So, we had a couple of hours of hellaciously severe thunderstorms this evening. Long about 9:45PM, the power finally quit flickering and just plain went out. We sat in the dark, with candles burning, while I read two Horacio Quiroga stories "A la deriva (Adrift)" and "La almohada de plumas (The Feather Pillow)" to my wife, mom, and my daughter Marley. Mickelle went to go lie down, and while we sat talking in the dark, the thought occurred to me to tell Marley that if she would just count to 100, the power would come back on.
She hesitated at first. I had no reason to say that it would come back on, no card up my sleeve knowing somehow that the time was right; there was no flickering beforehand to let me know that it's return was imminent. Marley wouldn't do it; she kept saying, "I'm not doing it until the school year." I kept goading her until finally I said, "Ok, count to ten." She did. Then I said, "Ok, now to twenty." She did, to which I said, "keep going." She worked her six-year-old way through the numbers, pausing briefly to remember what came after fifty-nine and sixty-nine. When she got to ninety, the excitement grew in her eyes, the candles were burning, still no sign of electricity, other than lightning. I said a little prayer in my heart that it would work. She got to 100, and we all waited for a second, 1001, and nothing. 1002, Nothing happened. 1003, Our shoulders slumped. 1004, I started to tell her to do something, 1005 the power came back on.
The look of "power" in her eyes was unbelievable. I guarantee that she will never, ever, forget this night as long as she lives. It was one of the 100 coolest experiences of my life. In less than five seconds of her counting to 100, the power came back on, and stayed on. I have no idea where the idea to get her to count to 100 came from, but damned if it wasn't a marvelous experience.