Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write something AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL (10/02/14)
TITLE: Oh, Brother!
By Diane M. Bowman
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My bedside lamp went out as it lost power. I huddled under the covers and braced myself for the thunder... that never came.
The first sign of a thunderstorm was more than enough to bring abject terror to my nine-year-old heart. I had spent years listening to accounts of 'balls of fire' rolling across rooms due to lightning strikes and reading about the risks of lightning storms. My imagination had convinced me that I would die in a storm if I went anywhere near a window, an electric outlet, or a bathroom. Daring to step outside to watch the show would have resulted in certain death.
The details escape my memory, but at some point I must have went crying to my parents about the power being off. They came to my room and interestingly, the overhead light worked but not my lamp. Adding to their puzzlement, no storm raged outside...
In the absence of the smell of rain, the air reeked with suspicion. What caused the flashes and why did the outlets in my bedroom have no power?
As the youngest of five and the only girl, I frequently found myself subjected to the powerful imaginations of not one, not two, but four boys. All of whom regarded the sound of their sister's squeal as something to seek after and obtain by any method.
Due to years of experience with said imaginations, my parents didn't need too many detective skills to find the culprits that night. Soon, the confessions began. The flashes? Random parts removed from an old camera and aimed into my window from theirs. The power issue, on the other hand, was a little more involved.
How many boys think they should be able control the power to their sister's electrical outlets simply because it happens to run through their closet? Some inventive rascals had added a power switch to a wire. Knowing that I preferred a lamp to the overhead light, they formulated their plan. With the idea of hearing those apparently beautiful squeals, they put the flashes into operation and then turned off my electric. While I shuddered, they snickered.
In case you happen to think this was an isolated incident, I'll tell what happened another night. One evening I started to hear strange sounds in my bedroom. Some very odd noises were coming from my closet. This time, I decided to be the sleuth. And, you guessed it. The culprits, just as before, were on the other side of the wall.
Now, most boys would just make sounds and hope their sister heard it. Not my brothers. Simple noises made from their rooms, fell far below their level of tormenting talent.
I dug to the rear wall of my closet, following the noises. Back in a dark corner, I discovered that the mischievous rapscallions had drilled a hole into my closet from theirs. Through the opening, they had wired parts from an old telephone, creating a mic on their side and a speaker on mine. Using the mic, they were making noises in an attempt to convince me that I had a mouse in my closet.
Talents of this level take years to develop. My brothers were diligently exercising their abilities long before I reached nine years of age.
When they heard about their little sister the very first time, one brother's response was, 'But we don't need a little cistern. We have a big one under the back porch." With that, I was warmly welcomed into the world. As it would continue, so it began.
A few years later, I received a doll for my birthday. Little girls play with dolls but little boys view them as they do everything in their reach - something to figure out. The same brother that required a detailed explanation to understand the concept of a sister inspected my doll by promptly removing the head. It never did stay on very well after that, despite many attempts to reattach it.
A little sister has few ways to repay such imaginative efforts. Regardless of what I tried, they were always older, bigger, and a step ahead. What could a girl do?
I finally found a way to settle the score.
I grew up and became an author.
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