Stormy Weather

Prompt: Write about stormy weather


The wind was howling outside, thrashing the limbs of the pecan trees. Plenty of nuts on the ground tomorrow, Laura thought.

She stood at the front window, holding her curtain to the side so that should would watch the storm rage around her.

The wind forced fat drops against the window, giving even the harshest parts of the storm a soft and dreamy look. Lightning flashed with a brilliant blue, and as she watched a limb exploded off one of her trees in a shower of sparks.

Laura let the curtain drop back into place and stood looking at its simple floral pattern, hardly backlit by the dark storm outside.

She never had cared much for lightning. She didn’t mind the wind or the rain. She didn’t even mind the thunder, even when it rattled the windowpanes. Because thunder couldn’t hurt you.

Lightning could hurt you. Lightning could even kill you.

Things that hurt and killed were bad. Even the Bible said so.

“Bad to hurt.” She said. “Bad to kill.”

She turned away from the window and looked across her living room. It was dark in the room, but not pitch. The Storm had knocked the power out. Probably a tree branch broke off and took a line with it. It happened pretty often.

After storms Laura often had to clean branches out of her yard that had broken from her own pecan trees. Some of them were large enough to be trees themselves.

It a limb HAD come down on the lines somewhere it could be hours before the power came back on.

It didn’t matter to her. She knew her house well enough, and wasn’t bothered by the dark. Later, if she wanted some light she could light some of the candles that sat around her house in several spots.

“The dark doesn’t hurt,” she said. “I’m not afraid of the dark. Are you?”

Lightning flashed again, not a single flicker but a stuttering strobe of light that kept the room lit for several seconds. She could clearly see her guest in his chair across the room. His eyes were wide and bright and very afraid.

Thunder pealed, and the lightning faded away, leaving Laura alone with her guest.

“Don’t be afraid,” she said. “The dark doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t kill. Just stay there, I’ll come over to you. I’ll light a candle, you’ll like it better.”

She went to the candlestick closest to where her guest’s chair was and pulled a box of matches, lighting each of the white sticks it held.

“Better,” she said to her guest, turning to face him.

The candles light was tiny in the face of the storms darkness, but it was light enough to see that he was still tied tightly to the chair. His eyes were still wide with fear, and his face was streaked with tear trails that disappeared behind the tape she had wrapped over his mouth and around his head.

She pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket and wiped the tears off his face.

“Now, now,” she said. “Its not that bad. Just a little stormy weather is all.”