A storm is coming

silhouette-of-trees-and-lightning-in-dark-sky-during-thunderstorm

Photo via Visualhunt

Esther stood on the front porch, watching the storm as it rolled in. The sun had already gone down and there was only a sliver of the once peaceful summer day visible on the horizon.

“Essie, you should come inside.” The querulous notes of her aging mother’s voice irritated her.

“Mother, I’ve told you not to call me Essie. That was cute when I was five, but I’m thirty seven. Use my given name. And I don’t see the reason I should come in. The storm hasn’t even started yet.”

“Don’t argue with me. You may think you’re all grown up, but you’re still my child and I’ll turn you over my knee if you don’t listen,” her mother said.

Esther snorted. Christine Phillips hadn’t been able to do that in more than twenty five years, once Esther’s height had started catching up to her father rather than her petite mother. Esther’s mother had hated the fact that Esther wasn’t the delicately shaped doll that she wanted.

Esther’s father sighed. Samuel Phillips was a respectable old country doctor who’d long since retired. He was in the rocking chair next to Esther on the porch. “You should listen to her, Esther. Respect your mother, even if she is a screeching harpy.”

“She never let me watch storms out here when I was a kid. I’m not missing this one,” Esther said stubbornly.

“The day a woman doesn’t listen to her mother means the world is ending,” Christine said, her voice going up an octave.

“Mother, I haven’t listened to you in years. The world hasn’t ended yet,” Esther called. Samuel shook his head and puffed on his pipe.

“Sam, don’t you be smoking that nasty stuff with a young lady next to you,” Christine snapped from just inside the door. Samuel dutifully put out the pipe. “Esther Leigh Phillips, you get in this house right now.”

“I’m watching the storm, Mother,” Esther said.

There was a crack of thunder and lightning split the sky. Rain started pouring as if someone had burst a dam. The porch was wet in seconds. Samuel got up quickly and he and Esther hurried inside, both of them drenched.

“I told you this was a bad idea. Look at you. Covered in blood,” Christine said. “Now you’re getting it all over my nice, clean carpet. What is wrong with you two?”

Esther and Samuel looked at each other in confusion, turning to horror when they each took in what they saw. Blood dripped down their faces and their hair, soaked into their clothing, leaving dark red rivulets on the ground behind them.

“What the hell?” Samuel asked.

“The world comes to an end when a daughter doesn’t listen to her mother,” Christine said.

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