The Basement

“Yes, sweetie, the power is out. Tony, Spongebob will be back just as soon as the storm’s over,” said Tessa, struggling to keep wiggly Carly still and find Tony on the couch at the same time.

“Are you sure?” came the boy’s small voice from the other end of the couch. Tessa turned her eyes to him and pulled him up onto her unoccupied hip.

“Yes, I’m sure. Rachel, can you be Mommy’s big girl and open the basement door? I’m going to find some flashlights.”

Five minutes later, after a tussle with the tool drawer and a near-tumble down the basement stairs, Tessa and the kids were ensconced in the clammy basement with the sound of the wind picking up all around them. In the beams of the two flashlights Tessa had found, Tony’s face glowed wet with tears. Even stolid Rachel was looking nervous. She had her arms wrapped around her knees and was rocking back and forth. Only Carly, drowsing in Tessa’s arms, was calm.

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