Lightning

He looks up. He feels the familiar sizzle, the crackle. It’s coming. He can feel it. 
It’s the storm. The lightning, crash-bang, thunder storm.
He sits on the porch and anticipates it. This is what he looks forward to. 
He sees it. It’s slowly creeping in on the edges. The gray, smoky figures gliding across a sky growing darker and darker. 
He sees the first flash. It’s a small one, nothing more than a brief line of blindingly beautiful energy.
He feels the boom of the thunder. He sits on the edge of his seat, fingers gripping the edges so tight that his knuckles turn white.
He hears a creak. His father comes out.
“Whatcha doin’ out here, son?”
“Just watchin’ the storm.”
His father sits down next to him and leans back. They watch the storm. The lightning streaks across the sky like a giant spindly hand reaching out.
“What does lightning do, Pa?”
The man glances over at his son. “Whatcha mean?”
The boy doesn’t look away from the sky. “What does it do, what’s it for?”
His father looks at the sky and then back at the boy. “Why, it’s the sky tearing itself up into little pieces.”
The boy finally looks at his father. His eyes are wide. “Little pieces? Where do they go?”
His father leans back crosses his ankles. “It’s the dirt of course. The tiny little shards you find in the ground. They fall from the sky.”
“Well then why does the sky stay the same if all the pieces are falling out all the time?”
“You ever seen a snake shed its skin?”
“Yup” he had seen one just a month ago when he went snake hunting in the woods.
His father nodded. “It’s like that. It’s shedding its skin and growing a new one.”
The boy was mesmerized. “Can I do that?”
His father snorted. “What? Shed your skin? Of course not. We ain’t snakes.”
“But I want to.” He looked up at the sky and saw it differently. Before it had been an enigma, a strange far away thing that was unreachable. But now it seemed like something he could touch, if little pieces of it were scattered all over the place and if it had skin like a snake.
His father smiled as if he could read his thoughts. “I’ll tell you what. Humans do shed their skin, just much more slowly than a snake or the sky does. We shed as we grow. You’re just a boy now but one day you’ll be a man and you probably won’t look anything like you do at this moment.”
The boy was excited. “Really, Pa?”
“Really”

The End

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