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#actuallyautistic voices

Fiction: It Was A Dark & Stormy Night

This story is perfect for this cold, windy morning, the day after Halloween. Nathan's English class has been working to develop techniques to craft suspenseful narratives. For his narrative, Nathan was to have his characters experience suspense in a familiar place or while they are with people they know and trust. Here's Nathan's suspenseful tale.


It was a dark and stormy night. No, really. It was crazy outside. The wind was pushing at the windows and the tree branches were scratching on the downspouts making a terrible noise. The glass of the doors leading to the backyard were so streaked with rain that they looked like funhouse mirrors. No light from outside came in, and it created an eerily cozy atmosphere around the kitchen table. 

Let’s start with the facts. It is a rare occasion that every single member of my family is home and sits down together for dinner. It wasn't even anyone’s birthday that night, but there we were. Both my grandparents, my mom, my dad, my sister, Eden, and I were all sitting around the table having a meal prepared by my grandma, of course. I was basking in the glow of family when suddenly there was a loud crash above our heads. We froze in our chairs. The only thing moving was our eyes, each of us counting the other family members at the table making sure everyone was accounted for.

Once we were all able to breathe again and our blood thawed from the chill of fright, my puny little sister screamed, “What was that?” in a way that only a little sister could. Of course, none of us had an answer. 

“Let’s go find out,” answered my dad, who always seems to keep it together in scary situations.

One by one, we each got up from our spot at the table and headed to the stairs. “Everyone check out your own room. Grandma and I will check the guest room,” my grandfather directed in his carefully measured English. I was terrified to be alone, but I sucked it up and headed to my room.

Thankfully, as I rounded the corner into the room that has always been my safe space I could see that the noise had not come from there. As each member of my family reemerged into the hallway, we looked at each other expectantly. No one had an answer to the others’ questioning eyes. 

My mom, feeling braver now, turned to us with a smile and said, “Upstairs.” We stood at the bottom of the stairs to the third floor, the highest in our house, and waited for everyone else to go first.

My petite, but no nonsense grandma pushed to the front, muttering, “You guys so silly.”

She reached the top of the stairs and immediately started laughing in her quaint way.

The rest of us rushed up to meet her and all fell to the floor emitting squeals of laughter. The puppy we had gotten that weekend had somehow made his way to the playroom and emptied every bin onto the floor. He was having the time of his life and we silently and immediately all agreed to join in on the fun while our dinner got cold two floors below us.


Nathan, a published contributor to Leaders Around Me: Autobiographies of Autistics who Type, Point, & Spell to Communicate, is impolitely going to rock your world about the brains of us autists.


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