HARNESSED LIGHTNING

     The lights flooded the room, blinding him momentarily. He put on his goggles, tinted black so as to fight back against the waves of brightness in the room. When he reopened his eyes, he made for his gloves on the table—a thick, well-worn leather pair, grown dusty from his hiatus from his work. He knocked them twice on the table, then slid them over his hands. He clenched his fingers into a fist, then released them, and smiled to himself that they still fit. He coughed.

     Wiping the spit from his lip, he walked himself across the room to the spiral staircase that divided his laboratory and his testing space. As he ascended the staircase, he felt his fingers tremble with anticipation, and his heart was racing. Eventually, he reached the breaking point between the rooms. To enter a much shorter room, with a ceiling 10 feet from the floor he now stood on. The rainfall from outside had turned from a light pitter-patter to a deafening assault on the building. He moved to the lever on the right of the room, and put his hand on it as if to pull it. Then paused. He’d forgotten something. Oh yes! He moved to the table in the center of the room, which was the only furniture to speak of in the room. On the table there was another glove-like object, though not nearly as well fitting as the leather pair he had dawned earlier. It’s clean, sleek look contrasted the dust and cobwebs of the room.

     It was, indeed, a device, with a hole for him to insert his right arm into, much like a glove. So much so he had named it “the power glove,” (a rather rudimentary name in my opinion, but it got the job done). He put his arm into the glove, which went nearly up to his elbow. It was quite cold on the inside. So cold, in fact, that it sent goosebumps up his spine. Unlike a glove, however, there were no finger holes in this device, rather, a small steel bar at the center to hold onto. The device was not light in weight, but in no way exhausting to hold. It’s weight almost felt natural.

     In his left hand, he held a small remote, with 3 buttons on it. Two of the buttons were a dark green, one was labeled “on,” the other labeled “off,” and a third button was a bright red, labeled “release.” He walked back over to the lever on the wall, and with his left elbow he pushed the level down. There was a loud rumbling, like the tremor of thunder above, as the sky roof cracked open to reveal the storm outside. Rain came down in large loud droplets, cleaning the dusty table in the center in moments.

     The man walked over to the table, reared back, and kicked it out of the way, then looked up into the sky above him. His goggles were assaulted with raindrops, but the flashes of lightning were clearly visible. He pressed the “on” button, and the device on his arm began to make a low whirring sound. A wry smile crept across the scientists face for a moment, before he coughed again. He cleared his throat and looked up, the device by his side growing ever louder. It had began to light up, with a dull yellow light. The man held his arms up to the sky, with the device centered on the storm above him. It felt like an eternity there, with the device hissing in his ears, until suddenly there was a flash of light and a loud CRACK that nearly knocked the man off balance. He regained his footing, and looked in his hand—or rather, the device in his hand. Trailing from the end of it was a bolt of lightning, trailing all the way back up into the clouds far above him. His eyes widened with glee, and he swung his arm back and forth. He had harnessed the power of the gods!

     The device was now full of bright lights, thought the whirring had returned to a dull hum. He adjusted his grip inside, and lifted the device so that it once again faced skyward. His hand with the remote was trembling. He pressed “release,” and before his eyes the bolt retracted back up into the sky. The machine began to whir again, and a tiny sphere appeared where his palm would have been in the device. It crackled, then began to grow. It was shifting as if it were alive, and little sparks popped off the sides and into the air for a moment before fizzling out. When the sphere was about the size of his head, he once again pointed the ball skyward, and pressed “release.” There was another loud CRACK and the ball imploded, before sending bolts of electricity skyward, piercing into the clouds above. The man smiled.

     He had finally harnessed lightning.

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2 thoughts on “HARNESSED LIGHTNING

  1. Pingback: A YEAR IN THE BOOKS | cassadyblog

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