Nights like these often remind me of the time my family and I traveled up to my grandparent’s cabin one summer. It was a sunny day filled with clear skies and no pollution. My parents and I lived in the city where the air was never clean. My grandparents had passed in a car crash several years before, and left the cabin to my mother. Every summer for an entire week we’d spend family time at the cabin.

 

Right now it’s storming out. I’m sitting on the edge of my windowsill with a steaming cup of cocoa in hand as I listen to the beat of the pattering rain and watch lightening dance across the sky. The power in my building is out, so I’m sitting here while my shadow dances against the walls from the flickering candlelight.

 

All of it reminds me of the one time it actually stormed while me and my parents stayed at the cabin one summer. It’s something I have never been able to forget, and with good reason. On every visit, the skies were clear and it was sunny the entire week; however, there was one summer where it had stormed the entire time we were there.

 

Now typically when my family traveled to the cabin, we’d do things like hiking, camping, and tell scary stories to one another. The perfect little family, but that was far from the truth. Activities such as those lasted only the first two days of the trip, and the rest was spent separate. I’d usually go and commune with nature while my parents did whatever they did.

 

The time of the week long storm was one I tried to bury, but I can’t forget what I learned. I don’t feel sorrow, but I would rather forget the imagery of what I had witnessed happen. It is rather haunting to say the least.

 

I must have been eighteen years old around the time. It was to be my last summer trip to the cabin with my parents before they shipped me off to college. When we got to the cabin I could tell things were a little tense between my parents. Before coming, I’d notice them arguing silently as they drove, or when we’d stop at rest stops they’d break out into full blown arguments when they thought I wasn’t around to witness.

 

We did the usual things like every summer until we got the notice of a bad storm coming our way, but we didn’t expect it to last a week. Luckily my father always prepared for something like this to happen. The week went by painfully slow as we huddled around the fireplace sipping on hot cocoa and chatting about our grandparents and other things.

 

But it was the last day when it all happened. It was morning and it was time to start packing. We hoped that it would stop raining or at least slow down some in order for us to be able to head back to the city. The skies were dark, streaks of lightening were the only source of light outside, and the rain was heavy.

 

My parents were in the kitchen at the time talking in hushed tones, but loud enough for me to eavesdrop and hear every word. They spoke of how they managed to make my grandparents car crash look like an actual accident. It was the inheritance money that they wanted; all fourteen million of it, but they didn’t realize that it was left to me and that when I go to college is when I inherit it all.

I remember the feeling of betrayal, shock, and hurt hitting me at once as I realized what they were going to do next. It all came together as my very own mother mentioned that she really didn’t want to kill me, but then agreed with my father that it had to happen in order to get the money.

 

My father then called me to the kitchen to help finish taking things out to the car. I wiped my tears and acted as if nothing happened and put a smile on my face. We put on our rain gear again and lugged the rest of our things into the truck. The rain was coming down so hard that it was hard to see what was in front of you. That’s when I was struck in the face with something.

 

The force was so great that it knocked me on my ass as pain exploded where my left eye is. When my vision became focused I noticed my parents standing in front of me. My father was holding a large tree branch over his head, but before he was able to swing it down on my head I kicked him in the knees.

 

He fell forward towards where I was on the ground, I used the sharp stump to my right to move out of the way. My father fell on top of the stump and was impaled. My mother screamed as she watched my father die after his attempt to kill me.

 

I stood up and looked at my mother. Tears streamed down her hate filled face as she faced me. She started after me, and I ran as best I could with limited vision from the pouring rain and blood. I stopped when I got to the shoreline of the lake that wasn’t far from the cabin. She was still chasing me, but was far enough back to where I had ample time to escape.

 

The area around the lake was not a safe place to be as lightening tended to strike nearby. She called out to me while still chasing after me. She was pretty far back to where I could stop to catch my breath. That’s when she was struck. It happened pretty fast. I ran towards her smoking corpse once I thought it was safe. I didn’t have to check to see if she was dead. It was pretty evident.

 

The cops ruled it all a freak accident. I told them that my mother had went roaming around the lake in this weather, and my father and I went to bring her back. That’s when she was struck, and we rushed back to the cabin to call for help. The downpour of the rain was so much that it inhibited our vision, and that’s when my father tripped and was impaled by the jagged tree stump. I, myself, had tripped and fallen which caused me to hit the left side of my face against a tree branch.

 

I couldn’t help the small smile that formed on my lips as I continue to watch this storm from my window. I inherited the fourteen million plus the one hundred thousand from each of my parents.

The one thing that I didn’t mention was on the day of my parents’ death, I saw my grandparent’s ghosts. It was when I was waiting on help to get the cabin that day. They just nodded their heads at me before smiling and taking off. I can’t help but wonder if my parents’ deaths were by their hands.

 

Image: Sharon Dominick

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