Here's my attempt below (abridged & adapted from my memoir, In Search of My Father):
It was a dark and stormy night: an awful beginning to a story, it was said - but how about for an end?
Thursday March 26th 1987 was the night my father’s story ended. We had been visiting the hospital daily, and we knew that Dad was failing - but even so, his final hours took us by surprise. Mum had come home, having been told he was weak, but stable - she should get some sleep. She’d only been home for an hour, when the urgent call came, summoning her back to my father’s side. My uncle sped her back to the hospital, driving through appalling conditions, but to no avail; Dad passed away 15 minutes before the Mum was able to get back to his bedside.
My sister was asleep in bed. When the telephone rang, I knew what news my uncle would impart. Somehow, I knew - even before he told me - that my father had died alone.
Well, we all die alone. Kazantzakis had put it simply, but brilliantly: 'We come from a dark abyss, we end in a dark abyss, and we call the luminous interval life.'
We could each rage against the dying of that luminous life - as Dylan Thomas would have us do. And I did, that night - by God, I did - as I stood on the doorstep of our home, a threshold that never more my father would cross. I raised my fist heavenward, and cried and cursed and wept bitter tears in the rain.
But of what avail was my raging? There was a better choice, I knew; and a finer and nobler way to honour my father. Leave the abyss to attend to itself - choose to celebrate the luminous interval instead.
The Narrative And How (Not) To Pursue It
It was a dark and stormy night. But nights usually are (dark). Or darker than days, anyway. And storms are known for being stormy. Which is why they're called storms. So what was so special about this particular dark and stormy night? It was no darker than any other dark night. Or, at least, not especially so. And the storm no more stormy. Nor did either have the potential, separately or together, of becoming darker and / or stormier. The night was, by no means, the darkest of dark nights. And the same could be said of the storm. It not being the stormiest of storms. All one can honestly say, then, is that this was a moderately dark and somewhat stormy night. The night being dark enough to be called dark. As opposed to light. And the storm having met the minimum requirements one might expect, of a storm, in order to descibe it as stormy. And, although the darkness of the night showed no sign of darkening further it was, by definition, dark, (not light). Dark requiring an absence of light. Or, more precisely, less light than day. And night not day. A night being the period of time between sunset and sunrise. How stormy the storm was depends on the frequency of lightning strikes and, some might argue, the ferocity of any accompanying wind, as well as the force with which any rain fell. Suffice to say all three were sufficiently frequent, ferocious, and forceful. There can be no objection, therefore, to the veracity of the previously stated, and perfectly reasonable, conclusion that it was - A dark and stormy night. The following day could not have been more different. The morning sky at dawn being bright and clear.....
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT...
BUT OTHER THAN SOME CLAPS OF THUNDER, IT WAS THE FURTHEST THING FROM MY MIND.
IN THE MORNING I START A WHOLE NEW EXCITING CHAPTER OF MY LIFE.
AT 8:00 AM TOMORROW, MY BOYFRIEND AND I PICK UP THE KEYS TO OUR NEW APARTMENT. WE HAVE BEEN DREAMING ABOUT IT FOR YEARS AND HAVE BOTH BEEN WORKING OUT THE DETAILS FOR MONTHS.
WE HAVE ALREADY BOUGHT A KING SIZE BED, A 60 INCH TV, AND MOST OF ALL, TO BOTH OF US, WE ADOPTED A GOLDEN LAB PUPPY.
BUT TONIGHT, IT IS REALLY HITTING ME THAT THIS DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IS THE LAST TIME I WILL BE IN MY BED, MY BEDROOM, AND THE HOME I HAVE KNOWN ALL MY LIFE.
It was a dark and stormy night, lit only by intermittent flashes of blue-white lightning and their reflection against the sea's writhing surface. Had the wind not been so strenuous the water would have been a perfectly glossed mirror of blues and greens, marred only by the occasional patch of floating wreckage and the rippling wake of a ship with a black flag. As it was, those details were lost in the blurred edges of the driving rain. Furious waves pounded what remained of the Merry Blue, seemingly angry that the majority of the vessel had already sunk and was even now descending ponderously towards the sea floor. The storm seemed determined to punish every piece of flotsam left of the ship, heedless of the child clinging to a barrel's top and the sailors' desperate attempts to grasp something, anything, that might help them float.
The child seemed oblivious, rain and tears streaking down its face indiscriminately as it peered in the approximate direction of the Storm's Wrath. If the child had been less shellshocked it might have found irony in the name. As it was, it only knew that its home was sailing away.
It heard the cries of drowning men as they fought for the few pieces of flotsam large and buoyant enough to offer some hope of survival and shied away from them, glad that the angry men were too far away to pose a threat. The child had been jettisoned after the battle, tossed overboard just far enough for safety but close enough to hear the souls it had condemned.
Why, why had it told the captain what it saw from the rigging? It knew what the crew were about, knew that they were starving for blood and riches. They hadn't had prey in weeks-- of course they wouldn't care about the risks of the approaching storm.
The child pressed its face into the rough wet grain of its barrel, heedless of the splinters and small cuts that had already started smarting in the brine. Closing its eyes, it tried to block out the memories. It still cowered from the shouting among the tall men as they stomped around on deck, felt the phantom of the captain's blood painting its face, heard the chaos as half protested the violence and the others clamored for more.
It had thrown itself over the captain, trying to wake him up, small hands slipping in blood and the storm's first spits of rain. Until that point the child had lived five, maybe six years-- death was something whispered about but never confirmed. It had asked a crew member, a large, nice man who sometimes bought it sweets, and he said death was just a different kind of sleeping.
But the captain didn't wake up. And the child, shaking with anger and grief and confusion, had thrown itself at the murderer.
Now the child clutched the barrel tighter, closed its eyes, and waited for that different kind of sleep.
Death in the Air
It was a dark and stormy night.
The thunder overhead rumbled ominously, rain pattering against cracked cobblestone paths. A lonely traveler found himself in an old village, desolate wooden buildings creaking precariously in the wind. Perhaps, the man thought, he could seek refuge from the storm here.
He climbed the nearest house's stairs, the planks beneath him groaning their dissent. Ignoring it, the traveler pulled at the door, wincing at the rasping noise.
Inside, the house was battered and worn, yet cosy. Putting down his meager belongings, the man checked around the abandoned building.
Minutes later, he was fleeing the village in terror.
It was a dark and stormy night in the Mariana Trench. 36,000 feet below the surface of the haunted Pacific. The waterwinds were blowing fiercely as the bioluminescence flashed like lightning. The thunder was rendered by the friction of the two shimmying layers struggling against their common thermocline. It was a perfect storm for the dead.
I, like the others, share this abyssal home with sailors of all nations and the machines that ferried them here. The skeletons, the plastic, the flotsam, the ghosts of the derelict vessels from a world that once mattered. The sparkly radiation is all that's left of the curies raining down upon us.
Months after, those from sea level and the hills and even the mountains started descending to join us. Occasionally, one came down who had to have been beautiful, before the sinewy burns. I suppose that sooner or later everyone up there will pass through down here. I'm counting them. And all of the ones who must have been beautiful at one time, will find a discordant resting place of ugliness.
The winds of fire are over, but replaced by the torrents of air and water and earth that sweep across the topographical irregularities, wearing them even and smooth and unsuspicious. Like nothing happened there. The fetid air will one day devolve into fragrant aether and hopefully some invertebrate will crawl out of the foam to start the new chapter of the Book of Life. It will be only a second draft, so hopefully the writing will be more sophisticated, unlike the tawdry comedy that just ended.
It Was A Dark And Stormy Night
It was a dark and stormy night .. on those nights, so many memories come flooding back.
I was 6, my family lived on a dead end dirt road, no neighbors as far as a 6 year old could see. Loud thunder and lightning would give me nightmares. My 6 year old imagination would run wild with thoughts of what could be happening and to where I could find comfort and safety, more often than not, it would find me crawling into bed with the one person who always made me feel safe.
Still, to this day, when those storms return, and the memories flood back, I hold your picture close to my chest, knowing you are still with me, keeping me safe. It has been 9 years since your passing, but you're still here with me, keeping me safe, on those dark and stormy nights.
Love you mom.
A Dark and ‘Story’ Night
It was a dark and stormy night. I curled up in my bed and stared up at the Bible verses written on the underside of the bunk above me. I can't read them in the dim light, but it doesn't matter, since I know them all by heart.
I shivered as the rain poured down the window. I could hear the trees creaking outside in the wind. Lightning flashes and thunder crashes. Suddenly, in the doorway, appeared two small figures.
"Anna! I'm scared!" cried two small voices.
I flipped back the covers and motion them towards me. The twins raced for my bed and climbed in. Curling up against me, they asked me to tell a story. With my arms wrapped around them, I began.
"Once upon a time there was a boy named Matt, and he had a dog named Oliver..."
As I told the story to four listening ears, I thought, "It's easy to be afraid when you're alone, but when those around you are afraid, you must be brave."