I'm going to work through them chronologically, because I get into difficulties if I see more than one image at the same time, but you are still welcome to send new pictures!
Now, get me writing, folks! And let me know whether or not you want to be mentioned as the suggester of the picture. And please don't forget to include attribution links.
Let the fun continue! Here is the prompt for November 08, from my friend Julia, who is doing a 365 day photo challenge:
"Really, Frank, can't you help with the household just this once? I can't always do everything on my own!"
"Oh please, Erika, we've been through this literally a thousand times! You know how much work I have."
Martin lay in his room and tried not to listen, but his parents' voices grew louder and louder until he could hear every word through the closed doors. It was the same every night.
He pulled the pillow over his head and tried to fall asleep, but how could he with that noise and the thoughts in his head? He tried in vain to remember a time, within the last few years since he had been born, when his parents had been happy together. Had they been in love once? Was he a child of love? And if he was, was it also his fault, was he such a burden that his parents stopped loving each other? Martin couldn't decide which would be worse. He pushed the pillow away and started at his night light; a replica of the Bat-Signal.
Outside, heavy rain began to fall, and the wind started howling around the house. It almost drowned out the voices from the kitchen.
"I would work more if I could! But someone also has to pick up Martin from daycare and keep an eye on him for the rest of the day!"
"So? What's so bad about you taking care of the kid while I bring in the money? It's a classic!"
"Except that I have to work, too, so that we actually have enough money!"
Thunder cracked and was instantly followed by a lightning bolt so bright Martin could see it through the curtains. He shrank deeper beneath the blanket. He hated thunderstorms, and he wished he could just get up and crawl into bed with his parents to feel safe. There was another loud bang, and suddenly the Bat-Signal vanished.
"What's that?" - "Hey!" He heard his parents shout, jumped out of bed and raced into the kitchen. It was pitch black.
"Mommy, what happened? I'm scared!"
"Oh, honey, come here..." Martin felt his mother's hands on his shoulder and threw himself into her arms, crying.
"It's all right," she said. "Only a power blackout because of the storm, I imagine. Frank, can you go get some candles?"
"Sure, sure," came the reply from the darkness.
Ten minutes later they were sitting together in the living room, Martin wrapped up in his blanket, with various candles distributed about the room. His parents avoided each other's eye.
"Daddy, what's going on? When will we have power again?"
"I don't know, boy. Not before the storm ends, I imagine."
Silence fell as they listened to the rain, the wind and the occasional thunder.
"I knew it would happen again," Erika said suddenly. "Remember, Frank, the last time that happened I said it would happen again if they don't exchange that utility pole!"
"Yes, I remember... We had just married then, and moved into the house." Now they were looking at each other. "We put up candles everywhere and then we sat on the floor with our blankets and listened... Huddled together we listened to the storm."
Martin looked from one to the other. The faces of his parents had changed completely; they were softer now, and he was surprised to see his mother's eyes slightly wet.
"Oh Frank, what happened?" Erika's voice was only a whisper.
"I don't know..."
They moved towards each other on the sofa, trapping Martin between them without noticing.
"I'm sorry, too."
"For what?" asked the boy.
His mother laughed. "Everything, I should say." She hugged both him and his father, who returned the gesture. "Yes, we are sorry for everything we forgot."
And, huddled together, they sat and listened to the storm until it was over and they could go to bed.