Lights Out, a short story

Awhile back (maybe a couple years) I started writing something just for fun. It was called, “Adventures of the Life I Wish I Led.” It was meant to be a novel in the voice of a memoir… about all the adventures I take in my head. Maybe I was just overwhelmed at the idea of capturing those mind adventures in words or maybe I was intimidated at the really good idea I thought it was and so got a bit discouraged in the outworking of it all. Well, I have a new idea.

It’s called: true stories. We’ll see how it goes. This idea started out as a Christmas present to my parents, well, my mom really. She loves (or at least I tell myself she does) to read my writing and so I thought I could write some real-life tales in the form of children’s short stories. I only got as far as three stories, with promises of more. Here is the first.


Winter had settled in to the tired country home, steeped on all corners with fluffy white. Five child-size flurries ran circles inside while their parents struggled to keep up with the winter games. The frigid cold snuck in under doorways and through weak windows to whisper on the necks of the great family in the season of Christmas.

The great family watched one day as the snow and ice piled high outside the windows. The child-size flurries had spent the day building igloos and angels and ramps for sleds, but were finally content to sit around the great family’s wooden table and sip fresh hot cocoa from the stirred pot on the stove. Long before dinner was a thought in Mother’s mind, darkness fell like a blanket on the country home in the valley.

Five pairs of rosy cheeks and tired eyes began to plead for promises of “dinner soon.” But, before Mom could respond, winter’s darkness burst through the front door and consumed the country home. With masterful grace, Mother swooped all the child-size flurries under her tender Mother wings while lighting candles to push the cold darkness back out to winter.

The great family – Mother and Father and all the child-size flurries – excitedly spread the living room with candles and cards and popcorn on top of a bedsheet. And the dark night filled with the sounds of laughter and love until the last flurry was packed into the pullout couch and tucked in tightly to ward of winter’s chill.

I will never, ever, ever forget my mom’s red, bursting face as she read the line, “with masterful grace…” She could not keep the giggles behind a straight, storyteller’s face (of which she had to this point, done a very fine job). It probably took a good minute for her to recover and sputter something about, “masterful grace? more like, desperate panic!”

Oh, mom.

One thought on “Lights Out, a short story

  1. I do love your writing, Caroline. I love how you make our chaotic life sound like “Little House on the Prairie.” And if that’s the way you remember it, then praise GOD for His gift of selective memory!
    PS Did anyone else wonder how the hungry tummies of the little flurries were somehow satisfied with card, candles, and magic popcorn that appeared without the benefit of electricity? (love you!)

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