Okay, so here is the second part of the story! 🙂 Have fun!
As soon as their parents were out of sight, Mark rubbed his hands together in anticipation.
“Let the fun begin!” He shouted.
Emily glared at him. “Mark! Be quite! If we’re too loud, we’ll have to go to bed.”
Emily shook her head and seated herself on the couch. Mark plopped down beside her.
Mark glanced at his little sister who was asleep on the carpet. “So should we wake Kris up?”
Emily smiled at her sister before saying, “No, I think we should let her sleep for now. She’ll probably wake up on her own very soon.”
“You sound so confident in that.” Mark looked at Emily curiously. “Why?”
Emily giggled. “I’m sure of it because I’m sure that you’ll make enough noise to wake her up! But seriously, we should let her sleep. That way when she does wake up, she’ll be happy instead of grumpy.”
Mark nodded. “Good point. So what do you wanna do first?”
Emily shrugged. “I don’t care. I’m not sure what people do on these long stay ups. What do you want to do?”
“I’m not quite sure yet.” Mark sighed. “Mom and Dad said no to all the fun stuff I wanted to do. But I can always compromise. We’ll have lots of fun! But first, let’s find a way to document this night. This is a big thing in my life!”
“We could use that old recorder you have in your room!” Emily suggested.
“Great! I’ll go get it!”
Mark ran to his room and returned a good fifteen minutes later.
“What took you so long?” Emily asked. “I was beginning to think that a monster had eaten you!”
Mark laughed. “Don’t be silly, Emily. Monsters aren’t real.”
“You told Kris they were.” Emily said. “Now she won’t sleep in her own room at night! She either sleeps on the floor right by my bed or she goes with Mom and Dad.”
“I was just kidding!” Mark said. “I didn’t think she would believe me! Anyway, here is the recorder. It was stuck way under my bed and it took me a long time to get it out because it was behind all of the stuff.”
“Does it still work?” Emily eyed the slightly smashed thing with suspicion.
“I hope so. Let’s test it out.”
A test run proved that the recorder still worked.
“Okay Emily, it’s all ready if you want to start narrating our evening. Every couple hours we’ll come say a few words to the recorder.”
Emily cleared her throat and began, “Ten-thirty pm. Christmas Eve 2018. Everything around me right now is dark. Our only light is that of the Christmas tree –”
“EMILY!” Mark said loudly. “CHRISTMAS TREES DON’T GLOW!”
Emily ignored her brother and continued with her recording. “The lights on the tree shine brightly around me. While everyone else sleeps, Mark and I brave the night without sleep.”
Mark grabbed the recorder. “Emily, you’re sounding too perfect. This needs to sound cool. I’ll have to record from now on.” He smiled proudly and turned his attention to the recorder. “Emily and I are going to stay up the whole night tonight. Kris was going to be doing it with us, but she’s already asleep. She’ll probably wake up later. Emily and I are going to document this momentous night in history!” He stopped the recorder and turned to Emily. “This is going to be so much fun!!! It’s time to start havin’ fun!”
“I thought that’s what we were doing, Mark.” Emily said dryly.
“I mean some real fun.”
“Like it’s time to party! Crank up the music, get all the sugary foods out and let’s open our Christmas presents early!”
“No, Mark.” Emily sighed at her brother’s forgetfulness. “Those were all the things Mom and Dad told us not to do.”
Mark jabbed his sister’s arm. “I was just kidding. I’m going to have to make a list of fun stuff to do.”
“Okay.” Emily said. “While you’re doing that, I’ll just go back into the living room and read a book.”
A few minutes later Mark came into the living room, his arms full of board games.
“Let’s have a board game marathon.” He said.
Emily giggled to herself. “Okay, that’s fine with me!”
It was twelve-thirty by the time Mark and Emily had finished their board games.
“I won fifteen out of twenty!” Emily said triumphantly.
“You must have been cheating somehow.” Mark grumbled. “There is no way I actually did that badly on the games!”
They sat in silence for a few minutes. Kris was still peacefully sleeping. Mark yawned. “I’m getting kind of tired. I need something that’ll really wake me up.”
Emily looked suspicious. “Like what?”
A twinkle came into Mark’s eye and he laughed. “Oh you’ll see soon enough!” He left the room and returned a minute later, holding two flashlights.
“Why do you have flashlights?”
Mark waved them in the air. “We are going to go into the backyard and make a big snowman! Won’t Mom and Dad be surprised when they wake up and see a huge snowman in the backyard?!”
Emily nodded. “They’ll be surprised all right.” She sighed. “They probably won’t be pleased that we went outside after midnight.”
“I’m sure they won’t mind.” Mark said. “I’m so sure that if they do get mad at us, you can say it’s all my fault and I will take the blame completely for it.”
“Oh fine.” Emily said. “Let me get my coat on and we can go out.”
Quietly the two kids slipped their coats on. They grabbed their flashlights and hurried out the backdoor, shutting it quietly behind them.
They were met by a rush of cold air and snow that flung itself in their faces.
“Ouch!” Emily cried. “You didn’t say that it was snowing this hard!”
“I didn’t know!” Mark shivered. “We better make the snowman fast. I already feel my fingers freezing!”
Needless to say, the kids didn’t have much fun as they labored in the cold, making a large snowman.
“We finally finished the body!” Mark said, through chattering teeth. “Do you have a hat and something for the eyes and mouth?”
“We forgot to bring that out!” Emily said. “Just take off your hat and use that!”
Mark did as he was told. The snowman soon had a small hat, two gloves for eyes and smile that was hastily drawn with a stick.
“That looks great, Mark!” Emily said quickly. “Now let’s just get inside out of the cold!”
Mark and Emily hurried inside. They kicked their boots off and threw their coats down. They didn’t notice how much snow they had accidently brought inside.
“Ah, that’s better.” Mark rubbed his hands together. “I’m still half frozen, though.”
Emily laughed. “Well, at least that kept us busy for a while. It’s one-thirty now.”
“Just a few more hours until morning!” Mark said. “I think I’ll take a nap around nine AM.”
“That sounds really good.” Emily said sleepily. The warmth of the house was making her tired.
Mark shivered again. “I need something that’ll warm me up. How about I make us a cup of coffee?”
Emily laughed. “Mark, you don’t know how to make coffee.”
“I’ve seen Dad do it with the coffee maker.” Mark protested. “I’m sure I could figure it out.”
“I don’t think it’s such a good idea…”
“Look, you just sit in the living room. I’ll make the coffee. I’ll even let you record on the recorder.”
Mark hurried to the kitchen and Emily grabbed the recorder.
“One-thirty-five AM. I am sitting on the couch freezing right now. Kris is still asleep. Mark and I just came inside from making a very giant and hastily constructed snowman. It’s really cold outside. It’s snowed all night. I think we’ll have a lot of snow by morning time! I hope that we can go sledding tomorrow! Kris would love that! I just hope that Mark and I are awake enough to enjoy Christmas Day. Earlier, this idea of staying up all night seemed so great. But now I just want to go to sleep. Kris looks so cute! She’s just lying on the floor, sucking her thumb and blissfully unaware of anything else that is going on!” Emily paused to yawn. “Mark is making coffee right now. I wonder if he’s okay…there are weird sounds coming from the kitchen…I thought he said that he knew how to use the coffee maker…I’d better go check on him. Signing off for now, Emily Wild.”
Emily set the recorder down and hurried to the kitchen. When she reached the door, she stopped in shock.
“Mark…what happened here?”
Mark was standing by the kitchen counter in front of the coffee maker. Cream, coffee beans and water were splattered and splashed all over the floor, the cabinets and the counter.
“I’m not sure.” Mark stuttered. “I thought I knew how to work this thing, but apparently I don’t.”
“I’d say!” Emily said. “Mom and Dad are not going to be happy when they see this!”
Just then they heard someone clear his throat behind them. Mark and Emily jumped and whirled around. They saw John standing in the kitchen door way.
Mark jumped in front of the coffee maker and did his best to hide it.
“Hi Grandpa!” Emily said nervously. “What are you doing up at this time of night?”
“I was getting a drink of water.” John said. “Apparently you two were trying to drink something else?”
“Coffee, Grandpa!” Mark said. “We were just trying to get a nice cup of coffee but something went wrong with the machine.”
“Do your parents even let you drink coffee?” John asked sternly.
“Not normally…” Mark said. “I’ve had it two or three time.”
“We were cold and we needed something to warm us up.” Emily offered.
“It’s plenty warm in the house.” John looked suspicious. “Why were you cold?”
Emily started to answer, but Mark cut her short. “We were just, umm, feeling really, umm, cold because…”
John shook his head and sighed. “I’m going back to bed. I suggest you kids do the same.” He got a glass of water and then returned to his bedroom.
Emily and Mark stood still and silent for a moment.
“We’d better get this cleaned up before someone else comes in.” Mark said.
Emily nodded. They both grabbed rags. Mark started cleaning the counter while Emily worked on the cabinets.
“What are you doing?” There was a little person standing at the kitchen entrance.
Mark and Emily both screamed. When they saw that it was just Kris, they sighed with relief.
“Why did you scream?” Kris looked confused. “And why is the kitchen a mess? And the entry way by the backdoor is soaking with water. It looks like someone brought a whole bunch of snow inside! I wake up and find the house a wreck! Mom and Dad aren’t going to be happy!”
“Oh no!” Emily moaned. “The snow must have melted from our boots! I’ll go clean it up. Kris, grab a rag and help Mark clean up the floor.”
Forty-five minutes later, Emily, Mark and Kris sat in the living room.
“That was a big disaster.” Mark sighed. “And I still don’t have my cup of coffee.”
Kris looked at Mark. “Mark, why did you use the coffee maker when you could have just used the instant coffee we have?”
“I forgot about it!” Mark banged hand down on the side of the couch. “Come to think of it, Dad hasn’t used the coffee maker ever since it started malfunctioning a month ago.”
“Why didn’t you think of that before you made a huge mess?” Emily asked with annoyance.
“I don’t know.” Mark moaned. “I think I’ll just go sit by myself for a while and stare at the Christmas lights.” He got up and sat down in front of the Christmas tree.
A few seconds later, the lights blinked and then the Wild children were sitting in complete darkness…and silence. They didn’t hear the normal hum of the fridge or the computers. Kris, who was terrified of the dark, grabbed Emily’s arm and clung to it for dear life.
“What happened?” Emily asked hastily.
“Did you do something, Mark!” Kris asked in a trembling voice. “Because it isn’t funny! Make the lights come back!”
“I didn’t do it!” Mark said quickly. He didn’t want to get blamed for something that wasn’t his fault. “I was just sitting there and then the lights just went away!”
“The power must have gone out.” Emily said. Her eyes were starting to adjust to the darkness. Mark found a flashlight and turned it on. Kris breathed a sigh of relief.
Emily walked to the window and looked out. She couldn’t see much. She turned to the others. “It must be because of the snow storm.” She concluded. “I’m sure they’ll get the power back on soon.”
“Should we tell Mom and Dad?” Kris asked.
Mark shrugged. “They’ll find out when they wake up. We don’t want to bother them right now.”
Emily glared at her brother. “Or you just don’t want them to find out about your coffee idea. You know they are going to find out. It’ll be better for them to hear it from us than from anyone else.”
“I’ll tell them.” Mark promised. “In the morning.”
“What do we do while we wait for the lights to turn on again?” Kris asked nervously. “I wish I had just kept sleeping!”
“We can have just as much fun as we would with the power on.” Emily said. “First, let’s go to our rooms and get a bunch of blankets. I’m still cold from our snowman adventure. Then we can get some books and read with our flashlights.”
Mark was too mortified by his experience with the coffee maker to suggest anything else. Kris readily agreed with just about anything her older siblings wanted to do. For an hour, the three children read books. Kris quickly fell asleep again.
“What time is it?” Mark asked, setting his book down.
“It’s five-twenty.” Emily said with a yawn. “We’re almost there. It’s only two hours and forty minutes until sunrise.”
“That’s too long!” Mark wailed. “I am so tired! I don’t care about anything other than sleep right now!”
“Me either.” Emily yawned again.
“I think we should just fall asleep for the last couple hours. We stayed up until after five. I’d say that’s enough.” Mark mumbled.
“I’d say you’re right.” Emily said. She closed her eyes and was asleep immediately. Mark joined her in dreamland a few seconds later.
Around eight, Bruce woke up. He was surprised by the absence of noise from the downstairs. He dressed and went down stairs for his morning cup of instant coffee. He smiled at the sight that met his eyes. His three children were curled up in a pile of blankets. They were all fast asleep.
“I’m glad they got some sleep.” Bruce said to himself. “The power went out last night. I hope the kids weren’t scared.”
He went into the kitchen and a strange expression crossed his face. “What happened in here?”
There was a pile of dirty rags sitting by the kitchen sink. The floor and counter still had cream and coffee beans on them, from where Mark had missed.
“I hope the kids didn’t try to use the coffee maker.” Bruce sighed. “I knew it was a bad idea to let them stay up all night. What is that?!” He had caught site of a large white thing in his backyard. Looking closer he saw that it was a roughly made snowman with gloves for eyes. Mark’s hat lay on the ground beside it.
Bruce shook his head in disbelief. “They went outside last night! I’ll need to have a talk with them when they get up!”
A little later Mary, Amanda and John woke up and came into the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Sadly, the power was still out and their stove wasn’t working, so they couldn’t boil the water to dissolve the coffee. No one really wanted a cold cup of coffee. John related what he had seen from the night before. Despite himself, Bruce couldn’t help chuckling at Mark’s coffee disaster. Around ten, the kids began to wake up.
Mark rubbed his eyes. “What happened? Why aren’t we in bed?” Quickly he remembered the events of the previous night. Hearing his father chatting in the dining room, he quietly lay down again. “Maybe I’ll just sleep until Dad makes me get out of bed. I don’t want to have to tell Dad and Mom about the coffee incident.”
Kris woke up a minute later. She shouted, “CHRISTMAS DAAAY!”
The noise woke Emily and brought the parents and grandparents into the living room.
“So you finally woke up, sleepy heads?” Mary smiled. “I thought you were going to stay up all night!”
“We tried.” Emily yawned. “We made it to five-thirty and then we fell to sleep.”
Mary tousled Kris’s hair. “Well, I’m glad you all got at least a little bit of rest.”
Kris stretched. “Me too. I’m ready for our special Christmas pancake breakfast…” She stopped and smelled the air. “Hey, I don’t smell the pancakes cooking. Did you guys eat already?”
“Sorry kiddo, we won’t be having pancakes today.” Bruce said. “There is a power outage from the storm last night. We don’t know when the power will come back on. But until it does, our stove won’t work.”
Kris’s eyes widened. “But how will we cook our food? Will the power ever come back?! How will we stay warm?”
Mary smiled. “We’ll just have to eat food that doesn’t need to be cooked. And yes, Kris, the power will come back on.”
Kris sighed with relief. “Good.”
Never worried about one thing for more than five minutes, Kris grabbed a board game and rushed to her grandparents to see if they wanted to play.
Bruce cleared his throat. Emily and Mark knew they were in trouble. “Did you kids try to use the coffee maker last night?”
Emily looked at Mark. He sighed and said, “Yeah, we forgot that it was broken.”
“We’re really sorry.” Emily added.
“How did you find out about it?” Mark asked curiously.
“The counter was a mess!” Bruce laughed.
Emily glared at Mark. “I thought you said you cleaned it up!”
“I thought I did.” Mark said. “I guess in the dark I missed some of it!”
“And we’ll talk about your punishments later.” Bruce added. “For now, let’s go to the table. We have cereal and milk for breakfast. We have to eat up the perishable stuff before it perishes!”
“We could always set it out on the patio.” Mark suggested. “It’s probably cold enough there to stay frozen for a month!”
After breakfast and meal cleanup was over, the kids, parents and grandparents went into the living room.
“Is it time?” Kris asked eagerly looking towards the Christmas tree with a few presents sitting under it.
Everyone settled down and opened fun gifts.
“Oh wow!” Emily gasped. “Grandma, Grandpa, these earrings are so pretty! Thank you!”
“COOL!” Mark yelled. “This is the remote control car I wanted!”
“Oooh!” Kris cooed. “This is the cutest doll ever! Thank you!”
For the rest of the morning the kids played with their new gifts. John, Amanda, Mary and Bruce chatted. By one o’clock, everyone was hungry. The new toys seemed to have lost some of their charm. Mark and Kris were sitting against the wall, looking bored. Emily was sewing a doll blanket with Amanda.
“What do you want to do for lunch?” Bruce asked.
Mary shrugged. “I can probably put something together. It’s too bad that the power hasn’t come back on yet. We won’t be able to get the turkey cooked for supper!”
Mark moaned. “We won’t be able to have a Christmas dinner?! Why did the power have to go out on today of all days?” He slumped back against the wall and sighed.
“We shouldn’t mope.” John said. “I recall, Mark, that earlier you said something showing me your model airplanes?”
Mark stood up. “Okay, let’s go look at them!”
“I’ll come, too!” Kris said happily.
The power didn’t come on for the rest of the day. The family, however, had a fun evening eating crackers and playing board games around the table. Later that night, when the children were curled up in bed, Mary went to wish them all a goodnight. She went to Mark’s room first.
“Goodnight Mark.” She whispered.
He nodded. “Goodnight Mom.” He rolled over. As Mary was leaving the room, she heard a voice say, “It wasn’t the day that I had in mind, but it ended up being a really good day. Family memories are the best.”
Mary smiled and silently agreed. Much in the life of the Wild family had not been what was expected. But they all agreed that it was the best life they could ever ask for.