Thunder crashed loudly and the
streaks of bright white lightning were the only
illumination to brighten up the bedroom. Two teenage
boys sat on their brother's bed next to the window
watching the lightning dance across the night sky.
Another crash of thunder rattled the window pane, but
the two boys had been expecting it. The thunderstorm had
begun half an hour ago and the two boys had been
watching the storm in fascination since then. They had
been counting the seconds between each thunder crash.
Their count, however, was interrupted by the sound of a
child crying. The eldest boy narrowed his eyes in
annoyance at the closed door.
"I wish he'd stop crying," he
muttered. "If Grandma walks passed our room again she's
going to catch us out of bed."
His blonde-haired brother sighed and
shook his head. "It's Alan's first thunderstorm, Scott,"
he responded, in a quiet voice. "Of course he's going to
"He's not frightened," protested
Scott. "He's attention seeking. He's clicked on that if
he makes enough racket, Grandma or Father will go
running to him."
John grinned at his older brother's
scowl before carefully getting off the bed and standing
up. The occupant of the bed still slept on his side with
his back to the wall and window, oblivious to the storm
and his two brothers practically kneeling on him to look
"I'll go and get him so that he won't
wake up anyone else," offered John, before leaving the
John padded quietly down the hallway
and entered his younger brother's bedroom. He squinted
in the soft glow of the nightlight on the bedside table.
Approaching the cot, he looked down at the red-faced
eighteen-month-old baby who was screaming his little
lungs out. John winced at the sound before reaching into
the cot and picking his brother up.
"Hey, hey, shush," murmured John,
rocking Alan in his arms. "You want Scott to come in
here and gaffa tape your mouth shut?"
Alan's crying quickly toned down to
John grinned in surprise. "Didn't
He turned to leave and almost dropped
his baby brother in shock. Two saucer-shaped eyes were
watching him from a huddled heap of covers on Gordon's
bed. A flash of lightning caused the two eyes to jump in
fright and John heard the blankets whimper.
"Hey, kid," greeted John, gently.
"You okay in there?"
A mop of ginger hair nodded
hesitantly before quickly shaking from side to side.
John shifted Alan into a more comfortable position in
his arms. He reached a hand out to Gordon.
"Want to come and sit with me and
Scott for awhile?" he asked him. "Wait out the storm?"
Gordon nodded and practically flew
out of his bed to hold John's hand. John stifled a
chuckle. Grabbing Alan's blanket and bottle, John and
his two little brothers left the room and went back to
his own room.
Scott looked around as John returned,
closing the door behind him. He smiled at the sight of
his two younger bothers; both their eyes wide with
"Okay, Gordon," Scott smiled at the
toddler. "You can sleep in here tonight. Whose bed do
Gordon's eyes lit up in excitement
and relief. He pulled out of John's grip and ran to
Virgil's bedside. "I wanna stay with Virgil."
"Like I couldn't guess," responded
Scott, rolling his eyes. From a very early age, Gordon
had come to the conclusion that if Virgil could sleep
through anything, then nothing bad could scare Gordon.
Scary monsters under the bed, bad nightmares and
thunderstorms never bothered Virgil, so young Gordon
decided that it wouldn't bother him either. But that
theory only worked when Gordon was allowed to stay with
Virgil. "Well, I'm sure Sleeping Beauty won't mind. Up
Scott helped Gordon onto the bed.
There was plenty of space as Virgil had not moved from
his original sleeping position. John settled down on the
end of the bed, careful not to sit on Virgil's feet. He
sat with his back to the window and cradled Alan in his
arms. Alan's crying had now subsided and he was now
contented to play with the collar of John's pajama top.
"Come on, Gordon, look outside,"
Scott suggested, supporting his younger brother so that
they could both look out of the window. "See? You're
safe in here with us."
Gordon reluctantly stared outside as
another dancing lightning bolt streaked across the sky.
Though he flinched at the sound of thunder, Gordon
seemed mesmerized by the display of white light.
"Not so scary now, huh?" asked John,
watching his younger brother's reaction.
Gordon shook his head distractedly,
before he yawned loudly. Scott and Gordon continued to
watch the storm until Scott became aware that Gordon was
having problems keeping his eyes open.
"C'mon, kid, time for bed," Scott
murmured, guiding his brother away from the window.
For once, Gordon didn't resist. He
immediately lay down on the bed, moving close to Virgil
so that he could share his pillow. Both Scott and John
smiled in amusement as Virgil shifted to make room for
Gordon but never once wake up.
"Cute," commented John, who was
struggling to free his fingers from being eaten by Alan.
"Pity we can't take a photo."
Scott laughed in amusement before
settling down next to his brothers to watch the storm