A Dark and Stormy Night (Origins, part 3)

Submitted into Contest #58 in response to: Write about a family who decides to camp out in the back yard during a power outage.... view prompt

103 comments

Science Fiction Fantasy

Monstrous winds soar by my window. Rain splatters the glass until all I can see is a blurry, watery swirl of city scenery. The apartment rattles. I shiver. 

“You cold?” asks May, my best friend. Recently she moved in with my dad and I, since she didn’t have anywhere else to go. She tosses me her fleece. I catch it and throw it back. 

“I’m not cold,” I say. “It’s just freaky out there. I’ve never seen a storm like this before.”

She shrugs and sinks into my beanbag chair, munching on apple slices. I lie back in my bed, shutting my eyes briefly as I try to calm myself down. I can’t shake an uneasy feeling, however hard I try to push it away. Why does the weather seem… angry today?

A boom of thunder shakes the room. My cat Clem whimpers, and I scoot to the window and peer through the glass. A lamppost leans heavily to the left, its bulb showering sparks. It crashes to the concrete with a moan. I cringe.

“That’s unusual,” May notes, from over my shoulder. She’s not fazed by much.

Then the glow of electricity flickers. My clock, lamp, and ceiling light quietly shut off, leaving us in complete darkness. May and I freeze.

“Dad?” I call. 

“I’m here, girls!” he yells back, his words distant. He stumbles through the apartment, his footsteps punctuated by frequent mutters and yelps as he bumps into furniture. I hear him rummage through a drawer for a flashlight, then another for batteries. 

Eventually, he appears in the doorway, the grainy light of the flashlight washing over the floor. He tosses two smaller ones our way. Clem hisses and shrinks into the corner.

“Hey, the storm stopped,” he says. I grope around for the flashlights and shine one out the window. Sure enough, the wind is still, and no rain falls from the clouds. The thunder and lightning seem to be catching their breath.

“Thank goodness,” May says. My stomach churns, the anxious feeling ever present.

“Well, if you two are good, I’m going to bed.” Dad sighs and scratches his beard. “Long day.”

He looks tired. “You okay, Dad?”

“I’m fine, Amelia,” he says, casting us a small smile. “Don’t stay up too late.” Then he leaves, tripping over various objects as he hobbles to his room. 

“Your dad’s nice,” May tells me.

“Yeah,” I say. “Should we go to bed?” 

“Nah. Ever been camping?” She grins and unlocks my window, wrenching it open. 

“What are you doing?”

“Let’s go camping! My family used to do this whenever the power went out. Where’s your sleeping bag?”

I laugh. “I don’t even own a sleeping bag. And isn’t it wet outside?”

“Bring a towel then! Come on, the storm stopped, let’s go!”

Shaking my head, I head to the bathroom for a stack of towels. May hoists a pile of blankets in her arms. 

“We’re kind of high up.” I poke my head out the window and look straight down. “I don’t know if we can make it. What if the neighbors see us?”

“It’s not like we’ll use our powers down there. The least that’ll happen is your dad yells at us for climbing 10 feet down onto a fire escape.”

“Ten feet?”

“Well, unless you want to use your powers and teleport.”

I think about that, and shake my head. “I’ll take my chances.”

May and I aren’t what you would call typical. Thanks to several experimental serums and a mad scientist’s attempts to create super-people when we were young, we have… unusual abilities. It’s a weird story. Anyway, I gained the ability to teleport anywhere, though the farthest I’ve ever dared to go is a few stories downstairs, and May can travel through time and space.

I exhale slowly and crawl out the window, my fingers gripping the rain-soaked windowsill as I lower myself down. I manage to land on my feet, a metallic crash vibrating through the air. No neighbor throws open the curtains. Nobody yells from down below. The streets are empty, the people washed from the city. No one wants to be caught in a storm.

May tosses a bath towel out the window, soft white against the velvety midnight sky, where pinpricks of stars poke through the atmosphere. The air is heavy with the smell of rain mixed with city grime. The towel falls into my hands.

A second after my fingers touch the cloth, and May begins her climb, I feel something strange- in the air, in the dull rattle of the fire escape, in myself as the uneasiness I’d felt earlier tenses. May freezes, her upper body leaning out the window. 

A droplet of water hits my foot, running down to my toes. Lightning illuminates the darkened buildings around us, and a booming thunder shakes the world. 

“Amelia!” May’s voice is barely audible. The rickety floor I stand on shudders.

Torrents of rain splash from the sky, loud and stinging. The whistle of wind becomes a hiss, becomes a roar, becomes a scream. I grip the railing of the fire escape, the towel flapping away in the gale. In seconds, my clothes are drenched. My hair whips about my face. 

“HELP!” I stumble and scream. Sheets of water crash onto my body, relentless and cold. I stumble. My bare feet skid and my ears ring.

A gust slams me to the ground. I gulp air, rainwater trickling down my windpipe, choking me. I cough and gag, groping for the railing, trying to stand. Trying to survive. Trying to teleport, but I can’t think, can’t focus on the location. It’s too loud. Too afraid. 

Somewhere above me, May is shouting my name. I can hear my dad too, his voice cracking as he tries to be louder than the storm. I have to get to him… 

But I can’t. It’s all I can do to stay flat on the ground, but the wind finds me. Lifts me. I’m trapped in a whirl of rain and sound, with no floor beneath my feet. I can’t fight it anymore… 

And then it stops. 

The wind drops me harshly to the fire escape, thrown onto the cold metal. May drops down beside me, my father not far behind. “Amelia? Amelia, are you okay? Are you hurt?”

I don’t answer her, because I’m distracted by something else. Someone else. 

A boy stands there, his back to us, his breaths as shaky as mine. Like he’s also recovering from the storm. 

Dad helps me to my feet, wrapping me in his arms. “Oh, honey,” he whispers.

I pull away, my legs wobbling beneath me. I support myself by holding onto the railing. The boy turns toward us.

His gray eyes are wide and dark. His hair is buzzed close to his head. He wears what looks like a uniform- a gray, plain shirt and matching pants. His feet are bare. He shivers, staring at me, looking like a young ghost. “Amelia Murphy?” he asks. 

I shiver too, not only because of the cold that chills over my drenched clothes, but because of the fear in his face. 

His gaze drifts to May. “And… May Jackson.” And over to my father. “Mack Murphy.” The boy bites his lip, his eyes darting between each of us. “I came to warn you. Of what’s happening now.”

Dad puts a hand on my shoulder, squeezing tightly. “Warn us of what?”

“I-” He hesitates. He levels his gaze above me, to Dad. “It’s him. It’s Leos.”

I crane my neck to see Dad’s face. He looks stunned, though it's hard to tell in the dark.

“How?”

“I’m not completely sure. It all happened kinda fast-”

“How many has he got?”

“Three so far, including me. But I got away. With the, um, storm.” 

"Excuse me, what? How did you get up here?" May asks, glaring at him. "You just... rode the wind?"

To my shock, he nods. “I can, um...”

"You... control the weather." May and Dad blink at me, but the boy nods. A smile appears on his pale face, quickly fading to a grimace. “Can we go now?” 

“Go where? Why?” My head is buzzing.

“Oh. Um…” he stammers, looking sheepish. “I’m… I’m probably being followed. We should go. Now.”

September 10, 2020 16:33

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103 comments

B. W.
12:49 Sep 16, 2020

Katey :D i'm getting a bit excited now, you said the thing would be out today right?

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Kate Ulrich
15:44 Sep 16, 2020

Today or tomorrow, but I promise I'm almost done!! Sorry it's taken so long.

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B. W.
15:46 Sep 16, 2020

It's alright i understand that it'll take a while im just excited and worried that it might be done when its to late or something, i also have some bad news, someone has started to down-vote me a bit and i don't know why, have you been down-voted, just asking so i could maybe up-vote you just in case

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Kate Ulrich
15:51 Sep 16, 2020

I don't think so... I don't keep much track of my points so I always forget how much I have. I'm sorry you're getting downvoted. Why is that even an option?

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B. W.
15:52 Sep 16, 2020

I dunno but i kinda hate it. Okay so you know the thing with my novel? i may be doing some romance in it so i was wondering if you could help with that because i'm bad at romance

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Kate Ulrich
16:01 Sep 16, 2020

Cool! I don't write a lot of romance, but I've read lots. So your characters are going to be kids, right? So probably they'll be kind of nervous and blushing when they realize they like each other. Maybe they'll start as friends, and the friendship will grow stronger as time goes on, eventually forming something else. Tell me if you need anything else.

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B. W.
23:23 Sep 16, 2020

sooo what did you think of the ideas? were they good?

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Kate Ulrich
14:51 Sep 17, 2020

Those all sound good. You have a lot of great ideas for this series. :)

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B. W.
15:12 Sep 17, 2020

Thanks ^^ is there maybe one of those that ya like the most and we should try for one of the parts?

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Kate Ulrich
15:58 Sep 17, 2020

I liked the parents idea. Maybe the parents will all be waiting at the camp when they arrive, acting like they're there to congratulate my characters on making it there, but that's not actually why. And the kids are suspicious, especially because it's not just my characters' parents. In reality, they're there for like a parent meeting because of the Cyclops breaching the camp's protective gates and some anonymous threats. I still think Hercules would be a good villain, but we won't find that out in the next story because he'll be meeting Meg...

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B. W.
20:01 Sep 15, 2020

i think imma start another Thread, i think that one was starting to get smaller again. But anyway, i think you should check out "Universe" that i made a bit earlier that's kind of like a preview for the novel though its only chapter 1 and a bit of chapter 2, i hope ya like it though ^^

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Kate Ulrich
22:12 Sep 15, 2020

Okay!

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Evelyn ⭐️
20:50 Sep 12, 2020

Hi Kate! I loved this story and I think you did a very good job incorporating the prompt into your story. The detail was nice and overall I thought you did a very good job! I look forward to reading more of your stories. I love your profile picture by the way! If you have time could you check out some of my stories? No pressure, just looking for some feedback!

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Kate Ulrich
01:11 Sep 13, 2020

Thanks Evelyn! I did just check out your latest story, and it was so fun. I liked Joe's character(also happy birthday to the real Joe) because he was relatable. My favorite part was the last sentence, because even if you don't make a sequel(which I hope you do) it was a pretty memorable way to end a story. Also, I like your profile pic too!

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Evelyn ⭐️
14:35 Sep 13, 2020

Thank you so much for reading!!

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Kate Ulrich
17:24 Sep 13, 2020

:D

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B. W.
03:10 Sep 12, 2020

I'mma start a new thread here because that other one was getting to long i still wanna talk for tonight cuz no ones ever really here at night besides me. So if either of your three characters died is there like a specific way you would want them to go out? just kind of random questions

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Kate Ulrich
03:23 Sep 12, 2020

Aella would go out in a battle, but she would keep fighting until she couldn't anymore. As in, bleeding out, her legs not even supporting her anymore, if the villain gets close she will calculate the exact amount of force needed to kick him/her away, her hand is on her dagger, waiting for the right moment to stab. Her last words would be something like 'Keep fighting. Don't stop for me.' And she would absolutely NOT cry. It's not in her personality to be sappy like that. She'd want her friends and comrades to remember her as being strong. Bl...

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B. W.
03:30 Sep 12, 2020

Yeah thats alright i understand ^^ You probably won't know but how would Lia, Harmony, Arren and Zio all die? Harmony dying from the building doesn't count because she still came back, these deaths would be the ones where they are dead forever, Zio didn't really die he's kinda just staying in the underworld and he still came back probably for the spin off cuz im still not sure if hes out freely or if hes only there for a bit of each year like you said. you got descriptive with Meg's and the others lets see what ya can come up with for these...

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Kate Ulrich
15:14 Sep 12, 2020

That's probably true about the nightmare part. I'm really not sure about how they would all die. It's one thing to read about them, but it's another to invent them and know all the things about them that aren't even included in the story. I guess Zio would be really calm about it, given how easily he agreed to go to the Underworld. Harmony I think would be freaked out, but she'd take some deep breaths(unless she's, like, suffocating) and be calm enough if her friends were there. Lia, though, I don't really know. And if all your characters al...

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B. W.
15:26 Sep 12, 2020

Oh boy that's all still really sad. well i could sorta try to think of the ways my characters died and how they'd be sorta reacting i guess, ya wanna know? though itll probably be bad and not as good as you said for your ones. though i'm still gonna at least try with them and i'm not saying that any of them are actually gonna die (besides Zio i guess who's already dead-) these would probably be the ways i wanted them to if i ever decided on killing them off at some point or if i wanted to do something with a nightmare.

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Kate Ulrich
15:44 Sep 12, 2020

What have you thought of for their deaths? (Okay, that sounded very very dark)

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B. W.
13:41 Sep 11, 2020

Oh gosh the new prompts will be out soon and i still feel nervous, do you think the prompts will be good??

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Kate Ulrich
14:32 Sep 11, 2020

I hope so! Even if they aren't good for the crossover and/or other stories, though, remember there's always next week.

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Kate Ulrich
14:33 Sep 11, 2020

They're out now! :)

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B. W.
14:35 Sep 11, 2020

eh the ideas are decent, i'll try to make em

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Kate Ulrich
14:41 Sep 11, 2020

You got this 👍

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B. W.
15:39 Sep 11, 2020

:D check it out "Crossover"

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. .
02:17 Sep 11, 2020

Wow! I'm so glad I found this. It was really detailed and creative but not too over the top like flying burgers or anything. Actually, I wouldn't mind that- The characters were obviously really thought out and all in all, it was really, really good!

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Kate Ulrich
12:00 Sep 11, 2020

Thank you! :)

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Avery G.
16:57 Sep 10, 2020

Wow, this was good! It was super detailed and creative! The characters were also really interesting! I loved it! Great job!

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Kate Ulrich
00:02 Sep 12, 2020

Thank you! :)

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Avery G.
00:06 Sep 12, 2020

You're welcome!

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B. W.
16:43 Sep 10, 2020

:D i'm so glad you made it! i still liked the names i know the names are sort of normal ones but i still like them ^^ question though i think i might have forgotten but how old are the three characters? i'm not sure if i remember something about the ages in part 1 or part 2 either. I don't think it's really important but still wondering. Like your other stories on here this one was great as well and i don't think there was anything wrong with it :) so can you guess what i'm gonna give ya now katey? a 10/10 ^^ (i kinda decided to give ya a ...

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Kate Ulrich
16:54 Sep 10, 2020

Thank you! You had a good idea for the new character's power; thank you for letting me use it. I'd say the characters are around twelve now, it's been a few months since the last one. I'm also glad you like the names (and I like the nickname). :)

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B. W.
17:04 Sep 10, 2020

No problem ^^ do ya think your maybe gonna add another character in part 4 or no? i can still help with them as well if ya want. and thanks, i've never really given a friend a nickname so i'm glad you liked it :)

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Kate Ulrich
17:08 Sep 10, 2020

I'm not sure if I'll be adding another character in 4, only because I want to focus more on the new character. He only appeared at the end of the story so I want to give him more attention. But for part 5 I'd definitely like some ideas!

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B. W.
17:15 Sep 10, 2020

wait question- i know you read them obviously but am i giving a lot of attention to Arren in the demi-god series?? he was introduced in part 2 i think but i'm not sure if ive done a lot of things with him. should i maybe try to do some more stuff with him in the spin off and crossover? i know i said in the crossover they'd have to save him but that would be towards the end of part 1 when they hear him, should i add him a bit more?

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Kate Ulrich
21:39 Sep 10, 2020

I don't know... I feel like in a few of the stories he was more of a minor character, but minor characters are important too. I like him, and wouldn't mind seeing him more, but of course it's your call.

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