Something Uncanny

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“William, honestly,” I chastise under my breath as I calmly unruffle the younger boy’s shirt for the third time that morning. My patience is rapidly wearing thin as he keeps moving around, his eyes full of wonder. William is always excited and rambunctious - the total opposite of his younger sister, but for some reason, he is more lively than usual, which proves it a difficult task to get him ready for the day ahead of him.

“You should’ve seen it!” He gushes, his light brown eyes wide in awe. “The lightning and thunder, did you see it? Did you?”

I certainly heard it. There was a raging storm the night before, and I barely had the chance to catch a wink of sleep due to the thunderous booms overhead and the constant flashes peering through my window. I have never feared storms, but the loud noises made it hard for me to sleep peacefully without stirring, wondering when it will end. Unlike William, I am not excited and marvelled by the storm. I feel the exact opposite. Tired and ragged, I am more than ready to finish the day before it’s even begun.

I’m not always in bitter spirits. Normally, I tend to always strive and see the positive outlook in the things I come to terms with, no matter how overwhelming they may seem. I believe that if you did that rather than focusing on the negatives, things will come much easier to you, such as a more uplifted mind.

Nonetheless, we all have our good and bad days, and today is one of my bad days. I can feel it each time I stifle a yawn, or how my eyes slightly burn from fatigue. I regret being unable to sleep last night, letting the storm overpower me. But what’s done is done; all I can do now is go on with the day and do the best I can do make it through.

“Yes, I saw it,” I tell William as he breaks from my hold and runs to his window, climbing recklessly onto the sill.

“It reminded me of the bedtime story,” William says, gazing outside dreamily. “The one from last night. I felt as though pirates were outside, the thunder as the cannons,” he elaborates, making excited gestures with his hands.

 I am the one who tucks the children into bed, and since they tend to be restless at times, I read them bedtime stories. Their mother loves buying her children books, so I always have an interesting variety of stories to choose from. Despite their restlessness, the children are thoughtful and imaginative as all other children, and William has a deep fascination with pirates.

For as long as i can remember, I have always feared pirates. The stories I’ve heard of them were horrifying - they were never light-hearted, and I never grew as excited as William to hear about them. I feel as though William really wants to be the hero he sees in his own imagination, the hero that is always spoken of in the books I read them. He wants to one day fight pirates rather than fear them. He is young, but one day, I know he will grow into a strong man with ambitions like no other. I can already see it.

I sigh and figure there isn’t much to do with William at this point. He is dressed for the day, and I can only hope he won’t dirty his clothes too much by the end.

“Breakfast is waiting,” I tell him with a patient smile. “You don’t want it to get cold, do you?”

“I’m not hungry.” William says with a disinterested shrug, staring fully out the window with a smile tugging at his lips. He is thoughtful and dreamy, as if imaging the horrible storm last night was actually a pirate ship docked in the waters with a crew of pirates for him to take on.

I chuckle and shake my head. Children will be children.

“If you want to ever prove your strength to a pirate,” I say playfully, “then you must eat your food and become strong. How else do you hope to accomplish that if you don’t eat enough to grow?”

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