An Excerpt of the novel I am writing for NaNoWriMo 2012 entitled: Welcome to Green Idaho.
David parked his car and walked up the short sidewalk to their single story house, he could hear Benjamin coughing miserably as he unlocked the door and stepped inside. Charlotte looked up from the couch where she was holding their son wrapped in a blanket. He coughed a heart wrenching cough and held his hands out to be picked up. David set his bag on the end of the sofa and picked up Benjamin who snuggled close.
“Has he had his medicine at all today?” he asked Charlotte.
She shook her head, “No, the power hasn’t been on long enough, I just get the nebulizer set up and it goes out again.”
“It went out a work several times, but it came back on pretty soon, we must be on a different leg of the grid.”
Benjamin wheezed again and began to cry. David rocked him gently and sang softly in his ear until he drifted off to sleep. Charlotte got up and began to make sandwiches in the partially darkened kitchen. Once he laid little Ben down in his bed and covered with an extra blanket, David joined her and began hunting through cupboards for a flashlight.
“David, if these outages keep happening, we may have to go out to your parents until Ben is better. He can’t keep missing his medicine.”
“I know, I wish the power company could get their act together.” said David pulling a flashlight from under the sink. He flipped the switch, but no light came on.
“Do we have any more batteries?” he asked.
“Check in the medicine cupboard, otherwise we are out.”
David opened the cupboard and went through each combination of batteries until the light finally came on. It wasn’t a powerful light, but it would have to get them through the night. After a quick supper of sandwiches and chips, they sat and talked about what they should do. Every so often Ben would start coughing again, and they would both stop and listen to see if he needed help.
“If the power isn’t back on tomorrow, take him out to my parent’s house. They will at least be able to keep him warm.” said David.
“True, your mom may even know some home remedies that will at least keep him comfortable so he can get some sleep.”
“There must be something we can do, so that when the power is out Ben can still get his medicine, and we can have a little electricity.”
Ben began coughing, and they both listened intently until he stopped.
“I think we need to get Ben feeling better before we try to figure something out.”
“You are probably right,” said David, but the thought would not leave him.
When 8:00 PM rolled around, they decided to call it a night and get ready for bed by the light of the flashlight. Fortunately there was always a pitcher of water in the refrigerator, so they were able to brush their teeth and wash their faces without too much discomfort. When they had read their scriptures and prayed as a couple, David went to check on Benjamin. His room was still cold from the late winter/early spring air, and his coughing seemed to be getting worse. He carefully picked Ben up and placed him between Charlotte and himself so he would stay warm through the night.
Around midnight David woke up. There HAD to be something he could do for his family. He looked at the alarm clock to see if the power had come back on, it hadn’t. David tucked the blankets tightly around Benjamin and went into the front room. He looked out the window and saw all the dark houses across the street. It seemed the only light in the area was the full moon as it peaked through the clouds from time to time. He began to pace the room as his brain strained to grind down this problem to a solution. They could get a gas powered generator for backup power, but if the outages continued for more than a day that would cost too much for their meager budget. After some time he heard a dog bark, and he looked out to see whose it was. The black lab sniffed around the porch of the house two doors down. That was the Watsons. Soon a light turned on and Steve Watson opened the door to let the dog back in. He glanced up and down the street, then closed the door and turned the light off.
David paced around the room two more times before he realized what he had just seen. He turned the light on and he turned it off! David flipped a light switch in the front room… nothing happened. David examined the houses across the street one more time, they were all still dark. Somehow, the Watsons had power even when the rest of the street was in the dark. Perhaps there was a solution to their problem. He would go talk to Steve tomorrow, and find out what he had. There was no sound of a gas powered generator, and even if they had a generator why would he turn it on just to let the dog in?
David found his way into the bedroom and climbed back in bed, Ben coughed, but David wasn’t as worried this time. If the Watsons had found a way to deal with power outages, they could too. If nothing else, they would probably let Charlotte and Ben come over long enough for Ben to get his medication. As he drifted off to sleep, the hint of a smile crept onto his face for the first time since he arrived home that afternoon.