That cloudy day in Detroit, Marlene Potsie rode her pink and red motorcycle in the rain home. She'd just finished taking a couple boys she'd been seeing back to the high school because they had class but they did wish they could skip their afternoon classes just to hang out with their African – American date. Marlene arrived to the two – story brick house she was now living in.
After parking her motorcycle in the driveway and taking her helmet off, Marlene opened the screen door. She found a tall, dark – haired man in his late forties in the kitchen. She slammed the screen door when the two of them heard a clap of thunder.
"Just in time, Marlene," the dark – haired man named Bill Thompson said.
"Thanks, Bill. I just dropped off my dates at the high school since they had classes this afternoon," Marlene said.
"I'm happy I see one person – my wife," Bill told her.
The next minute or so, before Bill or Marlene knew it, the electricity went out.
"Great," Bill said.
"Can you figure a way to turn the power back on?" Bill asked her.
Marlene didn't answer him. All she did was stomp her left foot and the power came back on. Bill was surprised to see this. Bill decided to tell their friends what Marlene had just done.
"I don't get it, Marlene. How did you do that? Too bad the others missed this," Bill said, amazed at what Marlene had just done.
Before she said anything, Marlene pushed away her dark hair from her eyes. She decided not to say anything so she stayed quiet.
Bill decided to tell their friends what Marlene had just done.
"The gang is coming over for supper tonight, Marlene. Thanks for turning the power back on like that. The gang has to hear this," Bill said.
He could see Marlene didn't answer him. All she did was push away her long, dark hair from her face and went to grab an apple from the kitchen.
Bill watched as Marlene took a seat on one of the living room couches.
"Do you want to watch 'Comeback Kid' with me, Bill?" Marlene asked.
"Thanks, but I have a book to finish. I can work on that until I pick up Ken from school in an hour," Bill said.
Marlene remembered the rule when she first moved in with Bill and his wife – no kids on motorcycles.
She wanted to volunteer to pick up Ken later, but that was when she remembered her motorcycle was out of the question. She also remembered her younger cousin, Carla Sanchez was working at the library. Marlene remembered Carla recently dyed her hair again last week since it is now spring. Carla changed her hair from Christmas gold to spring leaf red.
The phone rang the minute Bill sat at the computer to finish his latest Lynda Conway novel. He didn't want to get up again just to answer the phone, so he decided he'd let Marlene do it. He was right because he heard her voice in the kitchen. He had no idea who it was but he was sure Marlene would tell him.
After a second or so, Bill heard Marlene put the phone back. She walked into the office.
"Who was that?" Bill asked.
"Karen. She said she can't join us tonight because she has to work tonight."
"Okay," he said, remembering their red – headed police friend.
Bill knew his friend Jay was taking it easy because last Christmas Jay had to spend Christmas in the hospital because he had an accident and needed no surgery but physical therapy.
Bill remembered Jay needed about five or ten appointments of physical therapy left and then he would be one hundred percent back to normal. Bill had known Jay and Karen McCarey since the three of them had lived in Washington, but he and Jay didn't meet until high school. Unlinke himself and Marlene, Jay McCarey didn't have black hair. He was a blonde, and like Bill, they were the same age but two weeks apart with Bill being older.
It was now time for Bill to pick up Ken from school. He got up from the computer and walked into the living room where he found Marlene watching television.
"I'll be back soon, Marlene. I'm going to the school to pick up Ken," Bill said.
Marlene watched him leave. The phone rang in the kitchen.
Marlene got up and said, "Hello?"
"Hi, Marlene. Is Bill there?" Tina asked.
"He just left, Tina. He went to get Ken from school."
"Will you tell Bill when he gets back I'm on my way home?" Tina asked.
"It's a bit early to come home, isn't it?"
"I know it is, Marlene, but with the power out we can't feed any of the customers. I'm calling on the cell," Tina told Marlene.
"I'll tell Bill when he gets back," Marlene told Tina as she put the phone back.
She never thought about the power being out in town but she knew this neighborhood was out for sure except this house. Before she knew it, Bill and Ken walked into the house a few minutes later.
"We're back," Bill said.
"Hi, Bill. I have a message for you," Marlene said.
"What?" Bill asked as he watched Ken head up the stairs to do his homework.
"Tina called. She said she's on her way home right now because the power is out at the resturant," Marlene told him.
"Okay. I can't wait to see Tiny Tina again," he told Marlene.
Marlene gave him a look.
The doorbell rang. Bill answered the door. He saw one of his neighbors from across the street was standing at the door. He remembered her because she lived in the Spanish – style house across the street that dated back in the 1700s. He saw his neighbor wearing a yellow raincoat carrying a candle.
"Hi, Bill. Sorry if I'm disturbing anything, but I'm not making a social call," the thin, tall, gray – haired woman named Susan Cash said.
Marlene could tell Susan didn't look familiar to her.
"What are you here for, Susan?" Bill asked.
"I wanted to see if the other houses had their power back on, but so far yours is the only one on. How did you get it back on?" Susan asked.
Bill didn't say anything so all he did was nod his head in Marlene's direction.
"You mean to tell me that she turned your power back on? That doesn't make sense," Susan told Bill.
"Well, it's true. Tell her you turned my lights back on, Marlene."
"It's true and he ain't lying," Marlene said to Susan.
"I still think it makes no sense because the other houses are still dark. If you're so smart, Ms., why don't you turn the rest of the neighborhood on?" Susan asked.
"Hold it!" Marlene said.
It caught both Bill and Susan's attention.
"What, Marlene?" Bill asked.
"I just don't do it for strangers like her," Susan heard Marlene tell Bill.
Bill understood what Marlene meant.
"Do your phones work, Susan?" Bill asked.
"Not the house phone but the cell does. Why?"
"I was wondering if the other houses have the house phones working because of the storm," Bill said.
"I don't know. I've been at work this morning and came home before it started to rain," Susan told Bill and Marlene.
Bill had a thought. He looked in Marlene's direction.
"Why are you looking at me like that?" Marlene asked him.
"If you could turn my lights back on, you could do the same with the rest of the neighborhood," Bill said.
Susan agreed with Bill and told Bill she would like to see Marlene turn the lights back on.
"You will, Susan," Bill said.
"So will you do it for the neighborhood, Marlene? It's easier this way than to call the electric company," Bill said.
Marlene said she would.
"Thanks, Marlene. I knew you wouldn't turn my neighborhood down," Bill said as they watched Susan leave.
That's when the cell phone rang.
"Hi, Bill," they heard Jay McCarey's musical voice say.
"I tried calling your house phone just now, but I got no answer," Jay said.
"Don't you know, Jay? We're having a power outage and the lights went out in the neighborhood and also at Tina's. Aren't the lights out at your place?" Bill asked.
Bill waited for Jay's response as he watched Marlene leave the house.
"No. I have a flashlight. It doesn't have much power but it's the best I can do," Jay said.
He asked about Marlene.
"You won't believe what Marlene did, Jay. I wish you and the others were here to see this," Bill said laughingly.
"What did she do?" Jay asked.
He hoped this was good. Bill was trying to find the right words on what to tell his best friend about Marlene and the power outage.
"Do the others know about this yet?" Jay asked.
"No, they don't, Jay. You'll be the first."
Jay could tell Bill was still in giggles when he was talking at the same time.
"You mean Marlene did something funny?" Jay asked.
"I think you might find it funny, Jay."
"You're only giggling, Bill. You still haven't told me what Marlene did that made you laugh."
"Sorry, Jay. I'm not sure if anyone else is going to believe or not, but when the power went out at the house with the rest of the neighborhood, my lights didn't last very long. Marlene turned them on again by stomping her left foot," Bill said laughingly.
Jay couldn't believe what he had just heard. He didn't know what to say so all he did was join Bill in the laughter.
"You have to show me that, Bill," Jay said giggly.
That's when Bill heard the door open.
"Jay, I've got to go. Tina's home," Bill said, still in laughter.
The two hung up.
"Hi, Fashion state Bill," Tina said when she walked into the kitchen.
"Hi, Tiny Tina," he said in between giggles.
"What's so funny?" Tina asked, finding it hard to kiss Bill.
"It's about Marlene."
"Where is Marlene?"
"I'm not sure, Tiny Tina. I think she said something about dinner and the movies with a few of her dates," Bill said.
That night during dinner, Bill laughingly told Tina and Ken about Marlene and the power outage.
"The minute Marlene stomped her left foot, the lights came back on. The lights have been on ever since," he said in giggles.
"I don't get it. How can you turn the lights back on with your foot? I'd like to see that," Tina said.
"You will next time this happens."
When supper was over, Ken was sent to his room to work on his homework.
"Do the others know?" Tina asked.
"About Marlene? Only you and Jay so far," Bill said.
"I hope our lights stay on," Tina said.
"So do I," Bill agreed.
One thing Tina and Bill didn't know was that the lights would be out that night when the whole family was asleep.
A little after midnight, Marlene walked into the dark house. She always came to this house after her dates were over, finding a light house instead of a dark house. She remembered they usually left a light on for her but she wondered why the house was dark. When Marlene locked the front door behind herself, she found the kitchen clocks clicking back and forth, so it told her this house recently had another power outage while she was out.
Didn't she just turn the power back on in this abode? She remembered doing so. She didn't worry about the clocks blinking in the kitchen because she herself was going to bed. Upstairs, Bill was awake and heard Marlene downstairs. He didn't bother getting out of bed so he fell asleep again after hearing Marlene head to the attic.