Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Lightning. [More info]
Photo by George Alexandru (slightly altered for use here)
“The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.” ~ Mark Twain
Use CleanWIP Magazine’s #CleanWIP hashtag with lines from a work-in-progress and your tweet might be included in a https://t.co/a8se3sed2W collaborative article for authors who lean ‘clean’ and readers who love them. The #CleanWIP theme for Tuesday, OCTOBER 22 is LIGHTNING pic.twitter.com/2FGN4XcwbE— Earl Chinnici (@earlshelpdesk) October 22, 2019
#CleanWIP We’re in for a bad storm. They can slip upon you before you know it,” Clint warned. “We’re overdue for a rain, but I don’t want to get caught in the middle of a lightning storm. We’d better head back before it hits.”— Laurean Brooks (@Laurean2) October 21, 2019
#CleanWIP (Theme LIGHTNING)— Katy Huth Jones (@KatyHuthJones) October 22, 2019
When the bonds clattered to the ground, Kyria straightened, flexing her hands.
“You’re hurt.” Dolan gently took her nearest hand and turned it over to expose a torn and bleeding wrist. At the contact, a jolt like lightning went through him.
“Mr. Johnson, your grade for this class will be an “A.” Your words are pumped from your heart, filtered through your brain, and they pour out onto paper with lightning speed. I envy that ability, and I only wish that I could teach that.” #CleanWip— John Wilde (@WriterJohnWilde) October 22, 2019
#CleanWIP Lightning flashed. Emily threw herself into Clint’s arms as the thunder rumbled. “I–don’t like…storms,” Emily stammered. Bowie’s hooves pranced. Clint gripped the Palomino’s reins. “There, there, boy. Just take it easy and get us home.”— Laurean Brooks (@Laurean2) October 23, 2019
Lightning would be so romantic if it would just keep its distance from everything important, including all living creatures. Of course we all know it doesn’t. All too often lightning ignites fires, damages homes and other structures, destroys appliances… sometimes it even kills.
The earliest scary lightning story I can think of happened when I was perhaps ten years old. While swimming in an in-ground pool, lightning struck close enough that I felt a slight tingle in the water similar to the sensation of sticking a 9-volt battery to one’s own tongue. (Wasn’t everyone their older brother’s battery tester? No? Hmm.)
I recall another close call in my early to mid teens. It was much closer, actually. I was watching TV with my dad while Mom was at the kitchen sink when all of a sudden and with a loud blended crackle and pop, a bolt of blue came from an outlet directly behind the television and struck the sink just as Mom took one step back from it.
I know there were many other times lightning was closer than I like it to be. I live in Florida. Some have called it the lightning capital of the world though the age of the Internet has shown everything—including this claim—is debatable.
Undoubtedly, the strangest lightning occurrences I’ve witnessed were during tornadoes. I’ve been in and near many, especially since February of 1999. I didn’t move. Perhaps they did.
Only some of the tornadoes arrived with lightning, but the lighting that came with those that did was unlike any lightning I’ve ever experienced outside of a tornado. Instead of booms of thunder, there were only extremely fast clicks and crackles; the flashes were like flashes of a strobe light at a dance party or the local disco. (Give it time. Disco music will make a comeback, I can feel it.)
This article seems it might tolerate one lightning fast tale. This occurred only a half-dozen years ago and it was among the most scary—holding its own with those during the tornadoes.
Boom! (Scared yet? No?) About three seconds later, another boom, this one louder and undeniably much closer than the first. I begin to count. One Mississ—BOOM! Shaken, I begin to count again. One—BOOM! And another. BOOM! I lie flat on the floor on my belly, now considering how soldiers must feel when in a war zone under fire by heavy artillery. A final approaching BOOM, quite deafening and then about two seconds later a BOOM further away, but obviously following the same line of travel.
I lie flat another couple minutes and finally get the nerve to get up. About twenty minutes later, I hear sirens of fire trucks and getting louder with each passing second. Roughly a minute later, they’re slowing in front of my home then turning onto the small private road at the edge of my yard. Turns out the final approaching BOOM struck a cousin’s barn less than a thousand feet from me and had pretty well burned it down before it became apparent to other neighbors what had happened.
But it sure seemed closer.
By Earl Chinnici
Today’s lightning theme seemed a great reason to work on my first draft of a work-in-progress currently titled “Fifty Close Calls.” If these collaborative articles have also helped motivate you to add words to a work-in-progress, I’d love to hear from you. Check the contact page for the latest info.