress, a friend he cared deeply for.

“I’ll go with you, if you want.”

She giggled.

“I know you would. You are my best friend,” she said blushing.

Jacob patted the tiny mound of dirt covering the apple seeds.

“Why won’t it rain?” wondered Jacob.

“Maybe God doesn’t see anything worth crying about.”

“Elise! Come over here this instant!” yelled her father.

“I have to go, Jacob.”

“Elise, you won’t leave without saying good bye, will you?”

She smiled back at Jacob.

“I won’t – I promise.”

The wagon rolled down the country road. Elise swayed with the motion, holding on to the side to keep herself on board. Gustaf mainly used the wagon to transport hay for the cows, but it worked well for the family when visiting Altstadt. As Elise watched the landscape pass by, she found herself entertaining the thought of escape. Is it really possible? Could she find another life for herself? She imagined showing up at the stables next to the Inn, the surprised look on Jacob’s face as she tells him that she has run away. She played the scene over and over in her head. Jacob’s reaction was always the same, a surprise turned into absolute joy. Then they would pack his things and head out, probably joining Gabriel on a journey to Königsberg or somewhere equally exciting.

The wagon hit another large pothole, forcing her back to reality. Elise abandoned her daydream and sighed. Up ahead she could see her home – Gustaf Zimmerman’s farm.

Gustaf overturned the dining table in a swift movement, utensils and plates scattered over the floor.

“Are we really going to eat? On a day like this?! Show some damn respect, Agathe!”

He shook her hard and pushed her to the floor.

“You make me sick, all of you!”

Agathe and her girls kept still, stiffened with fear, her baby crying in the crib. Gustaf pulled at his hair, not knowing what to do with himself, and stormed out. Margarethe helped her mother up on her feet.

“Mother, I have thought about it, I will marry Immanuel after all. I think it would help out with the money.”

Agathe kissed Margarethe on her forehead.

“I knew you would come to your senses, you are a good girl. Something I wish all my girls would be,” she said while eyeing Elise.

Elise walked across the yard, climbed the fence to the pasture, zigzagged between the cows, and continued towards the great oak. The cows never did go all the way up to the trunk of the tree, as the ground was covered in knotty roots. She used to do a bit of climbing when she was younger, but now it had become a place for hiding the things which mattered most.

Elise reached into the hollow trunk and pulled out a bundle, unwrapped it and revealed; several pieces of burned wood, a button carrying a decorative insignia, and a broken flintlock pistol. They were all things she had found around father’s land and she used to look at them and pretend they belonged to her. The things told so many stories. Sometimes she was the soldier helping a young maiden from a burning house. Sometimes she was the one being saved. It didn’t matter anymore. She didn’t need to live her life through an event which had happened years before even her grandfather was born. She was going to have her own life now. Realizing she no longer needed the things, she wrapped the bundle, and put it back in the hollow tree trunk.

Elise had started to prepare her escape. She had packed clothes in an empty potato sack and was waiting for the right opportunity to fetch provisions in the kitchen.

She paced up and down the yard trying to get an idea of where the family members and the two farmhands were. It was important that no one knew about her plan, because they would stop her – and punish her.

Gustaf was behind the house chopping wood, she could hear it echo across the farm. The two farmhands were loading pails of fresh milk into the root cellar. Her older sister pumped water from the well.

Finally her mother stepped into the yard carrying buckets to her sister. This is it. Hurry! she thought. With steadfast determination she entered the house. She opened the pantry, grabbed half a loaf of bread, and a couple of potatoes. As her mother and sister returned with the water, Elise flung herself out of the window. She quickly got to her feet, picked up the sack of provisions and headed towards the pasture.

“Where do you think you are going!” yelled Gustaf from behind her.

Elise started to run, she heard her father coming after her. She threw the sack over the pasture fence and began to climb it. Gustaf’s hand grabbed her shoulder and yanked her backwards. She hit the ground hard – her head was spinning and she felt nauseated. Her vision slowly returned. Gustaf was standing beside her. He still had his axe, it was hanging from his gripped right hand.

“What are you doing Elise? Are you running away? Are we not good enough for you anymore?”

His voice was manic. She couldn’t answer without feeling like she needed to vomit. It didn’t matter, he wouldn't let her anyhow.

“I get it now. You killed him. Your work is done.”

Elise rolled over to stand up. Gustaf kicked her in the stomach and she fell backwards.

“I knew it. You are not my daughter. You are an Erkling [sic] – a Changeling. You had us all fooled, didn’t you?”

With a violent crack followed by the rolling rumble of thunder, the sky opened and the rain began to drain the land.

Elise struggled to get to her feet, while heavy drops of rain smothered her. Gustaf, her father, pushed his foot down on her throat.

“Please, dad...,” cried Elise, with her last breath.

“I will purge your wicked soul from this body,” declared Gustaf, raising his axe. As he looked down into his helpless daughter’s eyes, he felt his madness slowly escape him. What am I doing, he thought.

As Gustaf’s resolve disappeared, he removed his foot from her throat. Elise scrambled onto her feet and began to run across the yard and down the muddy road towards Alstadt.

“I’m sorry, I lost my head,” shouted Gustaf after her.

Elise was not about to trust him again. She had lost her sack of clothes and provisions, but it would be all right. If only she could make her way to Altstadt and Jakob [sic].

Gustaf was closing in fast. She wasn’t getting away. He would kill her, maybe not today, but eventually.

She stopped, still feeling sick and out of breath. She looked back at her father, he had stopped further up the road. He was staring in her direction, but beyond her. She looked back at the road and in the distance she could see a carriage coming this way.

A great sense of hope filled her. Someone is coming – someone is coming to help me. I just know it.