Summer Storms

The sun blazed intensely in the sky, making the heat so oppressive that we would scuttle into the shade and lie like a pool of vomit, all wet and sticky. It was too hot to move, too hot to think, almost too hot to breathe.

Finally, the storm would erupt, with thunder that would shake the very house. It would build and get closer, as we hid in one of the bedrooms and counted the seconds between the loud crashes of thunder and the awesome flashes of lightning.

The braver children would stand by the window and watch the dark clouds approach. I especially loved the patterns when the lightning streaked. It was like a daytime fireworks display.

Eventually, the time between the house shaking and the flashes of lightning came so close together that we knew that the storm was directly overhead. Even the brave ones hid then, such was the cacophony of noise as the God of Thunder roared his wrath down at us.

Hearts beat like humming birds, eyes wide with fright, our breaths held as we waited to see if he would pass us by, or tear the house apart in his anger.

And then he would slip noisily away, to terrorise other small children, other household pets.

In his wake, we would find relief from the summer heat. The warm rains would come and soak the parched concrete, running into the cracks in the burned yellowed ground that had once been our garden before the hose ban had been put into place.

We would run outside and squeal with delight, getting soaked, but caring not. The oppressive atmosphere would vanish, at least for a few days, and we would go out during the summer days and play again. Our arms and backs would burn like lobsters, and then we would start the slow tedious shedding process, but we didn’t mind the smell of calamine lotion too much. It was just good to be able to go outside again, to ride our bikes or kick around a ball.

On the news, they talked about the coming of a new ice age, and the doom of the end of the world, but we were just glad that the storm had come.

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