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When It Rains, It Pours
A flash of lightning illuminates the sky as I stare out my rain covered window. The storm started an hour ago, and the thick gray clouds blocking the sun aren’t making any promises to stop anytime soon. One Mississippi... Two Mississippi... Three Mississippi... A deep roar of thunder echoes through the empty house as I pull my blankets tighter around my shoulders. If only someone was here with me. Not in the same room, just close enough to reassure me that I am not as alone as I feel. At least it is not silent tonight. The heavy raindrops beating against the roof and gutters gives me a small sense of company.
The bright green numbers on my clock read 2:43. I know I should be trying to sleep, but the thoughts of my day are racing around my head. Who can sleep when Heaven in throwing a fit like this anyway? I’m good without sleep though. I have pulled plenty of all-nighters before, even on school nights. Worst case scenario, I’ll sleep during my free period at school. That way, if my parents are back from their business trip tomorrow night, they won’t ask me why I didn’t sleep. They would probably assume that it was because they weren’t home and I was too scared.
Another roll of thunder bursts through the night. This time, a sharp crackling sound that splits the sky into a million pieces. Okay, maybe I am a little scared. I remember when I was little, if it was storming, I would take my blankets and go into my parents’ room. They would wake up in the morning and find me under their bed. Too bad I can’t do that now. The power going out suddenly wakes me from my childhood memory. There is no light from my clock and no light outside. I am alone in the dark.
Or at least that is what I thought. Among the patter of the rain against the window, I swear I can hear laughing. I would try to convince myself it is all in my head from my lack of sleep, nut it is growing increasingly louder every second. I get up and run to my window, peeking out of the blinds, wondering why someone would be out in this storm at two in the morning. At the end of my driveway, a small figure stands with their back towards me. The rain slows for a split second, allowing me to see that the small figure is a little girl.
She is standing directly in the downpour but she looks completely dry. Her long white dress stands out against the dark night. Before I can think rationally, I run to the front door. I step out into the pouring rain, the ground covered with a half inch of water.
“Hey!” I scream against the thunder. “What are you doing out here?” She makes no attempt to move or look at me. I am a short distance from her when my bare feet slip on the slick driveway. The wind is knocked out of me as I hit the ground. My head takes the biggest impact on the pavement. My vision begins to fade and I am gasping for air as I feel myself slipping into unconsciousness. Before I black out completely, I can barely make out the small, mysterious girl standing above me.
I open my eyes, blinking against the rain still dripping on my face. My head is pounding and this dizziness takes on the motion of rocking. My eyes finally focus and I begin to look around, but all I can see is wood. I sit up quickly, confused, scared, and wondering where I am. Balancing against a nearby barrel, I stumble to my feet. I look out, over the wooden wall to my left. As far as I can see, there are giant gray waves, repeatedly crashing against whatever I am standing on. After a few minutes of disbelief, I finally bring myself to comprehend that I am on a ship.
This ship is quite large, but empty from what I can see. The clouds are dark, limiting what I can actually see right now. Each strike of lightning highlights the masts and flags that stand 20 feet above my head. A black flag comes into view as I squint to see the picture printed on it. My stomach drops as the flag turns, revealing a white skull and crossbones. A pirate ship? No, this cannot be real. There are no such things as pirates. As the thought comes into my mind, footsteps begin coming from a door a few feet away, probably leading to the captain’s cabin. I dart behind the barrels, curling up in a ball, afraid of what might be coming.
The small wooden door clicks open and the footsteps continue onto the main deck. One…Two…Three… I count every time someone steps onto a creaky floorboard. Ten. There is no way that I can stay hidden from ten pirates forever. Against my good judgment, I peek around the side of the barrel. A blonde-haired man, I assume to be the captain, stands at the wheel. His clothes are ripped and worn, while a scar cascades down the side of his face. His intimidating stature becomes even more so when I spot the peg leg occupying the place where his right calf and foot should be. He turns his head in my direction, and before I can hide, his pure white eyes lock with mine.
My whole body is filled with fear and my chest tightens up as his footsteps creep closer to me. Please don’t let him hurt me, please, please, is all I can pray. His shadow towers over me as he grabs my arm and pulls me out of safety.
“What are you doing on my ship?!” he yells with an English accent, with his face just inches from mine. His eyes are like bottomless pits of secrets and betrayal piercing my soul. His claw-like nails begin to dig into my arm, but I can bring no words to pass my lips.
His crew mates gather around, each with their own different and strange appearances. Some equipped with eye patches and hooks, others with teeth like daggers and muscles that could knock you to the floor with just one touch. But all of them had one thing in common; those same blank, penetrating eyes. I try to find my voice but a stutter is all I can manage.
“I…I…” His grip tightens more as his tone turns deadly.
“I will ask you one more time” his smooth yet menacing voice threatens. “What are you doing on my ship? A flash of lightning zips through the clouds. I jump, already on edge, making the crew laugh.
“Aw the girly is scared” mocks a younger man with a crooked smile. The captain looks at me with a curious expression. He has an idea. I wish so much that this was a dream so I would not have to find out what it is. He releases my arm that is now numb from his grip. I watch his every move as his hand reaches for the sword at his hip. In one swift motion, it is merely an inch from my chin. Being this close to danger helps me choke out a sentence.
“Alright! I’ll talk!” Each word shakes like my hands at my sides. “I don’t know how I got here. All I know is that I want to go home.” I am close to tears.
The crew erupts with laughter as I try to control my sobbing. The captain holds his sword in the air and everyone turns silent.
“You want to go home? Ha! How do you think we feel? We are stuck here for all eternity and you think you can just tap your heels three times and wake up in your house?” His face turns cold with no expression. My heart has been beating out of my chest, but not I feel as if it would stop completely. “Either you join our crew or you walk the plank, darling. There is no other option.”
Anger rises in my instantly. There is no way I will just give up. There has got to be another way besides giving my life to piracy or just giving my life completely. I stare into his eyes, my eyebrows drawn together, and my face nonetheless showing my decision.
“Suit yourself.” He catches me with my arms behind my back, and pushes me towards a piece of wood sticking out from the wall, hanging over the water. My feet are on the edge, his sword nearly touching my back, ready to make me jump. I turn around, willing to face my enemy in my final moments.
I am close to hysterics when something behind the crew, near the quarterdeck, catches my eye. The mysterious little girl is watching this entire thing take place. Her white dress stands out even more against the ocean, as do her eyes that are the same as the pirates. She whispers something that I shouldn’t be able to hear, but it reaches my ears clearly anyways. Everyone else stands, completely oblivious to her presence.
“Jump,” and for some reason, I trust her.
The sound of tires pulling in the driveway jolts me awake. I am not engulfed in the giant, gray waves, but rather by my blankets. My heart is racing as I jump up and run to my front door. This time, there is no little girl, only my rain-soaked parents who look at me with questioning and I-told-you-so faces.
“We said you wouldn’t be able to sleep Haley. You look like you just saw a ghost. Go get in bed, its only 2:45.” I can’t help but wonder if it really was all a dream. I look out my window, with my eyes getting heavy, at the pure white moon staring at my through the clouds.