It’s a childhood fear, childish and really should have been shaken long ago. I hate stormy nights. I’m not afraid of the dark, even during those long sleepless black nights where it comes in like a smog, a smothering, enveloping, never-ending dark. I just hate stormy nights.
When the wind gets up and starts howling and creeping through gaps, wuthering with all its might, then I don’t like it. I am restless, listening to the sounds, gauging the impending disaster. Never lulled but alert, cautious and suspicious like a dog first meeting something new and strange, ears pricked, ready to take flight. I hide under my duvet. There is safety under duvets. Apparently. And when you have your fingers in your ears. Like during thunderstorms. I don’t like thunder either.
The very personification of tempest, I listen to the tempo of the wind, listen to its rise and fall, listen to the strange noises it utters. I hear the other sounds of a stormy night. Creaks and squeaks. Alien, frightening things out there in the night. Buffeted by the wind, or groaning in fright. The dark night loses the familiar and becomes something to be wary of, ears picking out new, strange sounds.
Sometimes it lashes the house, beating against it in stormy waves. Brick and stone don’t shake, my insides do though. I feel each wave, feel how surrounded and overcome the building is, I am.
Although my rational adult mind does suspect that we will all make it through to the morning in one piece, the night will pass slowly. I am child again, clutching the duvet, divining the source of strange and alarming sounds, mistrusting the power of the elements, waiting for my old rickety window to blow away and me and all I know to be sucked out into the dark, terrifying, windy night.
I don’t like stormy nights.