Something brews beyond our portal of vision. In a northern climate, storm windows add an extra layer of insulation to the glass that allows vision from an interior world to the exterior. By definition, storm windows protect in bad weather.
What can a writer do with that concept? This week’s challenge encouraged writers to interpret storm windows in new ways or write a story that involves the physical object.
The following is based on the November 14, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using storm windows.
PART I (10-minute read)
Stormy Windows by Nobbinmaug
My windows fogged up as she talked. An illness, a preexisting condition cost them their home. A burden on family and friends, they were left to the streets.
Child protective services took their children. They couldn’t know how they were fairing in the system. It had to be better than the streets, right? Right?
She prayed for God to bless me for the dollar I gave her. It was the least I could do but more generous than most.
At my warm, cozy home, rain fell from the windows to my soul as I wished I could do more.
Storm Windows by Aweni
Onye rolled in dirty gritty slime. She locked herself in this dark space, devoid of air, every time she remembered his hands on her body.
She peered through the thick storm windows at the other Onye, as she let her hands linger on the frame. Unable to reach her, she could only wish she was her as she watched herself run through the storm, bright and happy, air blowing through her hair with abandon. She could almost smell the fragrance from newly bloomed flowers and the spring tinkling where she was headed. Almost. Alas, she was locked in here.
Grandma’s Grateful for the View by Anne Goodwin
“Is Grandma sick? She’s been in there for hours.”
“She likes solitude. Peace and quiet from you.”
“She’s remembering the bad old days.”
“She’s enjoying the view.”
“Grey skies and rain-lashed wall?”
Grandma’s told us how it used to be, before drainage and latrines. How the water in the streets rose above her kneecaps but nature couldn’t wait for the floodwaters to subside. No other option than to squat in the field outside amid the neighbours’ floating turds. No wonder she’s happy when in the rainy season, enthroned in her small cubicle, behind the storm window, relishing the view.
Storm Windows by tracey
Gray clouds scurried across the sky as the wind knocked the last of the red maple leaves off the tree. I stepped back and looked up at the house. “Only two storm windows left, I’ll go get them,” I said.
“Nope. That was the last one,” Grandma replied.
“What about the window on the landing and your south bedroom window?” I asked.
“I don’t like to shut up the house completely. A body needs to be able to breath fresh air year round. The house likes a little air too.
I grinned, “hot cocoa and cookies it is then.”
Winter Fun by Susan Zutautas
Winds were horrendous, snow squalls blinded my vision and I was cold to the bone. Couldn’t get the furnace relit and I was afraid the pipes would soon freeze. I had to get outside to turn the handle for the water. Why it was outside was puzzling.
Bundling in my winter outerwear I made it around the corner of the house, wet, heavy snow sticking to my toque and eyelashes.
Underfoot I felt something slippery and looked down trying to see what it was. Then I heard a crack. So, here’s where that storm window went. Dammit, always something.
I’ll Take the View by Susan Sleggs
The couple stood staring at the upper floor southeast corner of their unfinished house.
Lizzy’s face turned red. “Isn’t that where my sewing studio is going? Why the hell are there such large windows? I asked for small ones.”
Her husband answered. “We’re building here for the view. I changed the plans as a surprise.”
The builder hearing the commotion came to intervene. “We will be using Indow Museum grade indoor storm windows that block 98% UV rays. I promise anything inside will not be harmed.”
“Will you put that in writing?” she challenged.
“I will, with a guarantee.”
Safety Glass by Annette Rochelle Aben
Ear-splitting thunder followed by spectacular lightning; she loved storms. She didn’t like being out in them. No sir, if she was planning to drive someplace and heard about a storm brewing, plans had to be changed. She didn’t even want to be a passenger during a storm.
Wrapped up in her flannel robe with a cup of golden milk to sip, she cocked her head to look beyond the trees. BOOM! The thunder sounded another battle cry followed by the brilliant light seeming to split the sky. Thank goodness for the triple pane windows between her and the storm.
Storm Windows by Anita Dawes
In England we don’t have storm windows
We have triple double glazing
Which distorts the view outside something terrible
They’re only good for keeping out the cold and sound
Looking at the moon at night, you will see three
I can’t imagine needing them for the kind of winds
That sound like an angry animal
Trying to take the house brick by brick
Tornados, snowstorms the size of mountains
Whiting out the familiar, trapping families
In their homes, enforced imprisonment
By the local weather
I watch Chasing Tornados on TV
Wondering how it would feel to be up close…
Idea of Fantastic by Donna Matthews
I used to lie. I’d tell lies when the truth was just as acceptable. I’m not sure where or why the habit started, but, it was troublesome enough that one Saturday morning, mama had had enough, grabbing me by the back of the head, shoving Dove soap inside my mouth, and holding me under running water. As her rage dissipated, she let me up, my eyes darting to the kitchen storm window, where I knew Kevin from next door was waiting. My mouth foaming, his mouth agape. Our family no longer his idea of fantastic; he turned to run.
Storm Windows by Sally Cronin
She looked out through the slightly distorting storm windows that protected the house from the harsh winds that swept onto the coast from America. This part of Ireland was notorious for its harsh winters, but also its outstanding coastal views and warmhearted people. She had moved here to escape her past, and preferred the natural violence of the weather to that she had endured for many years. She sighed as she turned to face the man in the room. Another more dangerous storm had breached the defences and windows could not protect her. It was time to be brave.
Weekend Plans by Nicole Horlings
The storm had been bad. There were branches strewn across the road along with garbage from a knocked over bin. He had to park along the side of the road and walk the rest of the way to the property.
It was worse than he had hoped. A piece of siding was banging against the lee side of the cottage. The barbecue was upside down in the middle of the yard. One of the storm windows had been left partially open, and he could see that the water inside hadn’t dried up yet.
So much for a relaxing weekend.
Storm Windows by Pete Fanning
I held the plywood while Dad drilled in the screws. The board shook against my hand and I slammed my shoulder into it.
Dad gave me a look.
I’d begged to stay in New Jersey, little good it did. Dad was sick of the harsh winters. No shoveling snow for the Harris family. No Sir. We were going to the beach.
Now look at us.
A gust of wind at my back. Two windows left, then we could get in the car and get up the road. The drill stopped. Dad looked down and laughed.
“Sure beats shoveling, huh?”
Storm Windows by FloridaBorne
“Where’r you from Marcy?” Mary Jo asked.
“Well, Mary, I’m from Joisey,” she snickered.
“I see you tore down the 100 year old oaks, two foot thick pines…”
“They’ll make good firewood,” Marcy said. “And I don’t like raking leaves.”
“This is Florida. You might need a fireplace in January. You shoulda put your money into double pane storm windows and storm shutters.”
“My name is Mary Jo.”
“Well, where I come from, only hillbillies have two names.”
There was a cat 4 hurricane on approach. Some people had to learn the hard way, if they survived.
The Husband’s IQ by Ruchira
Carl was sitting at ease with a cigar while his daughter was by his semi-conscious wife’s bedside.
Farah was sobbing uncontrollably, “Get well soon, Mom.”
Hearing his daughter’s sobs, the Dad gave out a chortle.
Sarah was quick to ask him the reason for his behavior.
“She can’t go anywhere. Her soul, even when it leaves the body, has no choice but to go back into the body.”
“I have storm windows installed, and nothing can escape them.”
The partially conscious Mom came back to her senses upon hearing the above and laughed over her husband’s IQ.
# 33 Account Holder? by JulesPaige
…While reading a love ode I become homesick for simpler childish times.
The storm windows of my farm house keep out the cold, yet my heart feels chilled.
Put the kettle on, we’ll all have tea; just me, my Dawg, Byrd and Lucky.
Was the diamond bracelet was bought or stolen; are they even real?
Could Sam Marshall look at documents of recording missing items?
At the very least I could ask; a good excuse to see him again.
…snowflakes create crystals on the windows.
lost and found, trinkets
of love; words of longing reach
what are they saying
The Secret Life of Your Hammer by H.R.R. Gorman
Usually the hammer lived happily in a drawer next to the tape measure and a molten pack of gum, but sometimes the humans would attack. Someone would be abducted, sometimes for days, and abused mercilessly at their hands.
Today storm clouds whirled above, and the humans had innocent sheets of plywood to serve as storm windows. They withdrew a nail from a sack on their belts.
“Ow! Ow!” screeched the hammer.
But the human didn’t care. He beat the hammer senseless, imprisoned the poor nails in the plywood and siding, then left them precariously outside as the hurricane blew…
Nothing Left by Ann Edall-Robson
There is nothing left
The soul is gone
Though aged and tattered
Drab and lifeless
Dressed in brown and grey
A welcome hearth, frozen
Expecting no one
Laughter long since vanished
Life drained from within
There is no remorse
With no appetite to return
Solitary and waiting
Darkness is everywhere
Lanterns hang, unlit
Lifeless forms peer out
Past craggy glistening shards
Edging traumatised storm windows
Wooden shutters hang lifeless
Snow swirls around collapsed beams
Mournful, piercing, wailing sounds
Challenging the lifeless rooms
The storm, it rages on
Outraged and unforgiving
The homestead lives no more
PART II (10-minute read)
Tipping the Beaufort Scale by Nancy Brady
Serafina loved wind, from warm southern breezes to biting northern squalls; she loved rain especially thunderstorms; she loved snow, blizzards as well as all the feathery, drifting flakes; but hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, and cyclones may have been her favorite meteorological events.
Serafina controlled them all from her tower room, which had four windows, one to the east, one to the west, one to the north, and one to the south. With the touch of her hand on the panes of the storm windows, she sent out tempests to wreak havoc on the land and the humans, who wanted sunshine.
Rescue Mission by Joanne Fisher
“Take us in.” ordered the Captain.
Once our starship dropped into the violent Crimson Nebula, we were buffeted by strong winds. We saw through the storm windows of our bridge thousands of lightning flashes before us. I knew the storm windows were built for conditions like this, but I secretly wondered if they were strong enough…
The huge manta-shaped Ecraw, who lived in nebulae like this, flew around our ship unaffected by the conditions around them.
Then I finally located the signal that we’d been unable to find due to the electromagnetic radiation. We had found the missing ship.
Size Matters by Geoff Le Pard
Storm Windows’ fame was legendry. Her ‘they shall not pass’ attitude protected the Empire from the evils winds that swirled around the Universe. She pacified Arturo V, negotiated a truce with the Phrngg, despite mistakenly calling their leader a shriveled turd throughout their discussions and battled countless animal vegetable and mineral enemies across a multitude of galaxies. First to enter a black hole, she redirected comets for fun and spent a sabbatical cleaning an event horizon. But nothing defined her like her death. Exiting hyperdrive, she mis-scaled the return to reality and splattered the Starfleet across a badly-hung fly-screen.
Yandeau Observatory by Saifun Hassam
Daniel loved his work at the Yandeau Observatory on a high plateau facing the Sea. It connected two worlds for him: Earth and Space.
Immense storm windows gave him a panoramic view of valleys and hills. He tracked sea storms through powerful Weather Telescopes. The Astronomy Telescopes gave him a spectacular window into constellations and planets. He imagined himself aboard a spaceship with storm windows as he downloaded satellite images of the outer planets.
Under a rising moon snow glistened on the mountains, high plateaus and ridges. The night sky was ablaze with magnetic storms of the Aurora Borealis.
Storm Windows by Reena Saxena
“Nothing will happen till you learn networking and promoting yourself,” my business mentor shuts his laptop with a vengeance before leaving.
A solution is needed without overhauling the entire structure. It needs to be something like an overbridge or subway or bypass road. And then, I need a plan to divert traffic. I trained as a civil engineer, and do not lack in soft skills. It is just about the mode of expression.
You see, I’m an introvert and install storm windows outside every exit or entry. The structures I build are strong and secure – to a fault.
A Skeptical View by Jo Hawk
I know it exists to protect me, that invisible, visible layer. Glass over glass, engineered to exacting standards, safeguards designed to stand between me and… I pause. From what does it save me? Certain death? Or the thrill of living on the edge?
Engineers have created car airbags, helmets for a bicycle ride, handrails, guardrails, safety instructions, protective eyewear, ear protection, and countless other safety buffers. I experience my life as a boy in a bubble. Germ-free. Sterile.
I long to defy their rules, stretch past the double pane, storm window, touch the beautiful chaos and dare to live.
Snow is the Mother of Invention by Charli Mills
Trudging snowy streets in blizzard conditions, Regis arrived home. He flipped a spring-loaded mechanism at the side of each lens of improvised goggles. In place, the outer lenses prevented moisture from coating the inner ones. Tiny nozzles spayed an anti-freezing gel that kept the outer frost-free without harming his eyes. “Eureka,” he shouted, startling the crows in his bare maples. He hopped, skipped and slid, crashing through the basement door, grasping for any handhold. Empty-handed he sprawled across the floor. Regis pushed himself up and whistled cheerily. Storm windows for the nearsighted might be his best invention to date.
Storm Windows by Liz Husebye Hartmann
Jared leaned against the bar, one boot heel hooked on the rail. His spurs lay next to his whiskey, silent as the glass was empty. Time to decide.
He could ride south to his father’s oil refinery. That way lay fine suits, easy money, easier women. His father’d left his family, but he might want to know his son. The resemblance? Startling , if his mother Lula’s cameo locket was any indication.
Or he could ride north to the sweetest, most beautiful girl, with the meanest daddy.
A storm brewed outside the window. He walked out into it, anyway.
Storm Window by Iain Kelly
The view was bleak, much like his future.
The waves rolled along, grey with white crests, unrelenting, unremitting. His stomach had finally settled down after two days of sickness.
What did he care about these countries over the ocean? They could bomb themselves into oblivion for all he cared.
The rain battered the window, but the bad weather would pass soon.
Underneath those foreboding waves they knew they were being hunted by the German U-boats.
He had heard stories from those who had come back. Those who had survived.
He knew the real storm lay in front of him.
Nightmare by Simon Prathap
11 year old Sara is a curious little girl, never listens to her parents.
Her Mom use to say to never play with storm shutters.
But she never listened.
That fateful day, Sara opens the storm shutter and jumped.
What she saw through the window was her worst nightmare.
A man with a big axe waved fast at her head.
Her mom came fast and hugged her and consoled.
Little Sara It was just a dream and asked what she dreamed?
I opened the storm shutter, I am sorry mom I won’t play with storm shutters again.
Storm Clouds by Bill Engleson
Like a chaotic cyclone, the trickster spins his webs,
A dervish of deceit, a gong of goose-steps,
A shallow man of no dimension,
Of mirror’d pleasure, of foul intention.
There in his bunker, his mind aflutter
With tortured tweets and callow clutter,
He grasps the world through his video shutter,
A portal seen from his POTUS gutter.
How are we to understand this mock-man kitsch,
His toxic assault on Marie Yovanovitch?
Slathered in his cholesterol tweets,
His cries descend to bulbous bleats.
Will there be a reprieve, a cleansing storm,
A clarity, a return to reason, to decent form?
A Confusing Session by Chelsea Owens
“That’s it. That’s what I live behind!”
Matt Burdsall, PhD, moved from his leaning-forward mirrored-glasses scrutinization into a leaning-back mirrored-glasses scrutinization.
“Your glasses made me think of it.”
Dr. Burdsall attempted to keep his expression neutral. This new patient, Holly Runner, was a curious one. First, she’d explained Social Anxiety as, “Party Aversion,” then she’d said her Passive-Aggressive mother had, “Tangled Trauma.” He’d needed his daughter to explain that Tangled was a film…
Now storm windows. *Ahem* “How so?”
“Well!” Holly sounded excited. “Whenever bad things -storms- come up, I block them! Ta-da! Storm windows!”
Whatever happened to Rose and Storm? by Anne Goodwin
They buddied up at college, the way chalk buddies up to cheese. Each sharpening her own perspective on the whetstone of the other’s worldview. Zooming in on each other’s flaws and limitations, the better to eliminate their own.
Later, Rose made a decent living peddling soft-fringed portraits for high days and holidays; Storm tailed evil to the ends of the earth. Rose bought a house with double glazing; Storm spread her sleeping bag in foxholes or on dusty floors. The same degree, the same camera, different outcomes: one with pink-tinged lenses, the other opening a window on life’s storms.
Climate Storm v. Storm Windows by Tina Stewart Brakebill
She wondered whether the storm windows would hold. They were meant to keep out bad weather not … well whatever was falling from the sky. It was funny she used to think the end of the world would come later. After she was gone. Not when her dreams were finally within her grasp.
Climate Storm v. Storm Windows by Tina Stewart Brakebill
It wasn’t fair. She had done everything right. And now. Now the sky was literally falling.
Lost in thought, her mind barely registered the hissing as the bubbles burst through the window pane.
As the drops burned through her flesh, her mind screamed “It’s not fair!”
Where Mankind Can Weather the Storms of Life by Brenda Fluharty
There is said, to be a realm where one can go to weather the storms of life. When the events of your life overburden you. You can call on the archangels. And, if you are in touch with your higher-self and the energies of the Universe. The archangels will open the storm windows for you. You will find a place where all is known and the books of lives. A realm where you will find all the answers you are looking for. It is a place where all mankind can weather the storms of life. The Storm Windows Realm.
The Plop Thickens by D. Avery
“Yer lookin’ grumpy, Kid. What’s the story?”
“Pal, there ain’t no story. Dang D.Avery jist plopped us onta the ranch where we jist plod along week after week. We’re jist a plotless premise. Thinkin’ we should git us a better writer.”
“So yer schemin’ ta git a plotter ‘stead of a plodder?”
“Yep. Nuthin’ ever happins ta us; we’re jist a collection a what’s with no why’s.”
“Ya wanna have problems? Go inta a cave?”
“Kid, ya might not think it’s enough action, but yer fittin’ the prompt.”
“Yer an extra pane in the glass.”