A Strange Day at the Golf Course
December 4, 2011
The Christmas Kiss
December 20, 2011
A Strange Day at the Golf Course
December 4, 2011
The Christmas Kiss
December 20, 2011

A Dark and Stormy Night

It was one of those nights that you hear about in horror stories—you know, the dark and stormy kind. The wind blew through the trees in the backyard. Off in the distance I heard rumbles of thunder. I had just gotten home from work, and all I wanted to do was relax, get something to eat, and watch my favorite TV program. It was April 1st.

                Blurp! Blurp! Blurp!

                The weather alert crossed my TV screen in cold red letters: A dangerous storm cell has just formed south of Kindersville. If you live in this area, please take cover immediately.

                Oscar, my dog, shivered uncontrollably while Ralph and Ed, my two cockatiels, loudly chirped their fear.

                A sudden crack followed by a thunderous boom made me jump and drop the remote. The lights went out. I felt my way along the wall to the kitchen and rummaged through the catch-all drawer. I grabbed candles and matches. “Oscar, follow me to the basement.” Once I had the candles lit I ran back upstairs to get Ralph and Ed.

                Getting the pets settled wasn’t without incident. Oscar didn’t want to be anywhere except on my lap. The birds jumped from perch to perch when I put the flickering candles close to their cage. They huddled on the opposite side of the cage unsure of the glow. Then I heard it—the emergency siren. That meant only one thing: the imminent threat of a tornado was about to strike the town.

                I picked up the telephone received bu the line was dead. That figures. I pulled out my cell phone to call my parents. They were just 45 minutes away and probably not affected by this storm. I dialed their number but it rang and rang. No answer.

                “Well, guys,” I told the pets, “it’s just us, but we’ll be okay.” I hugged Oscar as she buried his head in my lap. The birds flitted about in their cage squawking loudly.

                I fumbled for a CD and slid it into the battery operated CD played. At least we’ll have some nice music for an hour while the storm passes. Emilio Pandolfi’s Somewhere in Time soon filled the basement and brought calmness to the animals and myself. I closed my eyes.

                A sudden thunderous crash and bang shook the house and I jumped. Oscar moaned. I opened my eyes. I guess I had fallen asleep.

                It’s okay. You’re safe,” I told the animals. Oh, I hope a tree didn’t hit the house—or my car.

                I cautiously walked over the only small portal window in the basement. Rain pelted so hard against the glass that I couldn’t see outside. Maybe a tree broke off and fell in the yard.

                Then I heard it. Voices. Banging. Thumping.

                Oh, my gosh. Maybe we’re buried alive. The roof has caved in, and we’re stuck down here, alone.

                Creak. Thump. Bang. Voice s again. Muffled speech. A scream.

                Someone’s upstairs! Maybe some inmates escaped and they’re hiding out in my house during this storm. Oh, my gosh. They’ll be coming down here, and….

                Oscar jumped in my lap and licked my face. He didn’t act scared. The birds had calmed down, too. Didn’t they know what was happening in our house?

                Rain continued pelting the window. I could hear the eerie winds blowing outside. Another clap of thunder. Thump. Bang.    

                This time Oscar’s ears perked up, but he was content to lie in my lap. I can’t call anyone for help. There’s no phone service with the storm going through. Emilio’s songs were getting slower and slower, and I realized the batteries would not continue much longer. The candles had a few more minutes before they’d burn out, too.

                Thump. Bang. Scream.

                “Okay, guys,” I whispered to the animals. “I’ve got to find out what’s going on upstairs. Oscar, you come with me.”

                I grabbed the only thing I could find that could possibly threaten someone—an old broken tennis racket. I was armed and ready. The flickering candle I left on the bottom stair barely gave me any light. Oscar stayed several steps behind me as I shuffled the tennis racket from hand to hand in front of me while I crept up the stairs. Slowly I opened the door.

                Creak. Moan. Thump.

                I jumped and nearly lost my footing. My heart raced. Then I realized I had stepped on the one board that had been loose and squeaky for years. Quickly recovering I held the tennis racket in front of me as I turned the corner, heading into the living room.

                There was no cave in and the house hadn’t been demolished by the storm. I sighed in relief. As far as I could see in the dismal light everything was where I’d left it. Must have been a tree that went down. The candle on the basement stair went out. Then I heard it again.

                I slowly turned to the right but stepped on something squishy. I tried to muffle a scream. The tennis racket flew through the air and Oscar yelped when it hit his tail. I jumped.

                With all the strength I could muster at that point I cautiously peered around the corner into the living room but then I heard it again. Thump. Bang. Another scream, but this time the scream was mine.

                Oscar looked at me, his ears up, his head cocked to the side as if to say “what’s going on?”

                I started laughing when I realized that the TV had come back on and the station was playing one of Alfred Hitchcock’s suspenseful thrillers. I picked up the remote that had fallen on the floor when all this excitement had started.

                “Oh, Oscar,” I bent down, hugged him, and laughed. “A scary movie on a stormy night. It’s April 1st and the joke’s definitely been on me.”