Fairy Tales Series Prologue: A Dark and Stormy Night
By Emma Redmer
Cannon: between the 3rd and 4th seasons
Characters (In Prologue): Balki, Larry, Mary Anne, Jennifer
Rating: G
Synopsis: Larry, Balki, Mary Anne, and Jennifer tell stories to amuse themselves during a thunderstorm.
Disclaimer: Perfect Strangers is owned by Lorimar Productions, Miller-Boyett Productions, and Warner Bros. Television.
Notes: This is the prologue to a series of four classic fairy tales featuring the Perfect Strangers characters.

Larry Appleton sighed and put a gentle arm around his girlfriend Jennifer Lyons. It was a dark summer night, and he, Jennifer, his cousin Balki Bartokomos, and Jenniferís best friend Mary Anne Spencer sat in his and Balkiís living room, watching "Moonlighting."

A crack of thunder that didnít come from the TV made Larry jump. "Balki," he half-joked, "I hope that was your stomach."

"Of course not, cousin, donít be ridiculous," Balki scolded. "My stomach sounds more like a Myposian wolf before he kills a rabbit..."

"Balki," Mary Anne complained, "I canít hear the show!"

Another crack of thunder sent Mary Anne scrambling for Balkiís lap. "I hate thunder!" the tiny blonde squeaked. "It always sounds so grouchy."

"Actually," Balki explained, "it reminds me of Cousin Larry in the morning before he has his coffee."

A bolt of lightning interrupted Larryís cutting reply. "Oh, my lord!" he wailed. "That lightning was a mile wide!" Larry found himself climbing into Jenniferís lap.

The taller blonde made a face. "Larry, itís just lightning! Weíre inside. It wonít hurt you."

Larry gulped and slowly got off of Jennifer, but Mary Anne wouldnít budge. "Iím glad we decided to stay home tonight instead of going to the park!" she said gratefully. "Itís a lot easier to watch TV and hide from the thunder inside."

"Well, it could be worse," Jennifer pointed out. "We could lose our electricity and not be able to watch TV at all."

Just as Jennifer spoke those words, the lights briefly flickered and went off. The only illumination in the room was the lightning. No one dared to move. Larry whimpered and the thunder cracked, but no one said a word.

Mary Anne spoke first. "Oh, great, Jennifer. Nice going. Now the powerís out."

Jennifer tried to smile as she stroked Larryís curls. "I think Illinois Gas and Electric deserves at least some of the credit."

"Can we get a light on?" Larry whined. "I canít see a thing!"

Larry heard the sound of shuffling on the couch, then footsteps in the kitchen. A beam of light illuminated the living room as Balki returned with two flashlights, a candle, and matches. "Will this be enough, cousin?" he asked. "I know youíre afraid of the dark."

"I am NOT afraid of the dark!" Larry insisted. "I just donít want anyone to hurt themselves tripping over something."

"Balki, Iím scared," Mary Anne wailed as Balki handed a flashlight to her and a flashlight to Larry. "Who knows what all the weird shadows in here are?" She pointed toward an odd shape in the corner. "See that one? It could be a ugly, slimy monster!"

Larry shined his beam on the shape. "Or, it could be Dimintri on the fireplace mantel."

"Oh, right!"

Balki finally got the candle lit. It spread a warm glow around the foursome on the couch. "I have an idea. Letís tell stories to get our minds off the storm and the dark. After all, our imaginations donít run on electricity." He smiled at his cousin. "They might make you feel better too, cousin."

"I donít know, Balki," Larry complained. "I mean, what kind of stories do we know?"

"Oh, I know dozens of Myposian stories," Balki said. He smiled. "Oh, hereís a good one. Itís called ĎThe Farmer Cousins and the Beanstalk,í and itís about two cousins, just like us." He got on his knees on the couch to better see his audience. "Once upon a time, on the south side of Mypos, there lived two cousins. One was tall, with big brown eyes, full lips, and a very nice accent. The other was small, with plump cheeks, button hazel eyes, and no upper lip. Mypos was in the midst of a horrible drought. They were so poor, they couldnít afford to buy food for their livestock, much less themselves..."