New to this story? Read Part 1.
Patrick’s eyes snapped open to a deafening CRACK. Startled, he rolled over in bed and propped himself up on an elbow, scanning the shadows of his small room. The various shades of black were interrupted only by the dark grey outline of his window. The sound came again, crackling and snapping — thunder. As he eased back onto his pillows, his door creaked open and a petite form appeared in the doorway.
“Patty?” Nellie’s voice quavered. “I’m scared.”
“Come here,” he offered, patting the mattress.
She sprang across the wood floor as the next peal of thunder shook the room, burrowing into the covers beside him. “Tell me a story?”
Patrick closed his eyes and wrapped his sister in his arms.
Once there lived a beautiful girl named Princess Nellie.
“No, no, you’re telling it wrong. You didn’t say ‘once upon a time.’ And she’s a fairy princess!”
He paused for a moment, thinking, and began again.
Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful fairy princess named Nellie. She had curly, blond hair and bright blue eyes. But most beautiful of all were her wings: shimmering sapphire and turquoise and aquamarine, every shade of blue imaginable and sparkly like a waterfall on a sunny spring day.
Nellie snuggled up closer, hanging on every word, all objections forgotten. Patrick finished the story without further interruption, a magnificent tale of good deeds rewarded, bad ones punished, and lighthearted adventure. By the time he uttered the sacred words, “the end,” Nellie had already drifted off into peaceful sleep.