Confronting Fears

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Thunder and lightning are things I avoid but not this time.

Submitted: June 26, 2016

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Submitted: June 26, 2016



Confronting Fears.


I have always hated thunder storms. Just the sound of the rumbles in the distance will make me feel nervous. The electricity in the air makes my head hurt, makes me feel sick. It is something that can come on hours before the storm arrives and will linger for ages once it has passed.


A storm in the distance isn't too bad. I can listen to the thunder and count down the seconds until the flash lights up the sky. It can look quite beautiful over the mountains, over the fields, over the houses in the distance.


When the storm is overhead it is quite a different experience. The thunder gives such a deep rumble I can feel the house shake. It is a juddering that seems to come from the ground up, as though the very earth is shaking in fear of what might be to come.

And even indoors I can hear the electricity sizzle its erratic path through the sky. It splits and scatters reaching out in so many directions simultaneously.


If the storm is a distant one I will pull back the curtains and watch its path. With an overhead storm the curtains are closed, most electrical appliances are off and unplugged. Saucepans are filled with water in case the pump goes off. Candles and matches are put in easy reach. A direct strike can put the power out for quite a few hours.


I know all this so why did I have the desire to take on my fears in such a reckless way. Two rules of safety in a thunder storm – do not stand under a solitary tree for shelter; do not stand in a wide open space. The thunder-cloud is enormous, a threatening black with yellow patches. It is heading my way low and fast.


On any other day this would be enough to get me heading for the comparative safety of the house. It is, after all, surrounded by trees that are taller than it; trees that are far more likely to become victim to the lightning than the house itself.


So why on this one day do I find myself doing the opposite? I am not heading for safety or shelter but am climbing the gate into the field. I am not sitting safely in front of a roaring fire but am walking steadily away from the house into more open ground.


The thunder booms and the ground shifts. I keep on walking. I do not even allow myself to pause. There is an open rise in the field, clear all around it and it is to there that I am heading. The lightning flashes to the left of me but I do not even turn my head to look.


And then I reach it, the place that I am heading to. As happens so often the rain has not yet arrived but the wind has picked up. It whips my hair around my face. The static in the air is so strong it makes my skin tingle. I did not put on a coat but stand there in t shirt and jeans. I should be shivering but I am not.


The thunder is now almost deafening. I will not flinch from it but will stand there and take the vibrations it sends towards me. Instantly the sky splits apart. The bolt of lightning splits and splits again, forking to the left and right. The air is sizzling, moisture being instantly heated and boiled away to nothing.


Another boom and another flash. The exhilaration makes me fling my head backwards to stare at the sky. I let myself spin round in circles. Am I daring the lightning to strike me? I don't know, I don't care. I have taken on a terror and have confronted it.


The lightning flashes all around me. I can smell the grass burning where it has touched the ground. There is a crack as a tree at the top of the field is struck. It does not burst into flames but is instantly cooked from the inside. It stands there blackened, it's leaves fluttering to the ground in a shrivelled heap.


The rain arrives in a torrent. It cascades down from the sky soaking me instantly. It streams down my face, through my hair, into my mouth. And I laugh! The drops of water are falling so fast and so hard but I have faced the lightning and will not be driven off by the water.


The cloud is moving away now. The thunder is back to a rumble and the lightning a flash in the distance. I wipe the rain away from my eyes and watch for a moment before heading home. I almost feel sad to see it go.


I am cold now, shivering in my sodden clothes. My long hair is heavy with water, and no matter how often a wipe the water from my face more drips down from my fringe.

The exhilaration has gone. The madness has passed. If it had just lasted a bit longer I would not have felt such discomfort as I walked back to my door.


Why did I do it? I don't know. Was I daring fate? Maybe, but if so it was subconsciously. The only thing I am sure of is that I will sleep well tonight.



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