Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Accent (02/21/13)
TITLE: Accent of the Clouds
By Loren T. Lowery
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“Huh huh. Just can’t sleep.”
He came to sit upon her bed, adjusting the blankets around her. “Storms can be kind of scary, can’t they?”
She nodded. “Especially the thunder.”
“You know what my dad once told me about thunder? He said it was God’s potato wagon just got dumped over and all that crashing and rumbling was nothing but potatoes rolling all over the place.”
“Did you believe him?”
“For a while, but then I was scared to go outside anytime it rained because I might get hit on the head by a potato.” Cindy giggled. “You think that’s funny, don’t you?”
“Well, it wasn’t and thinking back I think Mom put him up to it just to keep me from splashing in a lot of lovely mud puddles.”
She giggled again. “Grandma wouldn’t do that.”
“Maybe. But let me tell you the real story about thunder.” He got up and went to the window, peering out. “Did you know clouds can talk?”
“No they can’t?”
“Oh but they can. If you listen carefully, you’ll see it’s kind of like a brogue in the wind. Kind of gruff, for sure. But then who wouldn’t be with all that lightening going on at all sorts of crazy times.”
“Sounds like Jasper whenever Sissy gets too near his food bowl while he’s eating.”
“Exactly. He’s just standing up for himself. Clouds like to sleep, too, you know; but how can they with the weather flipping the light switch on and off all the time. So, they speak up in a grumbling and a bit loud accent to tell the weather to back off.”
Lightening flashed, gilding the clouds beyond the window. Thunder soon followed. He came back to sit next to her on the bed. “Besides, I think clouds are a bit protective of us, too. Just look how they shelter us from the sun and provide rain. So, I’m thinking their being so noisy isn’t so bad, after all.”
“And they’re pretty, too.” Her face brightened.
A shadow darkened the opened doorway leading into the lit hallway. Celeste, Peter’s wife, stood there leaning against the door frame. He looked up at her and smiled. “Your mother loves the clouds, too. You and she can find the most fanciful creatures in them.”
“I know, once we found a whole circus parade of them - all in white, pink, yellow and periwinkle.”
“Mom says it’s kind of a bluey, purpley color."
“Oh, I see.”
Cindy sighed. “Mr. Pringle, my science teacher, says thunder is caused by lightening super-heating the air and turning it to plasma which explodes loudly.”
“Well that doesn’t show much imagination now does it? Besides what’s Mr. Pringle know anyway, just because he’s a scientist?” She giggled. “Now come on, Pumpkin time for those pretty periwinkle eyes of yours to close and go to sleep. No more worry about storms and thunder. It may not be the most polite way to tell the weather to chill out, but thunder’s just doing the best it can.” He kissed her on the forehead and rose to leave.
“I love you.”
He took his wife’s hand and turned back to her. “And I love you. More than words could ever say. Your mom’s here, too, to tuck you in.”
“Mom,” Cindy said excitedly. Celeste came in and sat beside her. “Did you know clouds can talk?”
“So, I’ve been hearing. You’ll have to tell me all about tomorrow at breakfast. But for now it’s time for this little princess to go to sleep.” She leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. “I love you and sweet dreams, Sweetie.”
“I love you, too, Mom. And I will tell you all about it tomorrow.” She yawned peacefully, thunder rumbling over her words. She closed her eyes lulled into slumber by the sound of the passing storm.
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