Tag: Lightning

LIGHTNING: Lightning Nan Ressue

Word Count 468
Nan Ressue
“Come On! Come on! Hurry Up! They are going to be out and we won’t be ready. It’s been dark for a couple hours.”
“I’M really not sure I want to. They’re alive aren’t they? What’s going to happen after they been in the jar for a couple days? They are all going to be dead, aren’t they?”
“Oh knock it off. You’re such a chicken heart. There’s a million of them and we’re only trapping a few just to watch their lights flash.”
Well, O.K. but I’m only trapping three, said the little sister.
Her brother handed her a glass mason jar with one of those screw on lids.
“These are perfect traps Alice. They’re not heavy, have slippery sides so they don’t crawl out, and made of clear glass so we can see them flash their lights.” Come on Sis. Let’s start out in the back yard by those trees beside the garage.”
“OOOO! Look Buddy! How beautiful they are! Just like diamonds on a black velvet sky, winking on and off’” dreamed Alice.
Well, that’s pretty romantic. I’m taking mine to school to dissect for a science experiment.”
Do you think we should creep up [on them or run at them full speed?”
“You can creep. I’m running and off he went on a tear, holding his jar high with the opening facing the wind.
Alice took off her shoes, feeling the new soft grass between her bare toes, moving slowly toward a group of lights clustered in the side yard. She gently extended her arm toward them and moved the jar in a gentle arc.

“Perfect,” she praised herself. One, two, three, flashing their lights through the glass in the darkness…
Buddy, are you hurt?” whispered his little sister.
No” I’m OK but drat! I had a jar full before I tripped over the cat and smashed my jar.”
”Well’, as Grampa says, “Haste makes waste and you sure wasted yours.”
“Thanks a lot for all that sympathy. There’s a lot more and this time the cat goes in the house.”

Meanwhile, just five minutes previous, there was conference underway.
“Have any of you been thinking about how we could get out of here? asked the alpha fly Artie from the bottom of the glass jar. I sure can’t do any flashing under a pile of flies that just zoomed in here with no thought of where they were going.
“Has anybody got any bright ideas for escape? Silence…..Nobody?”
“OK let’s apply logic. We can’t fly out since the jar lid is screwed on. We can’t crawl out because the sides of the jar are slippery. Our only hope is for a trip, smash, and dump”
“Get ready boys cause here comes the cat. CRASH!
“See you around everybody. Better hit the off switch for a few minutes.”

LIGHTNING: Free Spirit By Sally Madison

Words: 490

Free Spirit
By Sally Madison

Linda braced herself as she reached for the handle of the shop’s glass door. ‘What was she going to tell her mother?’ she thought. ‘No, I don’t have to tell her, I just won’t show her, if I place it right.’

The smell escaping from the door hit her like a brick before she even took a step in. Motor oil, sweat, formaldehyde and a strange sweet smell blended, assaulting her innocent nose. As she looked around, she noticed there were no wall coverings that she had seen before. Every available space was covered, like a child’s room exalting his obsession, be it football or cowboys. Some were pretty; some were terrifying, black and whites, colors. It was an art class room gone wild. Big albums on dirty tables, next to filthy chairs and an operating table were the only furnishings.

“YEAH, WHAT DO YOU WANT?” was heard from a door leading to the back of the shop. A big burly giant came in, like he was looking for a fight. His dark greasy hair, so long it matted with his long beard, which matted with the hair on his shoulders and chest that stuck out from under his multi-stained undershirt with yellow armpits.

Linda’s resolve nearly melted, as she was taken aback, but then she smiled weakly, as she thought, ‘this is a personified Brutus of the Popeye cartoon series’.

“Sorry, little lady, you were not who I was expecting,” Brutus apologized. “What can I do for you?” His eyes looked her up and down from her painted red toe nails in jeweled flip-flops, to her long sun tanned legs, red short-shorts, glitter red halter top and her sun-bleached pony tail. Looking like the Cheshire cat of Alice in Wonderland, his mind was racing to what he would like to do with her.

“I’ve decided to do this,” she resounded, regaining her composure.

“Do you know what you want? Or you can look around,” replied Brutus.

“I had an idea, but now I’m not so sure.”

“I have a sketch pad, if you want to give me an idea.”

Linda took the book and started to sketch. “I’d like it in a script, but not too curly, with more of a racing car feel to it.” He took the book and drew an amazing image of what she wanted. “That’s it!” she exclaimed, “but I need it where I can hide it from my mother, maybe here,” as she pointed to her left shoulder blade.

An hour or so later, Brutus handed her a mirror and held another mirror over the inflamed shoulder. Brutus asked, “What’s your name anyway?”

“Linda” was the response, as she stood.”

“Oh,” said Brutus, “I get it, the ‘L’ is for Linda.

Heading for the door, Linda turned her head, “No, ‘L’ is for Lightning” she responded. As she pick up her motorcycle helmet, gave Brutus a playful wink and exited the shop.

LIGHTNING: Ridley Street Lights By: Sam McManus

Word Count 500
Ridley Street Lights
By: Sam McManus
They was brilliant even when they wasn’t, ‘cause they glory wudn’t linked to they freedom. Me and Ricardo would chase them down at twilight, when the shadows made them just visible enough to the naked eye, but not so bright they would try to hide. See, there was this patch of grass down Ridley Street, never got mowed. It was all bristly like one of them brushes that could never keep my hair from getting nappy. Ricardo’s mom said we was stupid for going down Ridley, ‘cause that’s where the hoes was at, and we didn’t wanna confuse them with no “fresh meat.”
We had no idea what a hoe was, and to me fresh meat meant we would eat that night. Ricardo’s mom would always shake her head at me when I tried to explain that.
“Y’all fittin’ ta get a rude awakenin’” she would say, slapping Ricardo upside the head and going back to her crack pipe. If that woman didn’t have that crack pipe in her hand I woudn’t a recognized her. But what she said ain’t matter when we was little kids, and it still ain’t matter when we was half growed up.
Ridley was five blocks down, but on summer nights we would haul ass down there, me and Ricardo, with the mayonnaise jar in hand. Sometimes it was his mayonnaise jar, and sometimes it was mine, but it didn’t matter. We was in it together. Wudn’t no mayonnaise in it no way. It was always clean like gram’s fake teeth in her water glass at night. We poked holes in the top ‘cause of what happened that first time when we didn’t.
When we got to Ridley we knew we was there ‘cause of those hoes Ricardo’s mom always warned us about. They was pretty brilliant theyselves, in my opinion, wearin’ all them fancy diamonds, them flash colors, and they hair was all puffy like I could lose myself in it. Ricardo liked “them miles of legs” that was always on display. He was all about them legs, for whatever reason. But they didn’t make me think of no fresh meat, not once. So I cussed out Ricardo’s mom for puttin’ the idea in my head in the first place. Every single time.
“Y’all young boys want to become men?” one of them asked that one time. She had smoky eyes and a deep voice like Darth Vader. I was not interested, even if my sole purpose in life was to become a man. For some reason I felt like following her wudn’t gonna accomplish that. We walked away, but Ricardo kept staring at her legs. Damn idiot.
Halfway down the block there was the patch of grass between these two houses, like the woods was coming up to reclaim the neighborhood. We took the top off the mayonnaise jar before we even saw them lightning bugs, but we knew they was there. They was waitin’ for us’ to give them they rude awakenin’.

LIGHTNING: Lake of Fire By Mike Cecconi

Word Count 500
Lake of Fire
By Mike Cecconi

If God’s like a genie in a lamp but you only get one wish, I certainly wasted mine early. It felt necessary at the time, but I was just a child, I didn’t know the life I’d have laid out for me, the things I would later need or need undone. I would’ve prevented my dad’s fatal heart attack, of course, I would’ve taken away my brother’s seizures, I would’ve overturned a certain election, I would’ve at least paid my student loans to make the phone calls stop. I was just a child, though, and if I’d thought about it at all, I would’ve assumed I was going to get at least three mulligans in this life, not only the one. But if I had just the one, I used it then.

My dad was a Boy Scout up until just before Eagle, until he discovered women and how much better they are to hold than badges. I was a Boy Scout for three or four months until I quit on the way back home from our first camping trip, in the middle of the car ride, I was done. I don’t hate the outdoors, I grew up scrabbling on the South Side hills looking for quartz, I’m a fan of a light hike, but at the end of the day, I like to sleep in a bed and poop in a toilet too goddamn much.

I don’t remember whose idea it was to take a bunch first-years on a three-night jaunt into the Adirondacks in the middle of July, in the middle of blackfly season, with the humidity around 135%, with no air in the air to breathe, just stickiness and biting things, with a fifteen-mile trek through a swamp to somewhere called Dexter Lake included but it won’t go down as one of their better ideas.

My dad was an assistant scoutmaster and damn if he didn’t basically carry me back to the main campsite from Dexter Lake, the last quarter of the way. Lying there in the tent after returning, a third of my body covered in welts, my legs burning with exhaustion, I prayed to God to get me out of two more nights of it. About an hour after that, the sky opened to thunder, lightning and torrential rain, they pulled up stakes as I laid there too tired to even move out of the rain. A few hours after that, I was quitting in the car as we drove home.

I liked tying knots and walking old ladies across the street but the rest of it, I guess I burned up my only get-out-of-jail free card to escape. I’m sorry to all the people I could have saved if I’d known I only got the one but damnation. Hell is the Adirondacks in blackfly season and thank God for the lightning, I escaped from hell that night. Who knows if someday I’m going back there but that one blessed night, my prayers were answered.

LIGHTNING: Shared Time (for Zach) By Sharon Collins

Word Count
Shared Time (for Zach)
By Sharon Collins
What begins as the story of a Man and his Watch, ends as a story of a Man’s Mom and his Watch. My son purchased his first important timepiece, an Oris Artilier Date with skeletal movements in 2010. It acknowledged the all-important quarter-century milestone for him. Its acquisition was a partnership in discretionary spending as its price tag topped the two grand mark. My son has two black belts, one in an ancient martial art and a second one in the equally impressive Art-of-the-Deal. Exercising the second talent, he found his dream-watch discounted, tax and duty free, if ordered and paid for at Diamonds International Charlotte-Amalie, USVI. Since Mom happened to be cruising there, it was, as they a fait accompli. He wore that watch daily for four years, breaking in its quality leather band, casually showing it when it would impress, imbuing it with his wanderlust. In 2014, he gave it to me on Mother’s Day. It was the best gift ever, second only to an off-handed compliment given when he was a teen. “Mom, you’ve made a helluva Dad!” he told me one Father’s Day.
Now Gifting is an art form for us, especially me. For his 13th Birthday I gave him a Katana (sans live-blade of course). I presented him his 16th Birthday cake in Paris. And I took him to Tokyo for his 18th where he celebrated with some fine, old scotch. For Birthday Number 21, I expedited his passport renewal, a feat of magical proportions, allowing him a spur of the moment trip to Italy. So gifting me, his Mom, his first watch of real worth, was a turnabout act of both filial generosity and modern ideology. (He is a minimalist, as many millennials are, and being mid-watch-upgrade, he saw an opportunity; however, this does not detract from the symbolism.)
My son and I are Seekers of Ultima Thule, both literally and metaphorically. He wore this Oris on his first solo trek, 76 miles across Iceland to where the trail truly ends. His new watch has soloed across as many miles in Greenland to the foot of the Endless Ice, and it is headed north to end of civilization to solo on Baffin Island soon. As I said, Ultima Thule. Since gracing my wrist, the Artilier’s skeletal tick has grounded me on my own seekings. It has watched with me inside Stonehenge as dawn broke night’s hold, it has radiated with the warmth of a winter’s sun burning the red rocks of Sedona, it has yearned to the horizon wishing to worship at the feet of the mighty Bugarach. Its next journey will be to glacial blues of Alaska followed by a wander among the ancient stones of Carnac on the wild west coast of Brittany. And some day it will accompany me to the lightning kissed shoulders of Uluru. I do wear and will wear his watch daily, this gift from my son, its worth and workmanship, constant reminders of the Man he has become.

LIGHTNING: Tonight, She Rides the Lightning By Josh McMullen

Word Count– 500

Tonight, She Rides the Lightning
By Josh McMullen

The lightning illuminated the room where they both sat, and in an instant, it was dark again. They had been sitting across the room from each other, neither saying a word since the power went out.

Between them sat a phone, on which was a text message that threatened to split the both of them apart: “Do you remember what happened on that trip? Best night of my life…” with a winking emoji at the end, as if it punctuated three shotgun blasts to the heart with a knife to the back.

Maggie sat on the couch with her knees to her face, sobbing silently. On the other side, Wyatt stared out the window, watching the lightning move ever closer to them. He had spent over two weeks planning this getaway for the two of them, and all they had done was answer a text, then argue about it for two hours.

He explained that nothing had happened; they had met for drinks and that was it. Maggie didn’t believe him in the slightest; she had heard all of this before. He was supposed to be in Boston one time for a meeting and less than 24 hours after he left, she received a text message that he was in Albany with his arms around not one, but two women. Then, there was the time he was supposed to be in Providence – he never made it there, and she actually caught him walking into a hotel with her (now former) best friend. Both times, he asserted that nothing happened and begged her to take him back; both times, Maggie obliged him and took him back.

Now, with lightning splitting the sky into jagged shards, it had happened a third time. Not even a third time…that would be optimistic, she thought. Goodness knows how many times he had done it that I don’t know about. She had absolutely no reason to believe him again. She had actually thought that this was the point where he would actually turn over a new leaf and leave his young and stupid self behind him. What made her the angriest was the fact that she was dumb enough to believe him.

She looked out the window as another bolt of lightning cut through the sky almost immediately before the rain came down in an almost continuous sheet. She got up slowly and walked toward her backpack, pulling out her raincoat.

“No, no, don’t do this…I told you nothing happened…” Wyatt said, but Maggie ignored him and silently continued pulling on her boots and her coat. “Please don’t do this…I’m-I’m sorry…” She pretended not to hear him as she flung the door open and walked out into the storm, flashlight shining out into the darkness. Wyatt could only stand and watch as the light got further and further away, until finally, it was gone.

Seconds later, the lightning cut into the sky, as if putting a period on a declaration of Maggie’s newfound independence.

LIGHTNING: Rules Are Not Made to be Broken By Jenny Scarano

Word: Lightning
Word Count: 499
Rules Are Not Made to be Broken
By Jenny Scarano

In the first grade, a special guest fireman came to talk to our class about lightning safety. Being an excellent student, I paid close attention. Number one: When thunder roars, go indoors. Pretty straightforward. What idiot would be outside anyway? Number two: See lightning glow, get low. Hmmm, I thought it would be better to shelter under a tree, but the fireman explained that if you were the highest object around, the lightning would find you first. Got it. Number three: Pedal away from metal. Metal conducts electricity. Check. Finally, number four: Don’t get caught-er near the water. (Terrible rhyme Mr. Fireman, but I see your point). Water can become electrified. Very dangerous.
Feeling prepared for summer’s most dangerous threat, I headed home. Thunderstorms happened, as they do, but no big deal. My whole family seemed to understand the rules. We went indoors when thunder roared; we watched from a safe distance and never stayed out by the pool.
That summer we rented a cabin on Pleasant Lake with my extended family. My sister, cousins, and I would run around all day under gentle supervision from the adults and we were all having a grand old time until one fateful night.
It was bedtime and I was reading when I saw a flash of light from the window. Was that lightning? A second flash confirmed. Okay, I was indoors so totally safe, but maybe not everyone was as aware of proper lightning protocol like me. I had better check. I wandered around and saw my sister, my aunts, uncles and cousins. They were all inside and no one was touching any metal or taking a bath or doing anything crazy. But where were my parents? I looked all around the house, upstairs and downstairs. They have to be in the house. There’s lightning! I started to get a little frantic when out of the corner of my eye I spotted something down on the dock. Was that my parents??? Sitting on aluminum metal chairs?? At the end of the dock where they were the highest thing?? ON THE WATER?? That’s breaking all four rules! They were definitely going to die. I would have to go live with my cousins and they’re terrible. Panic set in. I had to save them. I ran to the back door screaming their names. The wind blew my cries right back in my face. I stood in front of the metal screen door, which I obviously couldn’t touch, and screamed and screamed. They couldn’t hear me. I couldn’t go out there. I couldn’t touch the door. I couldn’t go near the water. The rules! They’re going to die! I went into hysterics.
Finally, my Aunt Debbie came to see what the matter was and bravely went outside to retrieve my parents before they were zapped to death. The relief overwhelmed me. My mother tried to give me some line about heat lightning, but she wasn’t a fireman. What did she know? I saved them.

LIGHTNING: The Plot to Kill Sister Mary Xavier By Terry Rainey

Word Count 499
The Plot to Kill Sister Mary Xavier
By Terry Rainey
My mother drove us home after our easy win over St. Charles. All of us had scored. Herman stole the ball three times and made two layups; Martin followed up and made the one that Herman missed. A rebound had bounced off Walter’s head and back into the basket.
I’d scored 9 points, but my mind was on what I’d just learned, that the streets in Arlington went through the alphabet 3 times, each time adding a syllable, Ash to Young, Adams to Vermont, and Avalon to Tuckahoe. Saintchucks was on Pierce. I ticked off street names as we drove, after a drink stop at 7-11 on Veitch, towards Herman’s house on Lexington.
The ride gave us time for one of our favorite hobbies: coming up with ways to end SisterX’s time on earth, or at least her time on earth with us.
We’d concocted plots like Martians landing in the school parking lot, a Cuban Missile attack, and even having the Pittsburgh Steelers draft Sister X in the 12th round. We so loved conceiving and tinkering with these ideas. There was nothing on earth more important than laughing and making other people laugh. As in all things, we’d become competitive in laughter.
Our only rule in plot anarchy was that each person had to ratchet the story up another level. Sometimes we also took a drink and had to hold it in while others tried to make us laugh.
Herman started “First tie a string around X’s finger.”
Martin, master of SisterX plots, said “Get her to inhale helium, tell her it’s holy air. Those who partake will go straight to heaven. Make sure she gets lots. So much helium that she balloons to 25×25, not 5×5.
Walter quietly added “Make the string hundreds of feet long, and make her a SisterX kite.”
It was my turn as we approached Buchanan Street. I said all of us grab a hold of other ropes and take her to the Arlington parade. But we’ll get lost and go very close to high power wires.” It was quiet for a second. My contribution seemed flat, which I thought happened because I’d been focused on passing from Vermont to Abingdon.
Then my mother chimed in. “Forget the parade. Just have the kite get hit by lightning!”
Our stunned laughter was so startling and unexpected that my friends still had drinks in their mouths. My mother sensed the imminent eruptions and bellowed “Chinese Fire Drill!” as we stopped at the red light at Harrison. We hopped out and whooped as both Herman and Walter spit out their drinks on Lee Highway.
After we piled in, I was in the backseat. Herman looked at us. He had shotgun and I couldn’t be happier, even though my stomach muscles hurt. Sitting between Walter and Martin in the backseat for the ride from Harrison to Lexington was like looking through a Viewmaster and suddenly seeing our world, Arlington, in a bright new light, glowing and warmhearted.