You awaken to soft crying coming from the other room. You nuzzle Arthur's neck, trying to wake him up. "Artie..." you whisper. "Mattie's crying again..."
Arthur groans and flips the pillow over his head. "But I got it last time..."
Another loud thunderclap rattles the walls and rain pounds fiercely against the windows. Another voice joins the chorus of wailing, this one much louder.
Sighing, you roll out of bed to check on your boys. Your feet hit the cold floor, making you instantly wish you could just stay in bed. Alas, even if you did, you wouldn't be able to sleep with the terrified whimpers of your sons. You tiredly make your way over to the wooden cradle where they slept, swaddled in blankets. Mattie is still wrapped in his, crying very softly.
Alfred, on the other hand, has kicked his blanket away, which now rests in a crumpled heap beside him. He flails and thrashes about wildly, crying profusely.
You shake your head, an amused smile playing on your lips. "For twins, you certainly are polar opposites." You gently take Alfred in your arms, wrapping him again in his blanket, kissing his face to calm him down.
He seems to settle a bit, and stares up at you with his frightened blue eyes. Tears linger around his irises, but none are spilling over. You gently wipe away the streaks on his face.
Another loud boom shakes the small cottage, and both children begin crying once more.
You hear Arthur groan again, then the shifting of pillows as he no doubt tries to block out the sounds of his children. You shake your head in dismay, shifting Alfred to one arm and picking up Mattie in the other. "Hush, my darlings. Hush."
The boys seem not to hear you and continue on voicing their distress.
You nuzzle them softly, trying to quell the flow of tears. Even that seems to have no effect. You purse your lips, trying to think of what to do to quiet the frightened children in your arms. "Ah, I know." You walk over to an old rocking chair and sit, holding your sons close to your chest, where they cling onto your nightdress like children so often do. "I'll sing you a lullaby. Would you like that?" you ask them gently.
A pair of blue and purple eyes look up at you, streaming with tears. Matthew nods slowly before burying his face in your dress once again.
"Alright. I'll sing for you." You take a deep breath and begin rocking back and forth slowly. "Little child, be not afraid. The rain pounds harsh against the glass like an unwanted stranger. There is no danger. I am here tonight." Your voice flows soothingly over them and they cease wailing, yet tears still flow.
A bright flash takes over the room, followed by an unsettling crash. Branches fall outside, smashing against the grass, adding to the symphony of the storm.
"Little child, be not afraid. Though thunder explodes and lighting flash illuminates, your tear-stained face." You kiss each child on the head before continuing. "I am here tonight."
The wind, a choir of wolves in the night, howls mournfully, as if to cry out in fear itself. Alfred clings tighter, rubbing his face into your shoulder.
"And someday you'll know that nature is so, this same rain that draws you near me, falls on rivers and land, on forests and sand, makes the beautiful world that you see in the morning." You shiver a bit as the door creaks open from the force of the wind. You can't risk breaking the trance you've set them in to close it, so you try to keep as still as possible and hope that Arthur awakes to close it for you. "Little child, be not afraid. The storm clouds mask your beloved moon. And it's candlelight beams, still keep pleasant dreams. I am here tonight."
The little light that can pass through the dark clouds of the night allow for shadows to dance menacingly on the walls behind you. Mattie peeks over your shoulder at the shadowy monsters and hides once again, terrified of the terrible creatures cast by the moon and stars.
"Little child, be not afraid. The wind makes creatures of our trees. And the branches to hands, they're not real, understand." You rub your nose affectionately into his blonde hair, trying to covey your message. "And I am here tonight. And someday you'll know. That nature is so, the same rain that draws you near me, falls on rivers and land, on forests and sand. Makes the beautiful world that you see in the morning."
You hear the soft footsteps of your husband as he finally emerges from his cave of blankets, groggily drawn to you by your soft voice. You smile up at him briefly, then motion with your head for him to shut the door that was allowing the cold night air to seep in. As he does this, you think of a new verse to sing to your babies. "For you know, once even I was a little child. And I was afraid. But a gentle someone always came to dry all my tears, trade sweet sleep for fears and to give a kiss goodnight."
Arthur grins and walks back over to you, standing beside as you lull your children back to sleep. "Well, now I am grown. And these years have shown, the rain's a part of how life goes. But it's dark and it's late, so I'll hold you and wait, 'til your frightened eyes do close."
Arthur joins you in the next verse, singing softly to the small boys in your arms, kneeling down to be level with them.
"And I hope that you'll know. That nature is so. The same rain that draws you near me, falls on rivers and land, on forests and sand. Makes the beautiful world that you see, in the morning." You slow down a bit, closing your eyes and nuzzling your children as they begin to sleep peacefully once more. "Everything's fine in the morning. The rain'll be gone in the morning. But I'll still be here, in the morning."
Their grip on you loosens, meaning that they have at last fallen asleep. Arthur takes Alfred from your arms, being careful not to jostle him too much in the process. You both set them down gently in their cradle, kissing them goodnight before going back to sleep yourselves.
Arthur kisses you softly. "I don't think a better wife exists anywhere in the world." he whispers.
You happily kiss him back. "You got lucky. I could have been the king's wife."
He laughs softly. "And I'm very glad you're not, (Name). Even a king is not worthy of you. I love you more than all castles and palaces, all jewels and crowns." He pulls you close to him, rubbing your back soothingly. "I love you more than anyone ever could. At times, I wonder if I am even worthy you."
You nuzzle into his chest, wrapping your arms around his waist. "And because of that, I know you are. I love you, too Arthur."