The sun streamed through the curtains, defying their boast about blocking out over 90% of light. Charlie thought something was off, as he laid there trying to wake up. It seemed so very quiet. Then he realized that nothing was running. They seemed to be without power. He leaned over and flipped open his phone – it was six in the morning. Good thing it was Saturday and no one had to be at work. Still, he hadn’t got in his run that morning.
Feeling sluggish, he rolled over and shook his wife. “Tess? Tess, wake up. There’s no power.”
“What?” Groggy, she opened her eyes and looked at him. She had a second to process the idea before two kids suddenly came screaming into the room, launching themselves onto the bed.
“Mommy! Daddy! Everything is quiet! And the TV won’t work, and our clock is off. Did time stop?”
Charlie looked at his youngest, who was five. Tory had dark brown hair, and his green eyes. He often felt like he was looking at himself. In contrast, his son was the picture image of his wife, with blonde hair, and blue eyes. It’s amazing how different things can mix up.
“No, honey, time didn’t stop. The power is out. Remember, Electricity? What makes most things work?”
“Oh. Well. How do we fix it? Saturday morning cartoons are on! I’m missing Bugs Bunny!!”
His son piped in on this, “I’m missing Elmer Fudd, Dad!”
“Okay, okay, get off me, roll over on your mother or something,” and at this Tess groaned. She wasn’t quite awake yet, she had been working late on a project for work. “Let me call the power company.”
Oh, how he hated calling places. The waits usually sucked, and he was sure he would get some lame excuse and a vague answer on when the power would come back. Sure enough, when he called he at least didn’t have to wait – a message was the first thing that played “We are aware of a large power outage affecting the downtown area and are doing everything we can to resolve the issue. Hopefully power will be restored within the next couple of hours, and we will keep this message updated. Thank you for your patience.”
“Patience? What choice do we have??” Charlie shook his head, and stretched his arms up above him. The phone snapped shut, and he slipped it onto the kitchen table. Well, it looked like he couldn’t catch up on work this morning. He could hear the kids trying to get their mom out of bed. “I better go rescue her.”
“Hey kids!” He shouted. “Come on, lets eat some dry cereal. We can find something to do.”
The kids came running down the hall, sounding like a heard of elephants. Smiling, he walked into the kitchen and grabbed a box of fruit loops. Pouring three bowls, they all sat at the table and started eating, while the kids rattled off ideas about how to fix the power and get the tv going.
“Why don’t we do something else this morning? Wanna go outside and play on the swing? We can find those old water guns and have a battle?”
“WATER FIGHT!” both Tory and Chris yelled at the same time, taking off towards their rooms.
It wasn’t long before they were outside, running around and hiding behind trees, buildings, and anything they could to escape getting soaked by one another. Tess soon joined them, looking awake finally, and they split into teams, girls vs boys. After the water fight excitement wore off, they had a picnic of things they could gather from the kitchen that didn’t involve opening the fridge, and Charlie called the power company again.
“We apologize for any inconvenience. We have located the current problem and are resolving to get it fixed. It may this evening before power is full restored to all areas.”
Relating the news to Tess, the kids seemed excited. “Dad, can we play with our trucks?”
“Yeah!” shouted Tory, “Let’s race!”
And they were off. The afternoon was filled with races, baseball, swinging, trampoline jumping (which worried Charlie, the thing had hardly been used, but it held up), and finally pretending to be heroes and playing house.
Exhausted, Tess and Charlie collapsed. Looking at their phones they realized it was after six pm. “Well, at least it’s summer. We have daylight till almost nine pm.” Tess remarked. “They really need baths though, while we know we can see in the kitchen. And I’m not sure our food is going to make it.”
Sighing, they pulled their wearied bones off the ground, and hollered for the kids. After much splishing and splashing, pirate fights and more soaking all around, the kids were bathed and ready to bed.
“How about a story, guys? I haven’t read something in a while.” Tess said, and Charlie settled down beside the couch, where everyone else was sitting. Tory yelped, and dashed off to her room. “Read this momma, read this!”
She handed Tess their illustrated copy of “The Hobbit” that they used to always read to the kids, because it was their favorite book and they wanted to share it.
Tess laughed. “Chris, you okay with this?”
“Yep!” He said, with a big yawn.
“Okie dokie.” Opening the book, and turning a few pages, Tess started off “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet, a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
And by the third chapter, the kids were asleep on the couch, and Tess and Charlie were simply watching them slumber.
Charlie finally stood, slowly taking the kids back to their rooms and tucking them in. He made sure everything was off in cause the power kicked back on, and went back to the living room. He sat at the end of the couch, and Tess laid over, stretching out, her head on his lap. “Charlie”
“I think we need to do this more often.”
“Yeah. I think we do, too.”