Lightning Frozen in Time

Thunder rolled over her bedroom as Cassy hid beneath her covers.  She was too old to be frightened by a thunder and lightning storm.  Her father had told her it was just heat lightning.  But Cassy knew better than that.  The relentless rumbles bellowed from the low clouds, deep and low.  Lightning crackled and sparked like a newly struck match every time it lit up the windows.  Cassy thought she could hear the lightning as it struck the dirt of the fields around their house.  Under her blanket she held her flashlight and tried to concentrate on the new book she had borrowed from the library.

She began a chapter about sharks.  She had never been to the beach and never seen the ocean.  She had only learned about it in science class at school, but she knew that one day she would see the golden sand and the deep blue ocean.  The thunder and lightning storm came to an end, but Cassy didn’t know it.  She had fallen asleep dreaming of the ocean.

The next morning Cassy awoke to the morning light gently pushing its way into her eyes.  she lifted her head and remembered the storm from the night before.  Pulling a bathrobe over her shoulders and rubbing the sleep from her eyes, Cassy walked out of her room and looked for her parents.  They weren’t in the living room.  The pull-out couch in the corner that her parents slept on was folded up and the sheets were piled neatly in the corner.  Cassy noticed the backdoor had been left open.  She stepped outside and found her parents.

They stood just outside the doorway and stared out at the fields.  They didn’t say a word to her.  Cassy wasn’t sure they even noticed her.  She also wasn’t sure what was holding their attention raptly, until she followed their eyes out and she saw them.

They looked like lightning that had been frozen in time, like each time lightning struck someone had hit the pause button and left it there, waiting.  Great bolts connected the sky to the fields.  They emitted a muted light that pulsed, each one in sync with the others.  Cassy tried to see how high they went, and found that she could not see the tops of any of them.  They just seemed to keep going until they faded away into obscurity.  There  were hundreds of them racing up into the sky.

The telephone rang inside.  Her father walked inside and Cassy started to walk around the house.  They were everywhere, giant streaks of lightning frozen in time.  Every direction she looked, as far as she could see, they were there.  In the fields and forests.  It even looked like a few could have landed in the road.  Cassy gazed into the distance as she walked she was so mesmerized she nearly walked right into one!

It didn’t make a sound.  It just pulsed a pure white light.  On, then off again.  When the light was off, it looked like the black ice of a frozen pond in winter.  When it was on, it shone like the reflection of a fresh snowfall.

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