WhiltiernaWolfLord

United States of America

1. Once upon a midnight dreary...
2. Demiflux, aro, ace
3. Bowties are cool
4. JACK JACK THE PUMPKIN KINGGGGG
5. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry
6. TØP, FOB, P!ATD, Mumford and Sons, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, George Ezra, Hozier

Message from Writer

"I am looking for friends. What does that mean -- tame?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. "It means to establish ties."

"To establish ties?"

"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world...."

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

The Lightning Society

November 3, 2017

Sadie

The girl sat with one leg crossed on the rocking chair of the porch, the swing creaking softly. Around her was a symphony of rain, sounds she'd learned by heart; the rasp of trees in wind, the subtle creak of their trunks, the many stages and voices of storms. And she knew them all. Sadie knew the gentle, allegro heartbeat of pattering showers, she knew the driving pace of a rainstorm threatening to wash away the world, and lastly, her most favorite of all, the rumbling timpani of thunderstorms. 

Alone on the porch swing, the girl sits while gently pushing the swing with the tip of a battered, sky blue sneaker. Despite the chaos outside her house, she sat with an expression of calmness, of tranquility. She listened with her eyes closed, with her heart and her mind instead of her ears. Both are seeking, and her mind is wandering. 

She used to watch thunderstorms with her father as a child, then a young adult, a teen, before he was struck by his own tempest chasing it. Her father used to photograph storms for the local magazine, but it has been nearly three years since the town has seen any. Usually, the girl thinks back and imagines her father beside her on the swing, rocking it slightly, his crinkle-eyed smile with his warm grey eyes in a kind face. 

But today was different. The girl begins to tap her sneaker, as her thoughts turned on themselves like the rolling clouds above her. Today, she had wanted to introduce stormwatching to her friend, before he'd begged out of it. She still remembered the early, swollen raindrops settling in his curly, dark brown hair, the rain and sky shining in his bright mismatched eyes. Usually, they'd be dancing, one sky and one earth, but not the moment he'd left. Sadie had offered to share her memory and ritual with him, and he'd declined.

She scrunched up her petite nose and opened her father's gray ghost eyes, like the smoke rising off of flame. A few sun-bleached tendrils of her mother's sandy brown hair had curled around her face, escaping her braid, but she pushed them back hurriedly. Not declined, FLED. Sadie had offered a piece of herself to her friend, and he had fled it. She sighed, watching rain drip off of the overhanging roof, watching the far off ocean rage against the storm, watching the lush green fields of Palm Coast through the curtain of rain. Thunder boomed around her, the prickly scent of ozone resting like an afterthought on the air. Thunderstorms were common, frequent, even, at this time of the year, so if Tripp and his friends were afraid of thunderstorms, they should never have moved to Florida. 

Down near the coast on one of the jogging paths, she saw a shape running. Copper shone against the ivory white of long canine legs, a tail flying out behind it. She frowned, wondering who would allow their dog to run in this type of weather. 

                 *•,•,•,•*

Tripp

Down by the coast, the dog ran. On his left, the sea roared and churned against the sliver of beach, on his right, ponds and streams overran into lush fields. The two conflicting smells of earth and sea clashed in his nostrils, and he felt everything acutely, every stone and contour of the wet pavement beneath him, the way the salty wind scraped through his fur, that nameless lightning-sense that prickled like burned electricity in the back of his throat. 

The dog let his tongue loll out wider, the sky booming above him. He let his legs stretch longer, his bounds become wider, and his lungs pump harder. The dog's appearance on the coast would be mildly surprising, but people owned pets in the beach houses, and pets reacted differently to thunderstorms. A rational person would assume the dog feared thunder, and had run out only to meet the torrents of rain pounding down. 

But this dog had no owner, nor was he a common pet. He was not fleeing the storm, as the theoretical witness would assume, nor was he chasing it as Sadie had surmised. He was not doing either of those things, or a hundred different hypotheses drafted in the making. The answer, however was much simpler, only in kind to its essential basis. The dog was escaping. 

The dog by the coast was no ordinary dog, the husky with eyes matching each side of scenery as he ran. On his left, the eye was blue, on his right, his eye matched the muddy fields. The husky felt energy charging in his bones, he felt static crackle through his fur, he felt the sky quiver as another boom sounded. The earth was being rent apart around him, and sharp white cracks lit the seam. Char wafted briefly on the air, and he forced his steps to be faster. He had to make it back.

Fleetingly, he'd wished that he lived another life. This, of course, was not what normally one would expect to be circulating through the mind of a dog, but again, he was no normal dog. He wished that he could have stayed at the porch, he wished that he could have shared the storm between them normally like two regular Floridian teenagers, but he couldn't. It wasn't a choice, he couldn't refute it. If he could have stayed, he would have. But he couldn't. This was the one rule centered around his being, one fact he had had to shape his life around.

And that was to never, never, be caught changing shapes during a thunderstorm.

The storm raged, and Tripp ran faster, until his paws gave way to muddy dirt to cushioned grass, until he collapsed with shaking muscles onto the porch of his own house, breathing hard as he thudded against the door. The storm gave a distant, softer chuckle, the rain receded to a light pattering. Outside, the lush landscape and storm churned waters could have been considered beautiful. But he wasn't here for the scenery. None of them were.

As he panted, the copper- red husky slowly melted back, fur to skin, limbs shortening a bit, muzzle receding. Bones snapped and crackled as they realigned, he felt the still sickening shift of organs moving and rearranging themselves to fit his new form. He'd ran miles through the rain, or it had felt like it, and his hands and feet throbbed. He shivered, soaked, and as the door opened behind him, a slight girl with sharp brown eyes and short, drying hair looked down at him half across the threshold, from where he'd fallen against the door. 

She smiled with small, straight teeth, and looked down at him as she crossed her arms. 

"Didn't your mama ever teach you to wipe your feet?" She asked, voice pulling warmly with a soft Southern twang as she held out a hand and pulled him to his feet and led him inside.

Print

See History

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

6 Comments
  • WhiltiernaWolfLord

    YESSSSSS! *high fives* ANOTHER LOVER OF 1940s CHILDREN'S LIT! I happened to get my hands on an ORIGINAL 1940 copy of TLP with the author's drawings!


    over 1 year ago
  • -Foxmillionaire-

    The fox stuffy in the little prince movie is definitely the best character. :) I love the book too tho.


    over 1 year ago
  • WhiltiernaWolfLord

    Thank you!! :)


    about 2 years ago
  • Kahasai

    Whoa, this is amazing.


    about 2 years ago
  • WhiltiernaWolfLord

    Thank you! I wanted to try a different take on being a wereanimal. Rest assured, this is only an excerpt! There will be more! (Thunderstorms make them change) And what could have made the group of Stormchangers travel to the thunderstorm state? :) :) :)


    about 2 years ago
  • RedWriter

    Did NOT see that ending coming. That is cool.


    about 2 years ago