Storm Watch

Click for the original challenge. Written for Ermilia's Picture It & Write. A giant white hand at the end of a writhing arm stretched across the sky...

The storm crept its way across the night sky on the legs of a white hot spider, tentatively feeling its way from rooftop to rooftop. Bolt after monstrous bolt exploded from the tops of the city’s towers, lighting the sky and dimming the buildings as they strained to absorb the blasts.

Jenny stood shivering in the hotel window. The rolling thunder shook the building’s foundation and it shivered with her under her feet. Her father was still at the Convention Center and she stood alone in the hotel room watching through the raindrops that spattered against the pane. Her pleas to go with him had fallen on deaf ears. He didn’t believe her about the Lightning Man, so she shivered in silence and waited for him to come.

The Lightning Man was real. Jenny had seen him once before from her hiding place under her bed. He had come through the window and stood in her bedroom on transparent white legs. The buzzing hum, the flickering on her bedroom walls, the sickly sweet smell of sparks he left behind, they were memories that would linger on. She had screamed when she heard his crackling laugh, but the Lighting Man fled before her father could answer her screams.

Now, the eerie lavender glow of his eyes peered down at her from the clouds. A flash of electricity lashed out at the office building closest to their hotel. Its windows went black and the building vanished, swallowed up by the night. He had grown bigger now, much too big to come into the hotel room. The windows in the office building flickered with dim life, resuscitated by the emergency generators.

A blinding flash shot out again even before the thunder from the one before shook her room. A giant white hand at the end of a writhing arm stretched across the sky, reaching for her window. She closed her eyes, but the trace of his hand was burned into her retinae. There was no escape from the image and she could feel his claws opening, his hand stretching to grab her.

Jenny screamed. She dove across the hotel room for the bed, but there was no room to crawl underneath it. Eyes clenched tight, she backed away from the claw still glowing against her eyelids and into the corner behind the nightstand. The thunderclap rattled the room with fierce intensity. It felt as if the Lightning Man had torn the whole hotel from the ground and would shake her out the window. She pushed into the corner with her feet as hard as she could screaming.

Then she felt it, his hand, his claws on her shoulder. Electricity shot through her body! The smell of ozone filled her nose. She jerked, but couldn’t pull away, pinned by the corner she’d pushed herself into. Terrified, she opened her eyes. Her father’s calm face stood over her. He looked casually over each shoulder and smiled.

“Lighting Man again?” he mused.

© 2011 Anne Schilde

About Anne Schilde

Image "Webster's Kiss" © 2011 Anne Schilde Thanks always for reading! ♥
This entry was posted in Stuff... cuz I like to write stuff! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Storm Watch

  1. wordsfallfrommyeyes says:

    That was a totally gripping beginning – the white spider over the rooftops – and the picture captured it equally perfectly.
    The poor kid!! You really built this up so well – and it was dad! A good read 🙂

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Thank you very much! The picture was provided for me in a challenge that Ermilia posts weekly on Sunday’s, called Picture it and Write, so I had to write my story based on what the picture inspired for me. This is my third one and I’ve really enjoyed them a lot! I recommend everyone to click the picture and check out some of the other wonderful submissions on Ermilia’s page.

  2. Lee-Anne says:

    Totally engrossing, I really want to read more!

  3. Katerina says:

    Your story is so good it gave me goosebumps! I was terrified with her, it was eerie. I love the imagery (minus the spider!… *shivers*). I’m almost convinced of the existence of a Lightning Man! 🙂

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Oh yay! Thank you so much. Halloween is a good time for goosebumps! Isn’t it? I don’t like spiders either. There was just a black widow hiding in my kitchen light, ew! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Anne you captured that sense of being overwhelmed by the lightning that I remember so well from when I was a child. It was a compelling read, well mastered.
    I took a romance angle this week. We shared our ozone descriptions.

    • Anne Schilde says:

      Isn’t ozone just a crazy smell? I love it when lightning strikes nearby and you can smell that scent in the air. Thanks so much for your comment! Ooh, lightning and romance! 🙂 I haven’t read yours yet, so I’ll try to get to it a little later today.

  5. Lori says:

    I can see, hear, feel this one.

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