The Blackout

by Charlotte Qiu, age 8
The Blackout The writer is named Charlotte Qiu, and she is eight. She lives in China, but she was born in America. She comes to America for summer break. She has a lot of friends in China. She can speak Chinese and English. She has one sibling. Her sibling’s name is Charlie. Charlotte likes to write fantasy and realistic fiction. Her story, "The Blackout", is about a real thing that happened on the 13th of July.

“And then Lilly the squirrel wondered why all the lights and the ovens were off. It got even worse when it was very dangerous to cross the streets. The cars never stopped. Lilly was very worried, and then she saw something even weirder.”

Chapter One: What Happened?

Once a squirrel called Lilly went into a walnut shop. After she bought some walnuts, she went out. Then she saw something weird. The traffic lights were off, and there were no lights in buildings and in the other shops. They could not cook. The ovens were off. And then Lilly the squirrel wondered why all the lights and the ovens were off. It got even worse when it was very dangerous to cross the streets. The cars never stopped. Lilly was very worried, and then she saw something even weirder. There were fire trucks and policemen everywhere. They were worried too. Some schools and hospitals still had light, which was very weird. She had no idea what was happening.

She talked to one of the policemen and asked, “What happened?”


Chapter Two: A Talk with the Policemen

Then, the policeman said, “The electricity transformer got on fire, so the electricity was cut off. The firemen will fix the problem. Now the firemen are on West 99th Street, so it might take days to have electricity, or if the firemen are fast tomorrow, we will have electricity.”


Chapter Three: A Mystery

When Lilly went into her apartment, she noticed that there was no air conditioner, and everybody was outside getting cold air.

The manager said, “The elevators don’t work, but do not worry because nobody’s stuck in the elevator.”

Then, when she went to the mailroom, she could not see anything except black.

The manager said, “We can only take the stairs,” so she climbed and climbed.

There was only a little bit of light in the stairs.


Chapter Four: In the Apartment

Once she got to the ninth floor, she saw two old women. One of the old women was holding a dog that was grunting.

Then, Lilly asked the other woman, “Is there light in the room? Why are you out here?” 

The woman said, “There’s no light in the room, and we’re out here to get a bit of light.” 

When Lilly got into her room, she saw no light and no air conditioner. It was very hot, so she opened all her windows. She could not sleep because she needed some light to sleep. There was no light, so she used her phone. Her phone had a percentage of 80. On her phone, she set a mode that saved electricity. When she went to the shower, she turned the water to hot, but only cold water came out.

When Lilly was showering, she was freezing and calling, “Ahh!!!”

Then when she got out, she quickly got dressed, but she could not use the hair dryer because there was no electricity. Then she tried to charge her phone, but she could not. Then, when she tried to sleep again, she heard the police and fire trucks sounds, and she was distracted. So she tried to sleep very deeply, but her phone shut off, and she couldn’t have light. Then, she tried her new way of sleeping without light, and she held onto her stuffed animal and fell asleep.


Chapter Five: The Plan

The next day she woke up. There was still no air conditioner and no light, but there was sunlight. After getting dressed, she decided to pack an emergency bag because her doctor told her that she could not live in a house without electricity for three days. Her eyes would hurt a lot if there was no electricity for three days. She started packing after breakfast. This was her list:

EMERGENCY BAG LIST

1. Money ($200)

2. Sleeping bag

3. Books 

4. Toys 

5. Clothes

6. Phone

So Lilly packed her emergency bag, and then she looked for a place to go, and she found the New York Public Library. A lot of animals were there, and they were affected by the blackout. There were a lot of comfy couches for sleeping bags. She unloaded her stuff on one of the purple couches, and she made a friend called Billy. He’s a hedgehog. Together they played games like chopsticks and poker. Billy was very good at chopsticks, and Lilly was very good at poker. Then, they explored Brooklyn by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. They figured out the subway wasn’t working, so they took a taxi to the New York Public Library. Then, at last, it was night, so they fell asleep in their sleeping bags.


Chapter Six: Yes! Electricity! 

The next day, she noticed that there was electricity! She was super happy, and she took a taxi home. She cooked herself breakfast and turned on the lights. She was happier than ever. She marked this day 7/13. She took a little nap and got back to work.


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