Blue grey. Cloud soufflés. Thundering rumble. Neon grass against blackening sky. We wore minimal clothing because of the heat. I leaned against my boyfriend in a bed in Key Largo, and it was dark outside, and the windows were open. Palm fronds crackled in wind. We stroked each other’s skin while thunder shattered the air and lightning lit the room. Hard rain clacked against glass.
A wall of clouds moving onshore from the ocean, blue black jellyfish in the sky, rain trailing like tentacles.
I remember being in the skiff with Dad near Williamson Island. The Olympics were over and the Day Marina was littered with pallets of Coke and Powerade. We looted, Dad and I. The place was abandoned. We saw a storm coming and hurried. There wasn’t another human for miles, and we floated in the mouth of a river on a marina, surrounded by water, no shelter.
We were in the river behind Williamson when the squall caught us. The boat was small and open; I could hold both sides from the middle of the mid bench. Lightning struck the water and the nearby island, and thunder cracked in our ears at the same time we saw the lightning flash. Wind whipped the green-brown river to a froth, my hair whipped me in the eyes, in the mouth, got caught in my teeth. Rain stung my skin. Rain puckered the river. It smacked the water, slapped my skin, rattled the floor of the aluminum boat. It made a racket like ball bearings clattering on a metal floor. The sound was deafening.
Lightning bolted, thunder boomed, and Dad and I hunched forward in the boat so our backs would take the needling rain instead of our faces. I shivered with cold. I thought about being struck by lightning. About the boat capsizing. About how Mom would worry if she knew.
I felt electric.
Dad and I grinned at each other and prayed we wouldn’t die.
For the month of April, I will be publishing a 10-minute free write each day, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page.