Thunder And Lightning - Short Story

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RJDiogenes
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Thunder And Lightning - Short Story

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:42 pm

THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
© 2008 Rick Hutchins

Then there was that time a dark gray thundercloud boiled out of the forested foothills of the Berkshires on a sunny summer day and headed East, against the wind. It was the size of a baseball field and looked down on the world with two huge, green but human eyes.

It was less than a mile outside of Amherst when the signal came over the emergency radio. By the time I put on my costume and flew out through the secret tunnel, it was inside the city limits.

As I flew low across the common, I saw people fleeing from the cloud; when they saw me coming, they pointed and shouted with relief and encouragement.

The cloud had begun to release devastating bolts of lightning, blasting apart parked cars and storefronts. The roof of the Jones Library was on fire and the fire department was already on the scene, trying to save the building.

I caught up with the thundercloud as it dropped down toward the physics research lab at U Mass. Every deafening lightning bolt threw up a shower of bricks and shattered glass. It was then that the growling, booming thunder inside the cloud began to form words: Do you see? I was right! I was right! Now do you believe me?!

You'd think that dealing with a living lightning storm would be a piece of cake for a superhero called The Meteorologist, right? But this was no natural storm and my powers could not affect it. I tried creating a second storm to counteract it; I tried blowing it away with a jet stream; I tried lowering the temperature so that it would snow itself out of the sky; but it was all for nothing.

Ultimately, I whipped up a whirlwind of dry dust from a construction site that sucked up the moisture of the cloud, and the whole mess fell to earth as mud. Later, it was all trucked away and buried under a slab of solid concrete at an undisclosed location.

When it was all over, sixteen people were hurt, one of them seriously; it could have been a lot worse, but I didn't feel especially triumphant that day.

We backtracked the cloud into the mountains and to the burned remains of a small modular cabin and wind generator. It was full of what used to be some kind of complex electronic equipment, now fused beyond recognition. Nobody, not even the scientists at the physics lab, had any clue as to the person behind the cloud or his motivation.

We never did figure it all out.
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