Disclaimer: I own nada. Sadly. ;)
Thunder rumbled in the sky high above a peaceful neighborhood. Brilliant displays of lightning filled the sky. Rain poured down, soaking the suburb. All inhabitants were inside, warm and dry. All, that is, except a teenage boy and a little girl.
"Sarah McGee! Get back inside right now. Sarah, I mean it!" Timothy McGee put on his best big-brother voice.
The dark haired girl ignored him. She stood in the middle of the yard, wind whipping at her long tresses, hands outstretched to feel the rain. She giggled—a little girl's laugh, nearly drowned out by the loud roar of thunder.
Timmy was beginning to get nervous. His feet were cold; the water was already lapping over the paving stone he was standing on. Goosebumps stood up on his skin. Despite his eight years seniority to her, his little sister was the more adventurous one of the two. She loved storms. She neither minded getting soaked to the bone in the rain, nor the sound of thunder above their heads. Timothy, on the other hand, hated storms. He did not like them from the safety of his room, much less standing outside in them. Why, oh why, did his parents have to pick tonight to go out and leave him to babysit? He would have to go and get her. With a sigh, he left the path and sloshed across the yard.
The atmosphere tingled with electricity seconds before a bolt of lightning split a nearby tree. The earth shook beneath Timothy's feet, as the tree toppled with a loud crack, dangerously close to the tiny girl. Sarah screamed. Tim felt his heart rate begin to quicken. He started to run.
"Are you ok?"
The five-year-old whimpered. Her leg was bleeding. A branch from the falling tree had scratched her on its descent. Her face turned a shade paler.
"I'm bleeding, Timmy..." Her eyes widened in panic. "I'm bleeding!"
"It's ok, Sarah. I can fix that. C'mon, let's get inside."
He picked her up. Sarah sniffed and buried her head in his shoulder.
Fighting against the wind and rain, Timmy made his way across the yard to the safety of their house. Once inside, he carried Sarah to the bathroom and set her down on sink. He grabbed a washcloth and ran it under cool water. He wrapped the washcloth around her leg, applying gentle pressure to stop the bleeding.
"Anywhere else hurt besides your leg, Sarah?" He eyed his baby sister critically. She shook her head, a few tears slipping down her cheeks.
"Just my leg."
Timmy washed the cut and the applied a band-aid.
"See? All better!"
Sarah happily flung her arms around her older brother.
"I think you should be a doctor, Timmy! You fix it up all better!"
Tim laughed. "Fixed, Sarah, not fix. You used the wrong tense..."
Sarah rolled her eyes. With a particularly loud crash of thunder and blinding flash of lightning, the room went dark. Sarah screamed again.
"It's ok, Sarah. The power went out. I can fix that, too. Here." He picked up his sister again and made his way carefully out of the bathroom.
"Ouch!" Tim winced as he stubbed his toe into wall. Sarah giggled.
"All right, wise girl, how 'bout you navigate in the dark? Here we go. We're in the kitchen. Can you sit here for a minute?"
Sarah shook her head and tightened her arms around her big brother's neck.
"The dark's scary, Timmy."
"There's nothing there, Sarah." Nevertheless, he held onto his sister and used his free hand to rummage in the cupboards.
Sarah ooh-ed and ahh-ed as Tim lit a candle.
"It's so pretty!"
"Yes and it also very hot. Don't touch."
Tim turned his back on his sister to light another candle. As he did so, he dropped the matches. With a grumble, he bet over to pick them up. As he straightened up, he caught the reflection of a flame and heard a squeal of glee from Sarah.
"Sarah?" He turned around quickly and his heart caught in his throat. Sarah had found a pencil on the table and stuck it in the candle flame. She was now holding it just above the candle with a look of pure rapture. Tim raced across the room, snatched the pencil from her hand, and blew frantically at the flame. It flickered away from him, then died. He heaved a sigh of relief. Sarah heaved a tiny sigh of disappointment.
"No more playing with the candles. Let's go find a book, ok?"
Where was a flashlight when he needed one? If his parents came home and found Sarah playing with fire, he was dead. Sarah clapped her hands with glee.
"Will you do all the voices?"
Alice McGee quietly let herself in the front door of her home. Her husband followed quietly behind her. She stopped suddenly when she saw her children. A smile lit her lips as she looked at the sweet scene. Sarah McGee was snuggled up against her older brother, sound asleep. One hand clutched at her favorite blankie and the other rested up against her mouth as she sucked her thumb. Next to her sat Timothy, also sound asleep, one arm wrapped protectively around his little sister, the other resting on a tattered children's copy of Around the World in Eighty Days. Sarah's favorite. She nudged her husband.
"Get the camera, honey. Moments like these only last so long. Pictures are forever."
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