Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Trifecta Writing Challenge: "To Tell The Truth"

The Trifecta Writing Challenge is going with "thunder" this week. I call this "To Tell The Truth".

We had walked, and sang, and ran, and played outside, and read books, and ate. It was the time of the day where we slow down, not yet ready for bed, but definitely heading that way. You make an effort to say everything slowly and calmly, dimming the lights, sending gentle, subtle signals that it is time to go to sleep. Mommy and Daddy are due home long after bed, and while my nephew seems to have a certain understanding of the events, he still looked around now and then like he wasn't entirely sure.

"What's that sound?," he said. A hot day had evolved into a summer storm, one that couldn't help but be a little frightening. We heard a sharp bang, followed by a slow, rolling rumble and a gust of wind, splattering rain against the window.

"Thunder," I said.

"What's that?" He was at the "what's that" stage- a million questions, one following another, an endless sequence of queries. I gave brief thanks that my own child was long past this phase.

"Just a noise, buddy." I pictured the violent, hot strike of the lightning bolt, shoving the air aside, causing the waves that we processed as sound. It was just a noise, I knew, but it still spoke to one's lizard brain, telling you that you were in danger.

"Scary," he said.

"Yeah, it is," I said. I tried not to lie to him. "But we're OK."

"Are Mommy and Daddy coming home?" His head was resting on my thigh as he stared intently at the TV. I could smell the sweat from our last bout of roughhousing. On the screen, animated Batman was battling cartoon evil. The noise continued to thunder away at the windows.

"Yes, they are, buddy. You'll see them in the morning. Don't worry. They are safe. We are safe. Everything is okay."

I hoped that wasn't a lie, either.


  1. Very nice - I love the images. I love the scents and sounds and most especially the covering up of fear to reassure another.

  2. That's a lovely homey scene, and you did a great job of conveying the little things we cover in ourselves to protect children. I like thunderstorms myself, but even I found it reassuring.

  3. You captured a sweet moment between the two characters. A little fear, but that reassurance in the end was perfect.

  4. I like the interaction between the characters. The uncertainty in the last line was foreboding. I hope they make it throught the storm, too!

  5. I love the observation about saying things slowly & calmly as we wind down to bedtime. So many other subtle truths about homey rituals in here as well. I really enjoyed reading this!

  6. I'm so careful when I say something to a child to make sure it is a cleverly calculated truth... I hope this one is too! :-)

  7. I think you might have to complete this one for us...we all need to know what happened to them. Nice write, Michael, and thanks for linking up.

  8. I liked the gentle pace to this and the contrast with the ominous storm outside. :)


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