The R Sisters

In the west end of a wonderful city known as Toronto, three happy girls live with their mother in a red brick house with a green roof. Their house is the third one on the left side of the street. The girls are known as the R sisters, and that is because all three of their names begin with the letter R. Rachel is the oldest of the three sisters, Rebecca is the middle child and Roo is the youngest. Now one morning, Rebecca and Roo were fast asleep in their bedroom when they were suddenly woken up by a loud bang.

"What was that noise?" asked Roo wearily.

"I don't know." said Rebecca. "Maybe Rachel knows." The two of them got out of bed and were about to look out their window when Rachel walked in.

"Did you two hear a loud noise outside?" she asked.

"We sure did." said Rebecca. "I wonder why that noise went off, though." The three of them went over to the window in Rachel's room and looked outside.

"Wow, there's a lot of grey clouds outside." said Roo.

"I think it's going to rain." said Rebecca.

"I think you're right." said Rachel. "Well anyway, you two go on ahead downstairs for breakfast. I'll join you after I finish getting dressed." Rebecca and Roo slowly trudged downstairs into the kitchen where they were greeted by their mother.

"Good morning, girls." said Mom.

"Good morning, Mom." said Rebecca. She and Roo sat down at the table and found that their breakfast was already waiting for them. They were about to dig in when Mom stopped them.

"Not so fast, you two." said Mom. "We have to wait for Rachel. By the way, where is she?"

"She said she was getting changed." said Rebecca. "She'll be down in a couple of minutes."

"Well hopefully she doesn't take too long." said Mom. Five minutes later, Rachel walked into the kitchen and sat at the table. In place of her pajamas, she was wearing her short sleeve nineteen fifties style blue and white gingham dress, her plain white knee high school socks and her black Biomecanics Berta Girl Mary Jane dress shoes. She had pulled her hair into a ponytail, wrapped a red ribbon sash just above the waist of her dress and tied it into a bow, and she had also done up the Velcro straps of her shoes via the hook and loop adjustable closure.

"There you are, Rachel." said Mom.

"What's for breakfast this morning?" asked Rachel.

"Well it just so happens that I fixed some cereal for the three of you." said Mom.

"Thanks." said Rachel. The girls looked in their bowls, and then looked up at Mom with weird looks on their faces. This was a cereal they had never seen before.

"What is this?" asked Rachel.

"It's a new cereal called Oreo Os." said Mom. "I think you girls will like it." The three of them each took a bite, and found that their mother was absolutely correct. Once they had finished their cereal, the loud bang that had awakened them from their sleep earlier went off outside again.

"Wow, that thunder's really loud isn't it?" asked Mom.

"So that was the noise that woke us up before." said Roo.

"That's exactly what it was." said Mom. "There's supposed to be a storm today."

"What does that mean?" asked Rachel.

"It means you'll have to stay inside the house." said Mom. This wasn't news the girls wanted to hear.

"That's not fair." said Roo. "We were going to play outside today, but I guess we can't do that."

"We'll just have to find something to do inside, then." said Rebecca.

"We could watch a movie." suggested Rachel.

"I would rather read." said Rebecca.

"Those are all good ideas." said Mom. "Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with you doing any of those things. Today, however, I've already picked out what the three of you are going to do. Come with me and I'll show you what it is." The girls followed their mom to the living room where they found three solid oak wooden dining chairs placed at the window. One of the chairs was green, another chair was orange and the third chair was yellow. There was a small gap in between all three chairs.

"All three of you are going to sit in these chairs and watch the rain." said Mom. "That includes you too, Rachel. Now, are there any objections?" All three girls shook their heads.

"All right then." said Mom. She looked over the girls' attire and gave Rachel thumbs up. When she saw that the other two were still in their pajamas, however, she shook her head.

"You're not going to sit in the seats in your pajamas." She said. "Rebecca and Roo, I want both of you to go upstairs to your room and change right now." Both girls slowly walked back upstairs and retreated to their rooms to get dressed. Meanwhile, Rachel stayed in the living room with Mom and they both waited for her sisters to come back. Rachel expected that Rebecca and Roo would be ready any second, but after five minutes, they had yet to return.

"I hope they don't take too much longer." said Rachel.

"I hope not either." said Mom and they waited some more. After ten more minutes had passed, Rebecca and Roo still hadn't come back down. Rachel tapped her foot impatiently as she was getting tired of waiting. After five more minutes, they still hadn't come back.

"Your sisters are certainly taking a while." said Mom. "Do me a favor please and see what's keeping them."

"All right." said Rachel. So she headed up the stairs, walked down the hall to her sisters' bedroom and knocked on the door.

"Are you two coming or what?" she asked.

"We'll be there in a minute." said Rebecca.

"Well hurry up because Mom's waiting for us." said Rachel. She headed back downstairs and back into the living room where Mom was standing.

"They're coming." said Rachel. It seemed like her sisters would never come back down. After another five minutes, Rebecca and Roo finally came into the living room. The two of them weren't wearing their pajamas anymore. Instead, they were now wearing their short sleeve nineteen fifties style blue and white gingham dresses, their plain white knee high school socks and their black Hush Puppies Lexi Mary Jane dress shoes. They had also wrapped a red ribbon sash just above the waist of their dresses and tied them into a bow at the back. Finally, they had done up the straps of their shoes via the hook and loop adjustable closure.

"It's about time." said Rachel. "I was worried that something might've happened to the two of you."

"Okay girls, here's how we're going to decide who sits in which chair." said Mom. "We're going to start with the youngest and go up to the oldest. So that means you get to pick first, Roo."

"I'll take the green chair." said Roo.

"All right." said Mom. "Rebecca, you're next."

"Can I sit in the yellow chair, please?" asked Rebecca.

"You sure can." said Mom.

"I guess I get the orange chair in the middle, then." said Rachel.

"I guess so, dear." said Mom. All three girls proceeded to sit down in the chairs they had picked. Once they were all sitting down, Mom stood behind them and gave them a firm look.

"Now, the three of you are to remain in your chairs until the rain stops." she said. "I don't want either of you getting up for any reason. Also, I'll be checking on you often so I don't want either of you trying anything sneaky. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Mom." said Rachel.

"All right then." said Mom. The moment she left the room, another clap of thunder went off outside and then the first raindrops began to pelt the window. After only ten minutes, however, Rebecca gave a sigh of boredom.

"I wish it didn't have to rain today." she said.

"Unfortunately, this is one of those things we can't control." said Rachel.

"I know." said Rebecca.

"What exactly did you want to do today, Rebecca?" asked Roo.

"I wanted to play outside." said Rebecca.

"Well you obviously can't do that." said Rachel. "I'll tell you what, though. Tomorrow, if the weather's nice, we'll all go to the park together and go jumping."

"Okay." said Rebecca. Twenty minutes later, Mom came back into the room.

"Are the three of you doing all right in here?" she asked.

"Yes, Mom." said Rebecca.

"Very good." said Mom.

"Mommy, what time is it?" asked Rose.

"Let's have a look and find out." said Mom. She took out her phone and checked the time in the upper right corner of the screen.

"Right now, it's eight thirty." said Mom. "At this point, the three of you have been sitting there for half an hour."

"When's it supposed to stop raining?" asked Rachel.

"Let's check that out." said Mom. She tapped the weather app on her phone and the forecast for the day came up. However, the results weren't favorable at all.

"According to my weather app, it's not supposed to stop raining until at least five o'clock." said Mom. "Therefore, it appears that the three of you will have to sit in your seats for another eight and a half hours."

"It could keep raining past five, though, couldn't it?" Rachel wondered.

"That's a possibility." said Mom. "That's why I told you that you have to stay in your chairs until the rain stops." Then she left the room again.

"I don't want to sit here all day." said Roo.

"Neither do I." said Rebecca.

"You heard what Mom just said." replied Rachel. "We have to sit here for the rest of the day. Now let's try to make the best of this situation."

"All right." said Rebecca. Another clap of thunder went off outside, but the girls weren't fazed. They just calmly watched the rain hit the glass of the window. After another five minutes had passed, Rebecca spoke.

"I should run up to the bedroom and grab my Nintendo 3DS." she said.

"I don't think that's a good idea." said Rachel.

"Well I'm bored." said Rebecca. "If I have to sit here, I want something with me."

"Let's see what Mom says when she comes back." said Rachel. Sure enough, the girls' mother came back into the room ten minutes later.

"Mom, can I get my 3DS from our room?" asked Rebecca.

"I'm sorry, but the answer is no." said Mom. "Neither of you are to have any electronic devices on you while you sit in your chairs." As she left the room, Rachel shook her head.

"I told you so." she said.

"Okay Rachel, you were right." said Rebecca.

"Of course I'm right." said Rachel. "I am the oldest, after all."

"There's no need to brag." said Roo.

"Roo's right." said Rebecca. "Sometimes you brag a little too much."

"It's not like I brag all the time, though." said Rachel.

"We know." said Rebecca. "Just try not to do it so much, okay?"

"All right." said Rachel. The girls continued watching the storm together, and for a little while, the only noise they heard was the thunder booming from the sky and the rain pelting the windowpane. At nine o'clock, the doorbell rang.

"I'll get it." said Mom and she came downstairs so she could answer the door. The girls turned around to face towards the door so they could see who it was, but Mom shook her head.

"I'm not opening this door until you girls turn back around and face the window." she said.

"But it could be for us." protested Rebecca. Then the doorbell rang again.

"I don't care." said Mom. "Now turn back around and face the window this instant." The girls did as they were told and Mom opened the door. It turned out to be one of Mom's friends that she hadn't seen in fifteen years. She let her friend inside and closed the door. Then they embraced each other with a hug and headed into the kitchen. Then they sat down at the table and started chatting.

"I wonder what they're talking about." said Roo.

"We could go into the kitchen and find out for ourselves." said Rebecca.

"We can't do that." said Rachel. "We have to stay here, remember?"

"Oh yeah." said Rebecca sheepishly. Even though the girls couldn't move, they could still hear the conversation that was taking place in the kitchen.

"So what's been happening with you since the last time I saw you?" Mom asked.

"Well, I've started my own restaurant business." said Mom's friend.

"How's that working out for you?" asked Mom.

"It's working out great." said Mom's friend. "In fact, yesterday was the busiest day we've ever had in the time that the restaurant's been open."

"Wow." said Mom.

"I know." said Mom's friend. "Luckily we're closed today since today's Sunday."

"The food there must be pretty good." said Mom.

"The food's amazing." said Mom's friend. "You really must come down sometime."

"I'll definitely consider it." said Mom. "How's your home life been since we last saw each other?"

"Well, I have a daughter myself." said Mom's friend. "She's eight years old."

"What's your daughter's name?" asked Mom.

"Her name's Michelle." said Mom's friend.

"That's certainly a nice name." said Mom. "You didn't bring her with you today, did you?"

"I did not." said Mom's friend. "But I have a picture of her that I can show you." She took out a picture of her daughter that had been taken a few weeks ago and showed it to Mom.

"What do you think?" asked Mom's friend.

"She looks so nice in that picture." said Mom. "You have to let me meet her."

"I will definitely do that." said Mom's friend.

"You know, you're not the only one that's had a kid since the last time we got to see each other." said Mom.

"Oh?" wondered Mom's friend.

"It just so happens that I have a kid of my own." said Mom. "In fact, I actually have three of them."

"I hope they're good girls just like my Michelle." said Mom's friend.

"Oh they are." said Mom. Just then, she noticed the open door that led in and out of the kitchen.

"Excuse me for one second." said Mom. She got up from the table and closed the door, and then she returned to her seat.

"Darn it, she closed the door." said Rebecca. "Now we won't know what they're talking about."

"Whatever it is, Mom probably doesn't want us to hear." said Rachel. "Why else would she close the door?"

"You have a point there." said Roo and the girls went back to watching the storm. Meanwhile, Mom was resuming her chat.

"Sorry about that." she said. "I had a feeling that my kids were listening in on what we were discussing and I don't want them doing that."

"That makes perfect sense." said Mom's friend.

"Would you like some coffee?" Mom asked.

"No thanks." said Mom's friend. "I had some earlier this morning, so I'm good. Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the weather."

"I know." said Mom. "It's terrible outside today." At that point, another clap of thunder went off outside.

"Ah yes, I see what you mean." said Mom's friend. "I was going to take Michelle to the park today, but I had to cancel those plans because of the weather."

"I hate when weather ruins things." said Mom.

"I do too." said Mom's friend. "It's one of the most annoying things in the world."

"I'll definitely agree with you on that." said Mom. Then she got an idea. "I just thought of something. Would you like to meet my girls?"

"I certainly would." said Mom's friend. "Where are they?"

"They're in the other room." said Mom. "Come with me." She opened the door and took her friend into the living room.

"Girls, this is my friend Kayla." said Mom.

"It's nice meeting you, Kayla." said Rachel.

"It's nice meeting you too." said Kayla. "I like those dresses you girls are wearing."

"Thanks." said Rebecca. "Mom made them for us."

"Well she certainly did a good job." said Kayla.

"I do my best." said Mom. The two women were about to go back into the kitchen when Kayla noticed the chairs that the girls were sitting in.

"I just have one question to ask of you girls." she said. "How come all three of you are sitting here looking out the window at the storm?"

"Mom said that we have to." said Rachel.

"I don't think that sounds like a fun thing to do on a rainy day." said Kayla.

"You're telling me." said Roo.

"I usually don't make them do that when it rains, but there's always a first time for everything." said Mom.

"That's true." said Kayla. She and Mom went back into the kitchen to resume their conversation, and Mom made sure to close the door so that the girls wouldn't be able to hear them.

"Well, what do you think?" asked Mom.

"Your girls certainly seem nice." said Kayla.

"Trust me, they're very nice." said Mom.

"Do your kids like movies?" asked Kayla.

"Of course." said Mom. "They watch a movie practically every day."

"Do they have any favorite movie in particular?" asked Kayla.

"No, they just watch whatever they feel like watching." said Mom.

"Michelle's the same way when it comes to movies." said Kayla. Just then, she got an idea.

"Say, I just thought of something." she said. "If your girls want to watch a movie, they can come to my house and watch one there. I've got plenty of movies."

"That's a nice offer, Kayla, but they're not allowed to go anywhere today." said Mom. "It was a good idea, though. While we're still on the subject of movies, the girls wanted to watch one today but I told them that they had to watch the storm instead."

"Yeah, your oldest child told me about that." said Kayla. "How old are your kids, anyway?"

"Rachel's twelve, Rebecca's nine and Roo's seven." said Mom.

"So they're all still young, then." said Kayla. "I take it that they're in school?"

"They are, but they don't attend public school." said Mom. Another clap of thunder went off outside.

"If they're in school but they don't go to school, then how do they do their schooling?" Kayla wondered.

"I home school them." said Mom. "I've always done this with the girls and this upcoming school year's no different. Roo's starting grade two, Rebecca's starting grade four and Rachel's starting grade seven."

"So that would mean that they've all had their birthday already." said Kayla.

"That's right." said Mom. "In fact, they all had their birthday two days apart at the beginning of July." said Mom.

"Hopefully they got some good things for their birthday." said Kayla.

"I usually don't like to spend a lot of money because I believe that the best kinds of gifts are the ones that are homemade." said Mom. "I did make one exception, though. The shoes you saw the girls wearing earlier were purchased by me and I also bought Rebecca a 3DS for her birthday. However, I made the dresses you saw them wearing by myself and gave those to them as their birthday present."

"They must like those dresses then." said Kayla.

"They love them." said Mom. "All three girls have worn their dresses at least once a week since getting them, which tells me that they love them a lot."

"I guess that just shows how much they enjoy them." said Kayla. "Now the Mary Jane shoes I saw them wearing, are those the only shoes they have or do they have other shoes?"

"Nope, the Mary Jane shoes you saw them wearing are the only ones they're allowed to wear." said Mom. "I always buy them those shoes for their birthdays every year and they like them a lot."

"But what happens to the older pairs when you buy them new ones?" asked Kayla.

"They get thrown out." said Mom.

"Well that makes sense then." said Kayla. She and Mom then proceeded to talk about other subjects such as travel, politics, and food. After talking for another half hour, the two women finally got up from the kitchen table and decided to go and check on the girls. Rebecca, Roo and Rachel were all sitting quietly in their chairs facing the window looking out at the storm, but they did so with sad looks on their faces. So when they heard Mom and Kayla come into the living room, they all gave out a loud sigh.

"They don't look very happy." observed Kayla.

"They're just upset because it's raining." said Mom. "I'm sure they'll feel better later, though."

"Well I certainly hope so." said Kayla. Then she got another idea. "During our conversation earlier, I'd let you meet my daughter. Do you want to come over and meet her now?"

"I'd love to." said Mom.

"Then let's get going." said Kayla.

"You go ahead and wait for me in the car." said Mom. "I'll be out in a second." She went over to the chairs and stood behind the one Rachel was sitting in.

"Rachel, I'm going out now but I'll be back a little bit later." said Mom. "You're in charge until I come home."

"All right." said Rachel.

"Now while I'm gone, make sure that your sisters stay in their chairs." said Mom. "However, you still have to stay in your own chair as well. Is that understood?"

"Yes, Mom." said Rachel.

"All right." said Mom. She kissed her daughters and headed outside into Kayla's car. The girls watched their mother and her friend drive off down the street in the pouring rain, and then they sighed again.

"I wish we could've gone with them." said Roo.

"I do too." said Rebecca. Another clap of thunder went off.

"Well we can't." said Rachel. "We have to stay in these chairs."

"How long have we been sitting here anyway?" asked Roo.

"I think it's been close to two hours at this point." said Rebecca.

"Yeah, that sounds about right." said Rachel. Just then, another clap of thunder went off and this one was a bit louder than the previous ones were.

"I hope this storm ends soon." said Rebecca.

"So do I." said Roo. Another clap of thunder went off yet again.

"You two seem to be forgetting what Mom said earlier." said Rachel. "The storm's not going to be over until at least five, and even then, it could still last longer than that. So I wouldn't count on being able to do anything else today." Her younger sisters sighed, but they didn't have a choice. So the three girls continued to sit and watch the storm. Neither of them said anything for a little while, but at five after ten, Roo sighed.

"I want to watch a movie." she said impatiently.

"We can't do that." said Rachel. "If Mom sees us out of our seats when she comes back, we'll get in trouble. You don't want to get in trouble, do you?"

"No, I guess not." said Roo.

"I guess not is right." said Rachel. Another clap of thunder went off, and the girls sat in silence for the next ten minutes. Then Roo came up with an idea.

"I want to play a game." she said.

"What game did you have in mind?" asked Rachel.

"I was thinking that we could play hide and seek." said Roo.

"That's not a bad idea." said Rachel.

"I'd definitely be up for that." said Rebecca.

"There's just one problem with Roo's idea, though." said Rachel. "We can't get out of our chairs. That means we can't play hide and seek."

"Oops, I guess I forgot about that. Sorry, Rachel." said Roo.

"That's okay." said Rachel. "Everybody forgets things sometimes. Why just last week, I forgot how to put this dress on."

"How did that happen?" asked Roo.

"Well, let's see." said Rachel. "I know it was a rainy day just like today. If I remember correctly, I had just finished breakfast and I was getting myself ready for the day. Once I was done, I looked in the mirror and discovered that I had put on my dress in reverse."

"That must've been embarrassing." said Rebecca.

"It was a little embarrassing, yes." said Rachel. "Luckily, I realized what I had done wrong so I was able to take my dress off and then put it back on the right way."

"Well that's good." said Roo. The girls continued to watch the storm, and after another fifteen minutes had passed, Rebecca came up with another idea.

"Do we have any board games lying around anywhere?" she asked.

"I think so." said Roo. "Why do you ask?"

"I was thinking that we could play some Monopoly or something." said Rebecca.

"That's not a bad idea." said Rachel. "I'd be up for a game."

"So would I." said Roo.

"But there's a slight problem with that idea." said Rachel. "Playing a board game would mean that we'd have to get out of our chairs and we're not supposed to do that."

"Oh yeah, I forgot about that." said Rebecca.

"However, I have an idea for a game we can play that won't require us to get out of our chairs." said Rachel.

"What kind of game did you have in mind?" asked Roo as another clap of thunder went off outside.

"The game I was thinking we could do is a guessing game." said Rachel. "It's a fairly easy one too. How this guessing game works is that we all predict when the next clap of thunder goes off. What do you two think?"

"I like that idea." said Roo.

"So do I." said Rebecca.

"In that case, let's start." said Rachel. "I think the next clap of thunder will be in five minutes."

"I'll guess ten minutes." said Rebecca.

"And I'll guess six minutes." said Roo.

"Now that we've all guessed, what do we do next?" asked Rebecca.

"We wait for the thunder." said Rachel. So they sat and waited for the next clap of thunder to show up. As they waited, they watched the rain continue to pour down and pound the glass. The next clap of thunder went off three minutes later.

"Well, it looks like we were all wrong on our predictions that time." said Rachel.

"So who wins that round then?" asked Rebecca.

"I think I do since I was closest." said Rachel. "That means I have one point and the two of you don't have anything yet. But don't worry because we're going to play again. Now, I think the next clap of thunder will be in six minutes."

"I think it'll be four minutes." said Rebecca.

"I also think it'll be four minutes." said Roo. The three of them watched with anticipation as they waited for the next clap of thunder to go off. Sure enough, the next clap went off four minutes later.

"Well, both of you win that round because you were both exactly right with your guesses while I was off by two minutes." said Rachel. "Now we each have a point. What do you think of this game so far?"

"I must say, this game is a lot of fun." said Rebecca. "I like it."

"I like it too." said Roo. "I want to play again."

"All right." said Rachel. "I will say that the next clap of thunder will go off in nine minutes."

"I think it'll be eleven minutes." said Rebecca.

"And I think it'll be six minutes." said Roo. So once again, the three of them watched the storm in order to keep track of when the thunder would arrive again. The next clap went off seven minutes later.

"Looks like I win this time." said Roo. "I was only off by one minute."

"So that means Roo has two points and Rebecca and I each have one." said Rachel. "You guys are pretty good at this game." They were about to start another round when the phone rang.

"Don't answer it." said Rachel.

"It could be Mom, though." said Rebecca. The phone rang again.

"I don't care." said Rachel. "We're not supposed to get up from here which means we're not allowed to answer the phone." The phone rang one more time and then stopped.

"I guess whoever was calling probably dialed the wrong number." said Rachel. "Now let's continue our game. I think the next clap of thunder will go off in two minutes."

"I don't think it'll be that short of a gap." said Rebecca. "I'm going to guess five minutes."

"I'm going to guess fifteen minutes." said Roo. As it turned out, the next clap of thunder went off one minute later.

"Well, I was way off." said Roo.

"And I thought it would've been a bit of a longer gap between thunderclaps." said Rebecca.

"Well sometimes that happens with storms." said Rachel. "Sometimes there's a long gap and sometimes there's a short gap. And that time happened to be a short gap, so I get a point."

"So you and I are tied now, Rachel?" asked Roo.

"Correct." said Rachel. "You and I have two points each and Rebecca only has one and we go to round five. I'm going to guess eight minutes."

"I'm going to guess four minutes." said Rebecca.

"I'm going to guess three minutes." said Roo. Well, the next clap of thunder went off after another four minutes had passed.

"I win that time." said Rebecca. "Now we all have two points each."

"Rachel, I'm kind of getting tired of playing this game." said Roo.

"So am I." said Rebecca.

"In that case, we'll play one more round." said Rachel. "However, I'm going to make things interesting. If any of us makes an exact guess, it'll be worth two points instead of one. Either way, whoever wins this round wins the game. Now, I think the next clap of thunder will go off in seven minutes."

"I'll also guess seven minutes." said Roo.

"I'll say seven minutes too." said Rebecca. So they watched as they waited for the all-important clap of thunder. Seven minutes later, the thunder went off.

"Well, we were all correct so we all get two points." said Rachel. "That means we all have four points. But it also means that the game ends in a tie."

"So what happens now?" asked Roo.

"We play a tiebreaker round to determine the winner." said Rachel. "I think the next clap of thunder will be in five minutes."

"I think it'll be in six minutes." said Rebecca.

"I think it'll be in eight minutes." said Roo. The next clap of thunder went off five minutes later."

"I was right again." said Rachel. "Two more points for me gives me a total of six which means I win. You two played well, though."

"I had fun playing that game." said Rebecca.

"So did I." said Roo. All three girls went back to watching the storm, but after ten more minutes had passed, something in the house went bump.

"What was that?" asked Roo.

"I don't know." said Rebecca.

"It's probably nothing." said Rachel. "I'm not going to worry about it and you two shouldn't worry about it either." So they tried once again to concentrate on watching the storm. But after another five minutes, the same bump was heard again.

"There's obviously something in the house that's making that noise and I'm going to find out what it is." said Rebecca.

"Oh no you're not." said Rachel as another clap of thunder went off. "You're staying put in your chair."

"But I want to know what's making the noise." said Rebecca. "I can't just let it go."

"Well you're going to have to let it go." said Rachel. "I'm sure whatever that noise is will probably go away."

"I certainly hope so." said Rebecca. She kept her ears open in case the noise went off again. After another five minutes had passed, however, she didn't hear anything.

"I think the noise is gone." she said.

"I told you it would go away." said Rachel and the girls continued to watch the storm. Rain continued pounding the glass like crazy and thunder kept going off every minute for the next fifteen minutes. During that time frame, the happy smiles that had been on the girls' faces when they had been playing their game were slowly replaced by sad frowns. All three girls sighed sadly in unison.

"Rachel, why do we have to sit here?" asked Roo.

"Because Mom said so, that's why." said Rachel.

"Speaking of Mom, when's she coming back?" asked Rebecca.

"I don't know." said Rachel. "She didn't specify a time. All she said was that she'd be back a bit later."

"That was almost two hours ago, though." said Roo.

"Well maybe she'll be home soon." said Rachel. Just then, the phone rang.

"Can I answer that?" asked Rebecca.

"No you can't." said Rachel. "We're not allowed to get up from our chairs, so we'll just have to let the phone ring." The phone rang five times before the answering machine voicemail kicked in.

"Hi girls, it's me." said Mom. "I'm going to be out a bit longer than I thought because Kayla wants me to go out for lunch with her and Michelle. I should be home in about a couple of hours or so. And remember, the three of you are to stay in your chairs." The voicemail then ended.

"Well, looks like Mom won't be back for a while yet." said Rebecca.

"What are we supposed to do about our lunch, then?" asked Roo.

"We're not having lunch." said Rachel. "Mom just said on the voice message that we have to stay seated in our chairs."

"But I'm getting hungry." said Rebecca.

"So am I." said Roo.

"I'm sorry, but rules are rules." said Rachel. "We'll just have to skip lunch for today."

"Can't we just have a little snack or something?" asked Rebecca.

"No snacks." said Rachel firmly. "We're staying put in our chairs." The two younger girls sighed, but they knew that Rachel was right. So the three of them continued to watch the storm, but they did so sadly. By now, they had been sitting in their chairs watching the storm for the last three and a half hours. They wanted to have a break, but they knew that Rachel wouldn't let them do that so they had no choice but to keep watching the storm. After another ten minutes had passed, Roo got curious about something.

"Can I ask a question?" she asked.

"Of course, Roo." said Rachel. "What would you like to know?"

"What exactly causes thunderstorms to form?" asked Roo.

"That's a very good question." said Rachel. "In fact, I learned about this process five years ago courtesy of Mom home schooling us so I'll be happy to explain it to you. Thunderstorms form when an air mass becomes so unstable that it overturns violently."

"What does unstable mean?" asked Roo.

"It means that the air in the lowest layers is unusually warm and humid, or that the upper layers are unusually cool, or sometimes both." explained Rachel. "Pockets of rising near-surface air in an unstable air mass expand and cool and as some of the water vapor present condenses into a cloud, it releases heat which in turn makes the air parcel even warmer, forcing it to rise even higher in the atmosphere. If the lower level air is sufficiently warm and humid, and the higher altitude air is sufficiently cool, this process continues until a tall convective cloud is formed. This convective cloud is better known, of course, as a thunderstorm. The end result can be a storm extending as high as forty thousand to sixty thousand feet. And that's how a thunderstorm is formed. Did you understand all of that?"

"I think so." said Roo.

"Is there anything else you want to know?" asked Rachel.

"Now that you mention it, I do want to know something else." said Roo. "How come Mommy only lets us wear Mary Jane shoes?"

"That's another good question." said Rachel as another clap of thunder went off outside. "The only way I can answer it, however, is by telling both of you a story. It all started right before my fourth birthday. Mom had just brought me inside from playing in the front yard and she inspected my sneakers for cleanliness. When she saw grass and dirt stains on them, she wasn't too pleased. She said that she had just gotten me those shoes two days prior and I had already managed to mess them up. And apparently it wasn't the first time that had happened either. She had bought me a different pair two weeks prior and those only lasted a week before getting messed up. Then she said she was sick of seeing me mess up sneakers right after buying them and decided right then and there that I wouldn't be allowed to wear sneakers anymore. So when the day of my fourth birthday came, Mom took me to the store and bought me a pair of black Mary Jane dress shoes."

"Do you remember the brand name of Mary Jane shoes that she bought you?" asked Rebecca.

"I do." said Rachel. "She started off by buying me the Stride Rite Lesley Mary Janes, and after she bought them, she said that she wanted those to last a year. She also said that I wasn't allowed to get them dirty and that I wasn't allowed to wear any other kinds of shoes. I think whatever Mom said to me that day must've sunk in because I managed to make it through a whole year without messing up the shoes. So when Mom took me back to that same store on my fifth birthday, she bought me the exact same Mary Jane shoes from the exact same brand to replace my other pair. When I asked Mom why my shoes that I loved so much had to be replaced, she told me that Mary Janes were meant to last a year from the time of purchase before having to be replaced. She got me the same brand again for my sixth birthday, but when my seventh birthday came, Mom decided to change things up and buy me the Hush Puppies Lexi Mary Janes. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Stride Rite Mary Janes a lot, but I loved the Hush Puppies ones even better so Mom continued buying me that brand of Mary Jane shoes for my eighth birthday as well as my ninth birthday."

"You must've loved that brand a lot." said Rebecca.

"I did love them, Rebecca." said Rachel. "I'm pretty sure you loved them too because Mom got you that brand for your fourth birthday for your first pair of Mary Janes. It was the same with you, Roo. Then when my tenth birthday came two years ago, Mom decided to change brands again and buy me the Biomecanics Berta Girl brand of Mary Jane shoes that Kayla saw me wearing when she was here earlier. To be honest, though, I kind of liked the Hush Puppies brand better and I told that to Mom the first time she bought me this brand. She said that she understood how I felt, but she believed that the Biomecanics Berta Girl brand would be better for me. As is usually the case with mothers, she turned out to be right."

"What about Roo and I, though?" asked Rebecca. "Did Mom let the two of us wear other shoes even after she bought us the Mary Janes?"

"Oh yes." said Rachel. "If I recall, the original rule with your Mary Janes was that you and Roo had to wear them on Sundays while I had to wear them all the time. But then after our birthday last year, Mom decided that the Mary Jane shoes would be the only type of shoes the three of us would be allowed to wear. She made that decision for two reasons. The first reason was because she believed that by only allowing us to wear Mary Jane shoes; we would all be mature and responsible girls. The second reason was because she was noticing that we were taking much better care of these shoes. As a result, she donated all of the old sneakers the two of you had to charity. And that's why Mom only lets us wear Mary Jane shoes now. What did you both think of that story?"

"That was certainly an interesting story." said Rebecca. "I never knew Mom could make a pair of shoes a big deal."

"Well that's Mom for you." said Rachel. "What did you think, Roo?"

"It was all right." said Roo.

"Now, do either of you have any questions about what I just explained?" asked Rachel.

"Nope, I'm good." said Rebecca.

"I don't have any questions." said Roo.

"Okay, but just remember that you're more than welcome to ask me anything at any time." said Rachel. At that moment, another clap of thunder went off and the rain continued to pour down. The girls watched the storm for another fifteen minutes without saying anything, but then Roo spoke again.

"I'd like to give an opinion if that's all right." she said.

"Of course, Roo." said Rachel. "What is it?"

"It's about our Mary Jane shoes that we always have to wear." said Roo. "I'll be perfectly honest, I like wearing these shoes a lot better than my old sneakers."

"Why do you say that?" asked Rebecca.

"Well, I felt that my old sneakers weren't as comfortable as I would've liked." said Roo. "However, I feel a lot more comfortable wearing my Mary Jane shoes."

"You know Roo, so do I." said Rebecca.

"I think Mom made the right decision when she said that we could only wear Mary Jane shoes." said Rachel.

"I think so too." said Roo. The phone rang at that point, but the girls knew that they weren't allowed to answer it so they continued to sit and watch the storm. The phone got through two full rings, but then it suddenly stopped halfway through the third ring.

"Why did the phone stop?" asked Roo.

"I don't know." said Rachel.

"The power's not out, is it?" asked Rebecca.

"I don't think so." said Rachel. The girls continued to sit and watch the storm, and as they did so, they were able to see that the lights in the house across the street were still on.

"Well, I can safely say that we didn't have a power outage." said Rachel.

"That's good." said Roo. "But that still doesn't explain why the phone stopped working."

"I think the storm probably knocked out the phone service." said Rachel.

"It'll come back, though, won't it?" Rebecca wondered.

"If it does come back, it probably won't be until later on." said Rachel.

"Rachel, can I use the bathroom?" asked Roo.

"I'm sorry, but the answer is no." said Rachel firmly. "Neither of us can leave our seats, which means we can't use the bathroom." Roo sighed, but she knew that Rachel wasn't going to give in. So the three girls kept watching the storm, but they did so feeling miserable. Another clap of thunder went off, but the girls didn't react. Instead, they just continued to sit in their chairs and watch the storm like they were supposed to. At this point, the thunder started getting more frequent and started going off every thirty seconds. After another ten minutes had passed, Roo came to a very important observation.

"I don't think I've ever seen so much thunder go off at once before." she said.

"Neither have I." said Rachel. The girls all sighed sadly in unison.

"This sucks." said Rebecca. "I want to do something else."

"Unfortunately, we can't do anything else." said Rachel. "We have to keep sitting here and wait for the storm to end." So they continued to sit and watch the storm, but after five minutes, Roo sighed again.

"I don't think this storm's ever going to end." she said.

"Of course it will." assured Rachel. "You just have to stay positive, that's all."

"It's hard to stay positive when it's raining like crazy." said Roo.

"I know, but please try your best to do that." said Rachel. Although Roo did do her best to keep a positive thought, she and her sisters were still sad.

"Rachel, can I play on my Nintendo 3DS now?" asked Rebecca.

"No you can't." said Rachel.

"But I have some Pokemon that I need to train on my game." protested Rebecca.

"You seem to be forgetting that we can't get up from our chairs." said Rachel. "You'll have to train your Pokemon another time." Rebecca didn't bother arguing because she knew that she wouldn't win if she did. So all three of them continued to sit and watch the storm. After another fifteen minutes had gone by, Roo spoke again.

"I wonder if any of our friends have to do this whenever it rains." said Roo.

"I don't think so." said Rachel.

"Actually, that's not entirely true." said Rebecca. "One of my friends that I saw at the park a couple of weeks ago told me that her dad makes her sit at her living room window every time there's a rainy day. Not only that, her dad also makes her wear a dress on those particular days."

"What kind of dress does her dad make her wear?" asked Rachel.

"He makes her wear a pink silk smocked dress." said Rebecca. "He also makes her wear knee high white socks and black May Jane shoes to go with the dress."

"She must hate that." said Roo.

"Oh trust me, she hates it a lot." said Rebecca. "However, she can't do anything about it because she's eight years old."

"That must suck." said Rachel.

"It does." said Rebecca. The three girls continued to watch the storm, and at this point, the thunder was still going off quite frequently. They watched quietly for the next fifteen minutes before Rachel came up with an idea.

"I just thought of something." she said. "Would you two be up for a little trivia game?"

"That depends on what kind of trivia game it is." said Roo.

"The two of you like Pokemon, right?" asked Rachel.

"We sure do." said Rebecca.

"Good, because the game I was thinking of is a Pokemon trivia game." said Rachel. "What do you think about that?"

"I think that sounds like fun." said Roo. "How do we play?"

"I ask you questions about Pokemon, whether it be the game, the anime series or just regular Pokemon knowledge in general." said Rachel. "It's up to the two of you to try and answer as many questions correct as possible, and whoever answers the most questions correctly wins. Now then, are you two ready?"

"Yes we are." said Rebecca.

"In that case, here's the first question." said Rachel. "True or false, Pikachu can only evolve with the thunder stone."

"I think that's true." said Rebecca.

"I think that's true as well." said Roo.

"Of course it's true." said Rachel. "That one was relatively easy, but this next one's going to be a bit difficult. What two types of Pokemon can't be poisoned?"

"That's a tough one." said Rebecca. "I don't know."

"I think I might know." said Roo. "I will guess Poison and Dark types."

"You're close, Roo." said Rachel. "Poison is indeed a type that can't be poisoned, but the other answer I needed was Steel types. All right, here's the next one. How many types of Pokemon can Eevee evolve into?"

"I think it evolves into seven different types." said Rebecca.

"I'll say eight." said Roo.

"Roo's right, it evolves into eight types." said Rachel. "In the anime, which Pokemon gets angry when people fall asleep while it sings?"

"I think that's Jigglypuff." said Rebecca.

"I think so too." said Roo.

"You're both right, it's Jigglypuff." said Rachel. "The next question will be the halfway point of the game. True or false, the only attack Magikarp can use is Splash."

"That has to be true." said Rebecca.

"I agree with Rebecca." said Roo.

"The correct answer is false." said Rachel. "Magikarp can use Splash, Tackle and Flail, although all three attacks barely do any damage at all. Now for question number six. What item is needed to wake up a Snorlax?"

"I'm pretty sure you need a Poke Flute to wake him up." said Rebecca.

"Yeah, you definitely need that to wake up Snorlax." said Roo.

"You're both correct." said Rachel. "Here comes question seven for both of you. As of Generation Seven, how many different types of Pokemon are there?"

"Oh boy, this one's a bit tough." said Rebecca. "I think there are seventeen different types."

"I think there's nineteen." said Roo.

"You're both very close, but there's actually eighteen types." said Rachel. "Those types are Normal, Flying, Water, Electric, Grass, Fire, Fighting, Poison, Bug, Dark, Steel, Psychic, Ice, Dragon, Rock, Ground, Fairy and Ghost. Three questions to go now and here comes the next one. How much does Snorlax weigh?"

"I don't know." said Rebecca.

"I don't know either." said Roo.

"Snorlax weighs about one thousand and fourteen pounds, which makes it one of the heaviest Pokemon to exist." said Rachel. "Let's try again with question nine. What level does Dratini have to be in order to evolve into Dragonair?"

"I think it has to be level thirty." said Rebecca.

"I would say level twenty five." said Roo.

"Rebecca's right, it has to be at level thirty." said Rachel. "Here comes your last question. What color is a shiny Audino?"

"I think it would be pink." said Rebecca.

"I actually think that a shiny Audino would be blue." said Roo.

"Roo's correct." said Rachel. "A shiny version of Audino has a blue color while the regular version has a pink color. All right, after ten questions, Roo has five correct answers and Rebecca has four. That means Roo is the winner."

"Congratulations, Roo." said Rebecca.

"Thank you." said Roo.

"You did a good job too, Rebecca." said Rachel.

"Thanks." said Rebecca. The three girls quietly watched the storm for another fifteen minutes and then Roo spoke again.

"I just thought of something." she said.

"What is it?" asked Rebecca.

"You know how Mom only lets us wear our Mary Jane shoes now, right?" asked Roo.

"Right." said Rachel.

"Well, what if Mom decides to only let us wear these dresses too?" asked Roo.

"Knowing Mom, that's quite possible." said Rachel. "I wouldn't mind, though, because I like wearing this dress."

"I like wearing it too." said Rebecca.

"So do I." said Roo.

"In that case, we wouldn't have anything to worry about if Mom decides to do that." said Rachel. Then the phone started to ring again.

"I think the phone service is back." said Rebecca.

"I think so too." said Rachel. "However, we're not allowed to answer it so we'll have to let it ring." The phone rang a total of seven times before the voicemail kicked in.

"Hi girls, it's me again." said Mom on the voicemail. "I want to let you know that I'll be leaving the restaurant in ten minutes, so I should be home within the next hour. I expect the three of you to be in your chairs when I get back." Then the voicemail ended.

"Looks like Mom's going to be home soon." said Rachel.

"Rachel, what time is it?" asked Roo.

"I'm sorry Roo, I'm not wearing a watch." said Rachel.

"Then I'll have to check the clock in the kitchen." said Roo.

"Oh I don't think so." said Rachel. "We're not to be out of our chairs as along as the storm is still going on."

"Come on Rachel, please?" Roo begged. "I would only be out of my chair for a few seconds."

"Sorry, but the answer's no." said Rachel firmly and the girls continued watching the storm. More thunder went off, and the rain continued to come down fairly hard.

"Can we go play in the rain puddles?" asked Rebecca.

"No." said Rachel. "First off, we're not supposed to get out of our chairs. Second, if were to go outside in these terrible conditions, we would get completely drenched. Not only that, all of us would get sick. You wouldn't want us to get sick from being out in the rain, would you?" Rebecca shook her head.

"I didn't think so." said Rachel and the girls went back to watching the storm. All three of them were now quite bored, but Roo was the most bored out of all three girls due to the fact that she was the youngest of the three. She sighed, but she continued to watch the storm with her sisters because that was all she was able to do. During the next half hour that passed, all three girls watched the storm without saying a word. More thunder went off, and the rain started to pick up a little bit. Rebecca and Roo were starting to get a bit restless, but they knew that Rachel wouldn't let them out of their chairs so they had to keep sitting.

"Rachel, I'm getting tired of sitting here." Roo complained.

"I know." said Rachel. "It's only for a few more hours, though. In the meantime, we have to stay in our chairs." The three of them kept watching the storm, but fifteen minutes later, they heard the doorknob slowly start to turn. All three girls listened carefully to the door so they could hear who was coming in. As it turned out, it was Mom.

"Hi, Mommy." said Roo.

"Hello, sweetie." said Mom as she stepped into the living room. "Well I'm glad to see that you're all still in your chairs." She went over to the middle chair and stood behind Rachel.

"You didn't let your sisters out of their seats, did you?" Mom asked.

"No, Mom." said Rachel.

"Very good." said Mom. "I hope you stayed in your own seat too, though."

"Yes, Mom." said Rachel.

"Excellent." said Mom. "I'll be upstairs for a little bit, but I'll be back to check on you. Also, I have a surprise for the three of you."

"What kind of surprise is it?" asked Roo.

"It wouldn't be a surprise if I told you, silly." said Mom and she headed up the stairs.

"I wonder what kind of surprise Mom has for us." said Roo.

"I guess we'll find out later." said Rachel and the girls continued to watch the storm. Another clap of thunder went off, and fifteen minutes later, Rebecca spoke.

"I wonder if Mom's surprise for us will be any good." she said.

"I'm sure it will." said Rachel. The girls watched the storm some more, and heard some more thunder going off. The rain eased off a bit, but it was still coming down pretty hard. The three girls sighed, but they had to keep sitting in their chairs. After another twenty minutes, Mom came back down the stairs and into the living room.

"Okay girls, time for your surprise." she said. She reached into the shopping bag she had brought down with her and pulled out three pairs of white cotton tights, one for each of the girls.

"What are those for, Mommy?" asked Roo.

"Well honey, these are for the lovely dresses the three of you are wearing." said Mom. "What do you think?"

"They're nice, Mom." said Rachel.

"But that's not all I got you." said Mom and she pulled out six pairs of plain white knee high school socks, two pairs for each of them.

"You girls can alternate daily between the socks and the tights." she said.

"What are you saying, Mom?" asked Rachel.

"What I'm saying is that I've come to the decision that from now on, three of you are only allowed to wear those dresses." said Mom.

"That's not too big of a deal since we do love these dresses." said Rebecca.

"So we have to wear these every day now?" asked Roo.

"That's right." said Mom and she left the room.

"I had a feeling that Mom was only going to let us wear these dresses." said Roo.

"I don't mind that at all, actually." said Rachel.

"Neither do I." said Rebecca.

"Then we don't have anything to worry about." said Roo. The three of them went back to watching the storm, but after ten more minutes had passed, it was Rachel's turn to speak.

"Have you two ever wondered where rain comes from?" she asked.

"Not really." said Rebecca.

"Neither have I." said Roo.

"If you want, I'd be more than happy to tell you." said Rachel. "It's a simple seven step process. First, the sun heats water sources all over the world like oceans and rivers. Second, the heated water evaporates into the air as vapour. Third, rising air currents raise the vapour up into the atmosphere until they get condensed by cooler temperatures. Fourth, the condensed water vapour forms clouds. Fifth, as clouds move across the skies, they collide with each other, grow and fall out of the sky as precipitation. Then the falling water eventually gets back to the various water bodies around the world which starts the cycle again. Finally, the cycle repeats indefinitely. So now the two of you know where rain comes from."

"You know Rachel, you're pretty smart." said Roo.

"Thanks." said Rachel. "Although it's mostly trying to remember everything Mom's taught us during our home school lessons."

"Well you certainly do a good job of that." said Rebecca. Another clap of thunder went off just then, and five minutes later, Mom came back into the room to check on the girls.

"So how's everything going in here?" she asked.

"Rachel was just telling us where rain comes from." said Rebecca.

"I see." said Mom. "You remembered the lessons from home school when you explained the process to them, right?"

"I did." said Rachel.

"Good." said Mom. At that point, the phone rang.

"I'll answer it, you girls stay put." said Mom and she picked up the phone beside the TV.

"Hello." said Mom.

"Hey dear, it's your father." said the man on the phone. "How are you doing?"

"I'm doing well." said Mom. "The girls are doing well too."

"Excellent." said the man. "Speaking of the girls, can I talk to them for a few minutes?"

"I'm sorry, but they're not allowed to be on the phone today." said Mom.

"In that case, I want you to give them a message." said the man. "Tell them that I'm coming over to see them tomorrow."

"Well you'll have to do it in the afternoon because they start home school tomorrow morning." said Mom.

"I'll come over at one tomorrow, then." said the man.

"That's fine." said Mom and she hung up the phone.

"Who was on the phone, Mom?" asked Rachel.

"That was your grandfather." said Mom. "He's coming over to see the three of you tomorrow."

"I love when Grandpa visits us." said Rebecca.

"So do I." said Rachel.

"I wonder what kind of activities he'll want to do with us." said Roo.

"Well the three of you will find out tomorrow after home school." said Mom and she left the room. Meanwhile, the girls went back to watching the storm. More thunder went off and the rain started to pick up again.

"I'm not sure if this storm's going to end on time." said Roo.

"I'm sure it will." said Rachel.

"Well I hope so." said Roo. The girls watched the storm for another twenty five minutes, and then Mom came back into the room. Right as she did so, an update alert went off on her phone.

"Looks like there's an update for my weather app." she said and she pulled out her phone to check the update. Unfortunately for the girls, the update was bad news.

"According to my app, the storm's now expected to end at nine o'clock instead of five." said Mom. "That means you girls are going to have to sit in your chairs for a while longer." All three girls sighed in frustration as this was news they had not wanted to hear at all.

"What time is it now?" asked Roo.

"Right now, it's three o'clock." said Mom. "The three of you will have to sit there for six more hours instead of two. Now I'm going upstairs to take a nap for an hour and I don't want the three of you to make any noise while I'm sleeping. Is that clear?"

"Yes, Mom." said Rachel.

"All right then." said Mom and she went upstairs.

"What do we do now?" asked Rebecca.

"There's nothing we can do." said Rachel. "We'll just have to sit here and keep watching the storm." So that was exactly what the girls did. They watched the thunder go off once again, and the rain that was associated with it got a little stronger. After ten minutes, the rain eased off a bit but still came down pretty hard. Another clap of thunder went off, and this one was louder than the previous one. But the girls didn't care, as they were focused on what was happening outside. Another ten minutes went by, but not much changed. No thunder went off during that time, but the rain picked up a little bit. Then another ten minutes passed, and two claps of thunder went off during that time. The girls sighed, but they had to keep sitting at the window. Roo was about to open her mouth to say something, but she stopped herself as Mom had said that the girls were to be quiet. So they sat quietly and continued watching the storm. Another ten minutes passed, and more thunder went off. This one was a little quieter, but there was still no sign of the storm ending any time soon. Then another ten minutes went by, and there still weren't too many changes in the storm's direction. Thunder was still going off and rain was still coming down. After another ten minutes, Mom came back into the living room.

"Well that was a nice nap." she said as she sat down on the couch. She turned on the TV and put it onto a movie channel.

"Can we watch with you?" asked Rachel.

"No." said Mom. Just then, her movie started. The channel she had chosen was playing The Bourne Ultimatum, which happened to be one of her favorite movies. So she settled in and began to watch with interest. As for the girls, they had to keep watching the storm that was going on.

"It's getting worse out there." observed Rebecca.

"I know." said Rachel. "All we can do is just sit here and watch the whole thing."

"At this point, I would rather watch TV with Mom." said Roo.

"Well we can't do that." said Rachel. "I just asked her and she said no."

"It would be better than just sitting here, though." said Rebecca.

"That's true." said Rachel. "But we have to do what Mom wants and she wants us to sit here." At that point, another clap of thunder went off. The girls sighed, but they had to keep sitting in their chairs. Once the movie finished two hours later, Mom decided to check her weather app again. According to her app, the storm was still on track on end at nine.

"You girls have three hours left to go." said Mom and she left the room.

"We start our home school year tomorrow." said Rachel. "Do you think we'll do well this year?"

"I think so." said Rebecca.

"I know I'll do well." said Roo. "What do you think, Rachel?"

"I think I'll do well myself." said Rachel. "In fact, all three of us are going to do well because Mom always makes sure we learn properly." They continued to watch the storm, and an hour later, the thunder slowly started to disappear. By eight o'clock, the thunder was gone and it was only raining now.

"I think this is a good sign." said Rachel.

"What do you mean?" asked Roo.

"It's just raining, which means we shouldn't have to sit here for too much longer." said Rachel, and she was right. By eight thirty, the rain turned into a drizzle and when nine o'clock came, there were only a handful of raindrops still falling. Five minutes later, the rain stopped completely.

"It looks like the storm is over now." said Rachel.

"Does this mean we can get up from our chairs?" asked Roo.

"I think so." said Rebecca.

"Hold on." said Rachel. "We have to wait for Mom to give us the okay first." Five minutes later, Mom came into the room.

"That was probably the longest storm we've ever had." she said.

"I'll say." said Rachel.

"In any case girls, I'm very proud of you." said Mom. "You were asked to stay in those chairs all day and you did exactly that without getting up once."

"It wasn't easy." said Rachel.

"I know." said Mom. "But now that the storm has stopped, the three of you can get up from your chairs now." The three of them were relieved to hear that news, so they got out of their seats and stretched their legs.

"Should we put these chairs away?" asked Rebecca.

"No, leave them there because you're going to sin in those chairs whenever it rains from now on." said Mom. "Right now, though, I think you girls should go to bed because you start school tomorrow." The three of them headed upstairs and went to sleep thinking about what they would learn on their first day of school. But that's a different story for another time.

The End