The air show was delayed for the rain. It’s a wonder they still have these festivals in a country with such piss poor weather. Sure, you could always jump in a queue to touch a decommissioned fighter plan from the Great War. But why? While the planes were grounded, the bleachers were desolate and the patrons wandered about in a sea of bobbing umbrellas.

James wanted to return home to dry off and have some tea. His mother and father reluctantly considered the same as they sought a way to salvage the day’s outing. The echo of a cover band somewhere competed with the drumming of an intensifying rain drifting in from the sea.

James glanced about as the wind carried the hollow sound of a rushing wave. The hair on his neck tingled and danced, warning of

CLAP!

He collapsed under the weight of Odin’s hammer, thrown from Valhalla in a flash. The force flung his parents to the ground, desperately gripping the metal carcasses that, just a moment before, offered protection from the elements.

In chaos, hundreds fled to find cover, with a few brave souls running to the wounded who lay still. Paralyzed.

Within moments, sirens danced along the wind. The band stopped playing and the piercing sounds of the ambulance conquered the sounds of the storm.

Paramedics arrived to find James breathing. Shaking. A burn point on his hand coupled with the melted sole of his left shoe evidenced the electrocution he’d endured. His parents were treated for residual burns as they loaded James onto a gurney and wheeled him into the ambulance.

The incident report filed by the paramedic showed that James had been hit my lightning at 13:13 on Friday, August 13th.

(This short fiction is based on a true story as reported by the UK’s Mail Online in 2010. James is not the name of the actual victim, but was taken from the name of the hospital where the teenager was treated after the lighting strike.)

“Ka-boom (lightning)” by Leszek.Leszczynski is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/