Saturday, October 08, 2005

Thunderstorm

The quality of light outside his window momentarily diverted his attention. He looked up from the computer screen to take in the tree-filtered spray of golden shafts flitting across the clipped grass. It was windy today, the trees bending at unusual angles that reminded him of the deformed trees that grew near the beach, permanantly stretched backwards by the constancy of sea breezes. But these trees outside his window fought the wind, fought to stay in the vertical plane as the wind swept over them in the horizontal plane. Rays of light played on the battlefield, dodging and weaving between swirling leaves and branches. The green canopy attempted to tint the beams as they glanced through, but the light was too swift and artful in its reflection, passing through pure spun as if straight off a solar flare. Building beyond the roiling trees were gray and white clouds, billowing towers of dark power balanced by white formations of undaunted purity, and beyond that, fragments of impossibly saturated blue autumn sky. As the storm approached, the light grew dimmer and more yellow, casting a fuzzy blanket of daffodil over the scene as if gently warning, “Move along, things are going to get violent here in a few more minutes.” He felt a shiver work its way from the bottom of his spine to the top, anticipating the oncoming thunderstorm. He remembered having the same premonition as a kid when he smelled the rain coming through the musty porch screen. He knew, from behind the thick panel of sterile glass, that the air outside was cool and damp but filling with electric charge that would build steadily until it wasn’t satisfied to stay near the ground, deciding in a split second to make an eight-legged spider run toward the heavens. At the same time, charge pooled at the top of the clouds, aching to return to home ground, poking and prodding below the cloud layer for a crevice that would suffice. The arc reaching upwards attracted the arc grasping downwards. The two met just under the black cloud belly with a violent explosion, momentarily stunned, an entertwined, tangled ball of plasmic energy, each tasting the opposite charge until they finally slid by, continuing on their chosen path. The rift of their meeting grew wider, fracturing the air, lowly rumbling at first, building and growing until the full sonic message of heaven and earth’s meeting had been transmitted to the vicinity’s eardrums and foundations and thick glass panels. Just as he turned back to his monitor the lights flickered once, twice, then darkness. “Thank you,” he said to no one in particular, and turned gratefully back to the window to watch the show.