Charlie’s Room: Approaching Storm

Isaac was in the kitchen making sandwiches. He paused to debate whether he wanted to slice the tomatoes into thin or thick slices. It was difficult to decide. He sliced thin circle off the end of the tomato and popped it into his mouth. Mmmmm. Tomatoes from the garden. Thick slices would be best for savoring the tomato flavor.

He reached for the kitchen knife and he felt a prickle rush across his scalp, starting from the back of his neck. He reached up and felt his hair moving subtly on his own without a breeze. Oh.

The prickly feeling spread to his nose, like a sneeze that wouldn’t sneeze. From the corner of his eyes, he could see the shadows move. He ran his fingers through his hair and rubbed his nose with the back of his hand. Then he washed his hands and finished slicing the tomato.

He assembled the sandwiches and placed them on plates. He sliced cucumbers and added them to the plates. What else? He took some apples from the fruit bowl and sliced them, adding the slices to the plates.

He twitched his nose. The upcoming storm must be a big one. After cleaning up, he put on a jacket and headed outside.

Marianne and Charlie were out in the garden. Charlie was weeding the strawberry patch, and Marianne was planting more lettuce. Isaac hurried across the lawn to join them.

“You won’t need to water the garden today,” he said as he approached. “There’s a storm coming.”

Charlie looked up and smiled. “I guessed that from the dark clouds.”

Isaac looked around. It was a little darker than normal for this time of day. He looked up. The dark gray clouds looked threateningly close.

“The weather report said it should last the rest of the day,” Marianne added. “That’s why we’re rushing to get done before lunch.”

Isaac rubbed his hand through his hair. “The weather report?”

“I check it every morning,” Marianne said. “It helps me plan my day.”

Isaac didn’t usually think about the weather, unless it was causing him problems. He looked up at the sky and his nose twitched. “Are you almost done? I think the storm will start soon.”

Marianne stood up and brushed her hands off on her apron. “I’m done. I just need to put my tools away. Charlie?”

Charlie stood up with a sigh. “I can be done whenever you are. There will always be more weeds to pull. I already pulled the biggest ones.”

As they put away the tools, the rain started. It was just a few drops at first, and then more. The rushed inside and closed the door. Less than a minute later, it was pouring.

Inside the house, it was dark, much darker than it had been just moments ago. Isaac turned on the lights. He smiled. With the start of the storm, the prickling feeling and moving shadows had stopped.

“This is the part of storms I like,” Marianne said, looking out the window.

“The garden getting watered for free with no extra effort for us?” Charlie asked.

She chuckled and shook her head. “That’s nice too, but I love being warm and safe inside when it’s raining outside.”

“Especially when you can hear the rain on the roof.” Isaac handed Marianne and Charlie their plates.

“And you can see the raindrops running down the windows.” Marianne took her plate with a smile.

Charlie turned out the lights. “It’s easier to see the rain outside with the lights out,” he said. “Can we eat lunch in the living room and watch the rain?”

“If we eat at the table in there and watch out for crumbs,” Marianne said.

They sat in the dark in the living room and watched the rain run down the windows. The rain drummed on the roof and made shushing sounds outside as it blew through the leaves of the trees in the yard.

“This is nice, but now I feel sleepy,” Marianne said.

“Me too.” Charlie yawned.

“There’s no reason we can’t take a nap now.” Marianne yawned too.

“You go ahead. I’ll get the plates,” Isaac said.

Marianne and Charlie left to take naps, lulled to sleep by the sounds of the storm. Isaac took the plates to the sink, and then returned to the living room to watch the rain through the window. He loved storms after they finally got started. Maybe he needed to start checking the weather report, too.