It was a dark and stormy night. Lightening flashes steadily lit up the sky, thunder boomed, and a deluge poured down on the earth below.
One house in particular, located just outside the village, seemed to be receiving the storm’s most violent attentions. Perched on a slight rise and without many sheltering trees, the old two-storey home shuddered under the onslaught of the gale force winds.
Inside the house the occupants quaked now and then, too. Father was away on business for several days, which no doubt unsettled the family even more. Mother was trying to do some mending, but the electricity flickered now and then, making her task rather difficult. The older two children were absorbed in their story books.
Azure, the youngest daughter, whimpered as the lights momentarily dimmed again. She squeezed closer to her big sister Bluette, who sat reading on a couch near the fireplace.
As another fork of lightening pierced the blackness outside, Bluette looked up from her book, Wuthering Heights, and listened for the thunder clap. “Perhaps our house will get hit by lightning and burn to the ground,” she commented.
Royal, the oldest boy, had been devouring the first chapter of The Wizard of Oz. “Maybe a tornado will blow our house clean away and we’ll land over in California,” he said as another blast of rain sloshed over the windows.
Bluette refuted. his suggestion. “Tornado season is past.”
“But you never know. Freak weather happens sometimes.”
Mother set her mending aside. “Life of the party, aren’t you two? I think you both need to give up on those frivolous books and do something useful. Bluette, don’t forget you need to write a letter to Great Aunt Opal thanking her for the handkerchiefs she gave you for your birthday. Put that book away and get out your notepad.”
“But, Mother!” Bluette let out a wail quite much in tune with the wind outside. “I’m just at the part where the writer is snooping through Catherine’s diary and hearing knocks on the window. I can’t quit now! Anyway, I don’t have a clue what to say to Aunt Opal? We have tissues now. Nobody uses handkerchiefs anymore. I don’t know what on earth to do with the things, so how can I thank her for them?”
Mother gave her a stern look. “A gift is a gift. She deserves a thank-you.”
With a heavy sigh Bluette laid her book face down over the arm of a chair.
“And Royal, you should go out to the garage and chop some of that firewood into kindling in case we need more.”
“What if the power goes out? I’d hate to be out there in the dark.”
“Take a flashlight. And we do have a couple of kerosene lamps around, if you’d rather have one of those.”
“Trade you,” Bluette piped up. “I’ll go chop kindling if you write Aunt Opal for me.”
“Come on, Bleet. You can’t handle an axe.”
“Bluette, let your brother do his work. And Royal, please call your sister by her proper name.”
“But everybody calls her Bleet,” Royal protested. “It suits her.”
“Does not!” Bluette stuck her tongue out at him.
Mother glared at him. “Here we chose such a lovely name for your sister. How did she ever end up with that terrible nickname?”
Just then, above the noise of the storm, they heard the put-put of an automobile driving into the yard. They gazed at each other, then everyone jumped up and hurried to the window.
“Whoever could that be?” Mother said, a tinge of fear in her voice.
To be continued….
Daily prompt word: frivolous