Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

#FridayFlash 55 - The Thunder Rolled

For those who're looking for a horsey post - check out the GRS blog for the story of our XC adventures on Monday :)

For everybody else, the time has come to attempt another flash. It's been... ummm a very long time since I've posted a flash. That whole starting a new business and working 70+ hours/week thing *g* This one did not go where I intended it too and I haven't decided yet if I like this version better or not :) What can I say? Sometimes characters just write their own stories. Let me know what you think!


The Thunder Rolled

It was raining. The kind of rain where you shut off the tv to just listen to Nature play her song on the window pane. The kind of rain that makes you pity any man or beast caught out in it. The kind of rain that makes you want to go out and play in it to be a child once more.

And then the thunder rolled. It called to me. And I knew I had to be a part of it. 35 years old, a successful professional, and generally responsible adult, and I didn't even stop to question the urge to go play in the rain.

I stepped outside to a darkness so intense I couldn't even see the giant tree I knew was only a dozen feet from where I stood. Before I'd even managed two steps, I was soaked through with the kind of jolting cold that temporarily takes your breath away and then makes you feel hyper-alive for having survived it.

I walked farther into the yard - the lights from the house eerily blurred by the rain and not strong enough to cut the intense darkness and illuminate my path. The thunder, no longer inviting, roared a warning. A suggestion I return to the known. The safe. A suggestion I ignored.

My hand outstretched in front of me found the tree my grandmother had planted a lifetime ago. The thick canopy above seemed helpless to stop the onslaught of drops. The thunder crashed angrily, making me jump. I could feel it shaking inside me. Yet I felt the need to be out there - to be a part of it.

I leaned against the tree, looking away from my home to the darkness that seemed unyielding. Huge drops continued to sharply pelt my skin; yet somehow it was revitalizing. I felt alive. Refreshed. I considered briefly what my coworkers would think if they saw me here, and knew they'd be stunned. And then I considered what my friends would think, and knew they'd simply smile and roll their eyes -- never entirely understanding, but always accepting. And the thought made me smile.

The next crash of thunder was joined in a heartbeat by a vividly powerful bolt of lightning, close enough that I could feel the electricity shiver in my veins. And in the moment of clarity before I was blinded by the light, I could've sworn I'd seen a man standing in the street in the rain. I felt like our eyes locked and I *knew* him. Knew him as well and as deeply as I knew myself. But it was impossible. I wasn't even sure I'd seen anything, much less a recognizable person.

The rain continued pounding out its message on the leaves above my head. The darkness seemed even thicker after the flash of light. And the sound of his voice, directly beside me, more terrifying than anything I've ever experienced.

"Don't you know enough to go in out of the rain?" he asked in a low voice that seemed to roll as the once inviting thunder had.

My response was delayed while I waited for my heart to restart. I couldn't see his features in the darkness, and his voice was not familiar, but somehow I still felt I knew him. And that I shouldn't be afraid.

"Nothing extraordinary ever came of doing the expected." I told him. The thunder rumbled, moving away from us. I felt his gaze on me and wondered how he could see better than I.

"So you're an extraordinary woman then?" I could hear the smile in his voice, but couldn't quite tell if it was sincere.

"And you sir, I'm quite certain, an extraordinary man." I answered, trying instinctively to match his tone and feeling slightly lost, as though I were the only person in a group who didn't get the joke.

"Indeed," he said formally. The rain was fading. The canopy above becoming more successful at catching the drops before they hit us. But the nagging feeling that I knew him grew stronger.

"You're right," he told me. Before I could question him he elaborated, "you do know me. You just don't remember. But it's almost time. You're almost ready."

"Ready for what?" I couldn't stop myself from asking, although I regretted it the instant the words were out of my mouth.

"Ready for the extraordinary," he replied seriously. "There's more to you than you acknowledge. The power calls to you. And tonight you answered. Consider what that means."

And before I could even begin to digest that sentence and deem it all garbage, he was gone. As quickly and silently as he'd arrived, he disappeared. And with him, the storm.

The air held a crisp freshness that hinted of energy and the lights from the house now shone clearly well past my tree. I looked around but could see nobody. I returned to my house feeling both foolish and intensely intrigued, for you see I felt instinctively as though he was right. There was power there. And all that was left was for me to figure out how to use it.


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