When the Lights Go Out

 by Max Elliot Anderson –

To the memory of 9/11,
and the people who lost their lives that day,
so we never forget.

Chapter 1

The one thing that Peyton Aldrich hated most, besides being home alone, was being home alone during a thunderstorm. And this was one of those nights. He’d watched the night sky for the past twenty minutes, or so, and it was clear that this storm was headed right for his house. It had gotten so dark out that he turned on every light in his room. He made sure the three-way lights were all turned on high, and he cranked his radio up loud so he could listen for any weather bulletins.

Then, from out of nowhere, a nuclear sized lightning blast lit up the entire sky around the military base where he lived. It went off like a giant camera flash, followed by total darkness.

“Great,” Peyton sighed. “The power’s out, and me here all by myself.” He inched himself out of his room and began to feel his way down the hall. That was when he was sure he heard someone rummaging around in the kitchen. His heart began pounding almost as loud as the thunder that shook his small house.

My parents are both gone, he thought. Now what am I supposed to do? Still, he continued down the hallway. Each new flash of lightning gave off enough light for him to see his next few steps. Finally, he stopped at the edge of the doorway into the kitchen. Another burst of light revealed a broom leaning against the wall. His trembling hand reached out for it as the stranger in the kitchen dropped something to the floor. That sound nearly caused him to drop the broom, but he managed to grab it again, with both hands this time. He raised it up, placed it in front of him like a weapon, and positioned himself to turn the corner.

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