I was just bored, is all. Who'd have thought that would be the start of so much carrying-on?
Mom yelled up the basement steps at me. "Lulie, yes. I know you're bored. You only told me that five hundred times already today." Sounded like she'd had to unclench her teeth to say that much. "What'd I tell you the other four hundred and ninety-nine times?"
I sighed. No use getting smart-alecky. "You said to find something to do or you'll put me to work." Well, she couldn't see me roll my eyes from where she was.
Shoot. Rain shouldn't fall on Sundays; not this kind that never lets up. It flowed in sheets off the roof. Ought to be called gloom, not just rain. Or grouch. It was grouching hard out there. We got four inches of grouch in the last hour.
I took a running start so I could skid down the hall in my stocking-feet. With just the right body English, I zoomed across the wood floor and swerved into my bedroom in one long slide, stopping when I plowed into the braided rug by my bed.
Yes! (And the crowd went wild. Yay.)
Click, click... clink.
There was that funny sound again. Always quit before I could pin it down. But this time I was bored enough to stand in the middle of my room and listen.
Of course I heard rain. Pounding the roof, pouring through downspouts, gurgling over the curb. And traffic splashing; car horns honking; a police siren wailing. Dogs barking. The dryer's hum, the furnace blowing warm air.
Ah! I pounced on the heat vent in the floor. Click... clink, clink. Jamming my fingertips into the slots of the grate, I lifted it up and out. Whatever made the rattling was down in the vent, blowing around when the furnace came on.
Ew--a wad of petrified gum in an old wrapper. My purple pencil with the fuzz-ball topper; wondered where that'd gone. Lots of dust. Maybe I should've swept more often. Hmm, maybe not.
The furnace fan shut off, and the clinking stopped. I poked at the junk in the vent. What was that, a button? Yes. No. Well, hey! I fished the thing out with my pencil and blew a little dust off, and there it was: a ring, small and silver with lacey holes through it and a smooth, milky-white stone.
I'd never seen it before in my whole entire life.
Things were looking up. I took the ring to the bathroom sink to rinse it off. As I rubbed with my thumb at a smudge on the stone, I said, "Hot dog. Now if only it would stop raining." Don't know why I said it out loud.
But right then, exactly then, the rain stopped cold. Just like that.
I laughed so hard I snorted.
Mom called up from the basement. "What's going on?"
"Oh, nothing. I just made a wish and it came true."
"Uh huh. Well, how about you wish this laundry would be done?"
"All righty then!" I rubbed the stone again, grinning. "I wish Mom didn't have to do all that laundry today."
So. The power went out. "Oh, for goodness sake," came Mom's voice.
Whoa. I dropped the ring in the dark and had to squat down to pat the fuzzy bathroom rug until I found it. I didn't stop to think. I just quick rubbed the stone again and said, "Make the power come back on." Then, for good measure, "I take back what I said about the laundry, okay?" Well, I didn't want the washing machine to blow up or something.
I waited. Nothing happened. A breath I didn't even know I'd been holding whistled its way out, and I headed for my room.
That's when the lights came back on.
Okay, so, rainstorm, wet power lines, rolling blackouts; I remembered the weather report on TV.
Still. My bookshelves were full of books where some kid found magical stuff or went through a doorway into another world or woke up with special powers. I knew none of that was real. I knew I wanted it to be, but it just plain wasn't.
I set the ring on the corner of my desk. Then I sat myself down on the edge of my bed and stared at it. And just about fell on the floor when the phone rang.
take out the "I don't know why I said it outloud". Start at "start here".
Then you have perfection on toast points.
This is great.
I love this.
I have no clue if it's the most overused trope in the world, but I think the writing is vivid, fun and energetic. Now give me my ring back.