18 March 2011

#FridayFlash - Lightning

More #fridayflash for you. Enjoy...

"One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three--," Akeva winced as the deafening boom rattled her bones. Arizona monsoon clouds loomed overhead, she hadn't realized the storm was that close. Five Mississippis closer than her last count a few minutes ago. Shit.

Of course the storm traveled much faster than her, it didn't have to rely on legs to get through a mini-obstacle course. Unless by some miracle, she wasn't going to reach the safety of her car, which was about five miles away, before the worst of the storm hit.

But she kept running over rust-colored dirt and past twisted juniper trees. It wasn't like she could stop and take cover. Where would she hide from the marble sized raindrops that pelted her skin out in the middle of the Sedona desert? Plus, she couldn't run too fast otherwise one of those loose, rocks that littered the ground would leave her limping back to her car or unable to walk at all.

Never mind her backpack, or the things inside it; too much bumping and her electronics would be toast. At least the bag would keep them dry, or mostly dry. Akeva didn't want to contemplate buying all new electronics just before starting grad school. So, she ran holding her pack straps tight, trying to minimize the damage to her precious cargo. Fortunately, there wasn't anyone around to witness her running like a dork.

Water dripped freely down her face. Any other time she'd enjoy the dusty smell of the rain, even try to photograph some lightning strikes. Not now. Frequent lightning strikes lit the sky and the dark desert, while thunder echoed off the rocks and the rain fell in earnest now.

Definitely not a good situation - rain, lightning, no shelter, and electronics.


Akeva couldn't believe she'd ignored the signs and kept photographing. If she'd heeded the waiter's advice this morning, she'd be nice and safe in the hotel room or in her car driving to California. He'd warned her about monsoon storms, how they would sneak up and cause havoc, spawning deadly flash floods that took people by surprise. But she'd lost focus of everything except for the majestic Bell Rock. She'd filled nearly all her memory cards trying to capture the beauty of the magnificent rock formation.

And now, she was paying the price.

She ran past a small gully, thankful it hadn't started to run with water, and berated herself. She should've kept driving to San Francisco instead of detouring to Sedona to photograph the area. But how could she have driven so close and not tried to emulate all those gorgeous photos she'd seen on the internet? She'd reasoned a day trip wouldn't affect her plans much, just one day less in Berkeley to find an apartment. Her soon to be new roommate, LeeAnn, had totally understood, had even encouraged her to make the side trip.

Another blinding flash. "One Mississippi, t--,"

The world turned bright and everything shimmered. Akeva wasn't sure why her body began to tingle, but she knew she had to get to shelter. Now.

She released her pack and ran full out. It was her life or her electronics, she chose life.

The tingling in her body intensified with the each lightning strike, like the storm was causing the strange sensation running through her body. If she wasn't running for her life, she would have laughed at the insane idea.

She still couldn't see the road. How much further was it?

Another fear gripped Akeva. What if in her hurry to get out of the storm, she'd gone the wrong direction?

She stopped and glanced over her shoulder. Bell Rock loomed over her, but--

A brilliant, white flash blinded her as pain incinerated her body, then everything went black.


Sylvia van Bruggen said...

What an ending! Awesome!!! So great that you do #fridayflash now!!!

Anne Velosa said...

Count yourself as the reason why I do #fridayflash. Thanks!

Raven Corinn Carluk said...

Oh, the dangers of the high desert. The storms are beautiful to watch, so long.as you're sheltered.

John Wiswell said...

I'm always worried I've gone the wrong way, even driving around roads I've traveled for years. I figure one of these days I'll be no safer than Akeva.

Anne Velosa said...

John, hopefully you'll NEVER find yourself in her situation. Thanks for stopping by.

Anne Velosa said...

Raven - Living in Tucson, I've seen houses destroyed by these type of storms, scary and enthralling at the same time. Thanks for stopping by!