The Writer's Cramp 2/20/21 W/C 591
First the lights flickered. A few times.
“I think we’re having one of those power bumps again,” I told John.
He barely acknowledged my comment.
“Did you hear me?” I pushed him under the covers.
“Yeah, whatever. Bump. Things that go bump in the night,” he mumbled.
It must be a good book. I nudged him again.
“Did you hear me? A power bump. Power bump.”
The lights flickered a few more times. Perhaps this was a brown-out. I wondered where the candles were.
A loud bang and suddenly the lights were off.
John’s book fell to the floor. He grabbed my arm. “What happened?”
“I’ve been telling you the lights were flickering.”
The bedroom is as dark as a tomb. I guess these room darkening drapes do a good job.
We felt our way to the window. Nothing but dark, much like our home inside. No streetlights, no neighbor’s lights, no cars. Dark and silent. The snow continued to fall, much like it had been doing for a few days.
“Maybe that was a transformer. The temperature’s taking a dip. It was too much demand,” John declared as he burrowed back under the covers.
“What do we do? It’s going to get cold in here.” I now wondered about heat and food and water.
“I’m going back to sleep. Wake me when it’s over,” And like that John was asleep, snoring and book forgotten.
Candles found and lit, I roamed our home, now starting to cool down. I couldn’t even turn the floor on. The tiles in the kitchen and bathroom are ice-like. So much for that idea. ‘Where were my slippers?’
No heat, no lights. That also meant no microwave, no refrigerator, no electric range or oven to cook, no electric can-opener, no coffee bean grinder or coffeemaker. No toaster, no washer, no hairdryer. No hot water heater. No computers, no cell phones. Getting rid of that land-line phone was probably not a good idea, now that I think of it. Could it have worked in a power outage?
Whose idea was it to buy an all-electric house?
“The bills will be lower than before, we have a heat pump.” Those were the exact words John used to sway me into buying this soon-to-be-our-tomb. Yeah, right. Our electric bill is really low right now. In fact, it is non-existent. That evil little dial measuring our kilowatts is stuck, frozen in place.
The Regional Electrical Company’s not making any money on our home at present. In fact, I think they are feeling the ‘heat’ right about now. Or at least that is the scuttlebutt on the Facebook story that I read before my laptop bit the dust. Seems demand exceeded supply, REC couldn’t keep up and now we don’t have electricity.
The thermometer is now at 0°. And inside it is 50°. The sun is not shining, the wind is blowing. Inside is only going to get colder. And my husband sleeps. Now he’s inside his 0° rated sleeping bag. With a hat on his head.
“John, wake up. We need to go somewhere. Let’s drive to another state or something,” I whisper in his ear.
He rouses. Finally, a response. “Where do you propose we go? The roads are a mess. The snow keeps falling. The temperature keeps dropping. What if we get stuck in a ditch? Better to die in bed.” He rolled over, pulled more covers over the sleeping bag.
I didn’t know John was a prophet.