Saturday, May 23, 2009

Powering down

Shannon sat on the couch, surfing through the channels, listening to the rain against the windows as much as she was listening to the inane babble on the television.  She sighed, wishing that she had the energy to do something more than just channel surf.

However, she did not.

So Shannon continued sitting on the couch, surfing through the channels.  The rain pounded harder against the windows, and Shannon sighed again.  There was absolutely nothing on today.  She started to get a bit bored - one can only surf channels for so long before that happens.

As she sat there, the lights flickered.  Shannon sat up a little straighter, but everything seemed to go back to normal.  She shrugged and pushed her hair back from her face, then went back to her channel surfing.

A moment later, the lights flickered again, then the power went out completely.  Shannon waited a second before moving, wondering if the lights would come back on.  They didn't.  She slowly got up from the couch, wishing that she had lit a candle earlier.  The room was almost pitch black - the lights in the apartment were off, of course, but it looked like the street lights outside were off, too.  

Shannon felt around in the dark, her hands waving slowly in front of her as she tried to draw a mental picture of the furniture in her apartment.  There was an end table beside the couch, there, she thought, touching the corner of it.  There should be a coffee table -

"Ouch!" Shannon yelped, finding the corner of the table with her knee.  "Crap," she muttered, rubbing her knee.  That was going to leave a bruise.  She crouched down a bit, following the tablearound, then returning to waving her hands again.  She managed to find the television with her hands rather than with her knee, luckily, and she followed the edge of the television stand until she reached the wall.

Pausing for a moment, Shannon looked around again, squinting to see anything in the dark.  If she looked straight forward, she could see the outline of the kitchen doorway in her peripheral vision.  When she turned her head, though, it was almost impossible to see.  She heaved a sigh, and started edging sideways towards the kitchen, keeping the doorway in her peripheral vision and hoping that the flashlight was still in the junk drawer... and that there wasn't anything sharp in the drawer.

After what felt like an eternity, Shannon finally reached the kitchen.  She hung onto the edge of the counter as she crossed the room until she reached her junk drawer.  Shannon opened it, took a deep breath, and started feeling around.  Can opener?  A pen... or maybe a pencil.  Rubber bands.  Something squishy... what on earth was squishy? she wondered.  Paper.  More paper.  More paper... Flashlight!

Shannon pulled out the flashlight and slid the button.  Nothing.

"For crying in the sink..." she muttered, reaching back into the drawer.  There should be batteries in there somewhere... Another pen, more paper, the squishy thing... "Ah-ha!" she exclaimed, feeling something battery-shaped.  A moment later, she came up with another battery-shaped object.  Carefully, she opened the flashlight and emptied out the batteries, trying to feel which direction the extra little bump on the end faced.  Slipping the old batteries into the pocket of her sweatshirt, so she wouldn't mix them up with the new ones, Shannon shook her head and vowed that she would keep fresh batteries in the flashlight from now on, and that she would keep the flashlight in a more convenient place.  

With the new batteries in place, Shannon slid the switch again.  The flashlight shone a beam across the kitchen, and Shannon smiled.

At that moment, the lights came back on.

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