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“Josie, turn off the computer! Can’t you see there’s a storm?”

“In a minute, I’ll do it in minute. I’m almost through.”

“The lightning is too close, turn it off!


Holly turned from the window and gazed back at Josie, who was pounding at the keyboard with a level of concentration that allowed in no outside interference. Biting her bottom lip and squinting at the monitor, Josie hadn't heard a word she said. The thunder suddenly turned deafening, and the electricity went out.

“Oh no! My work, it’s gone!” Josie despaired. “I was almost finished, just a few more seconds and it would have been done.”

“I warned you Josie. I said to turn it off. Where’s the candles?”

Holly felt her way past the living room lamps and tables to the kitchen doorway. Another flash of lightening lit the room. Feeling through the junk drawer she found a candle and wondered where the matches were. Not bothering to search for them, she lit it from the stove burner.

Josie was standing in front of the large window looking out at the building across the way.

“What you looking at, Josie?”

“Look over there, Holly, about halfway up the building, on the fire-escape. Do you see them?”

“No, I can’t see anything through the rain. Oh, yes. I see people. I wonder what they're doing out in this storm?”

“I can’t tell if they’re going up or down. They’re carrying something.”

The girls stood at the window and watched the scene, waiting for the lightning to give them a better view. At each strike they could see the progress of the walkers. Whatever they were carrying was covered well with a plastic sheet. They could see it, shiny and reflecting the light each time the lightening struck. Finally reaching the bottom of the steps, they trotted across the street toward the building of Josie and Holly.

“I know who that is.” shouted Josie excitedly, “It's Lynn and Tausha! Come on, Holly, let’s go help them.”

“Help them? Help them do what?” Holly asked,bewildered.

“They're on my team for the Poetry contest, you know, I told you about it. That’s what I was writing when the electricity went out. We must turn in our work tonight by midnight . They’re bringing their battery powered laptop!”